October 30th, 2008
07:59 AM ET
14 years ago

Polls suggest electoral gains for Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/10/29/poll.wednesday/art.obamageneric.gi.jpg caption="New gains for Obama on the CNN Electoral Map."](CNN) - If Barack Obama is betting on Nevada, he may find a pleasant payoff. A new poll suggests that the Democratic presidential candidate is widening his lead there.

That's contributing to an increase in territory for Obama in CNN's Electoral College Map. The map estimates what would occur if the election were held today, by reviewing state polls, voting trends, campaign visits and advertising.

In the Nevada survey - one of five CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation state polls released Thursday morning - 52 percent of likely voters say Obama is their choice for president, with 45 percent backing John McCain. That seven-point lead is up from a five-point advantage Obama held in a poll taken one week ago.

Nevada narrowly voted for George W. Bush in the last two presidential contests.

"Obama is racking up support among blue collar voters in Nevada," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Two weeks ago, he had a six-point lead among people with no college degree. Now he has a 23-point lead over McCain among that group. If the unions are making a big push for Obama in Nevada, it seems to be working."

The new numbers in Nevada, along with similar findings from other new polls in the state, are factors that led CNN to move Nevada and its five electoral votes from a "toss-up" state to "lean Obama" in its new Electoral College Map.

With that change, CNN estimates that if the election were held today, Obama would win 291 electoral votes compared with 163 for McCain; another 84 electoral votes are up for grabs.

A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.

On Wednesday, CNN switched Colorado and its nine electoral votes from "toss up" to "lean Obama," thanks to a number of new polls, including a CNN/Time/ORC poll that suggests Obama has an eight-point lead in Colorado.

CNN also changed Indiana, which has 11 electoral votes, from "lean McCain" to "toss up." A new CNN Poll of Polls suggests McCain holds a two-point lead over Obama in Indiana, which hasn't voted for a Democrat in a presidential election since 1964.

The Poll of Polls is an average of the latest state surveys.

The state of Washington was also moved from "lean Obama" to "safe Obama," though that move doesn't change the electoral count.

With the prospect of losing some of the states that President Bush won four years ago, McCain, R-Arizona, has his eyes on Pennsylvania and its 21 electoral votes.

McCain and his running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and surrogates are spending a lot of time campaigning in the state. McCain hopes to become the first Republican presidential candidate to win the state since 1988.

A new poll, however, suggests that McCain's efforts may not be paying off.

Fifty-five percent of likely voters in Pennsylvania say they are backing Senator Obama, D-Illinois, with 43 percent supporting McCain. That 12-point lead for Obama is up from a nine-point advantage he held in CNN's last poll in the state, conducted last month.

"Pennsylvania is the keystone to McCain's electoral college strategy, but he faces a tough task," said Holland. "Obama has an edge in Philadelphia, of course, but also in the Philly suburbs, and he's ahead by six points in the western part of the state."

Another state McCain needs to keep in the Republican camp is Ohio, where 20 electoral votes are up for grabs. The new poll indicates Obama holds a small four-point lead, 51 percent to 47 percent. Both campaigns are spending a lot of time and money in Ohio in this last week before the election.

It's a simliar story in North Carolina, which last voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in 1976, when Jimmy Carter was running. A new poll suggests Obama has a six-point lead over McCain, 52 percent to 46 percent.

Obama was up by four points in our last poll, conducted last week.

"Other polls are showing North Carolina is essentially tied, but our poll shows Obama picking up support among younger voters and the blue-collar segment. Those are two reasons the race in North Carolina has gone from a 49-49 tie in early October to a 52-46 edge for Obama, at least in our results," Holland said.

The poll indicates McCain holds a small lead in his home state of Arizona - 53 percent to 46 percent. Another poll released this week suggests the race is closer in Arizona, which McCain has represented in Congress for 26 years.

The poll was also expanded to include the major third party candidates, Independent Ralph Nader, Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, and Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney.

None of them are polling over 3 percent in any of the states surveyed, and none seem to be a factor in the outcome of the results in those five states - other than Ohio, where Nader's 3 percent showing could have an impact.

The CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Thursday through Tuesday. It surveyed 807 likely voters in Arizona, 684 likely voters in Nevada, 667 likely voters in North Carolina, 779 likely voters in Ohio, and 768 likely voters in Pennsylvania.

The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points in Arizona, Ohio and Pennsylvania and plus or minus 4 percentage points in Nevada and North Carolina.

Filed under: Arizona • Candidate Barack Obama • CNN poll • John McCain • Nevada • North Carolina • Ohio • Washington State
soundoff (408 Responses)
  1. NOVA

    Lets keep on gaining...

    If you haven't voted yet, and you can early vote – GO DO IT! and take a friend or family member with you.

    If you're waiting until the 4th, get to the polls at like 5AM!!

    Lets take our country back from the crooks and businessmen!!

    October 30, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  2. Deer Hunter for Obama

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 30, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  3. Michigan Voter

    As usual, polls are meaningless. They also showed Kerry ahead in 2004. The only meaningful poll will be on Nov. 4.

    October 30, 2008 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  4. AJ

    And I bet you folks at CNN are wetting your pants with glee??
    I am a lifelong Democrat who was unable, for the first time in my life, to vote for President when I mailed in my absentee ballot. I think the thought of either McCain or Obama to be nauseating. I sincerely hope that Obama is as good as he thinks he is because there are serious problems for the nation ahead. I'm not counting on it though; I think it will be a disaster.

    October 30, 2008 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  5. On the home stretch

    Obama supporters... don't get too confident with these poll figures. The most important thing at this point is to get out the vote on Tuesday. You, your friends, your neighbours, your colleagues. Don't worry which way they will vote, just get them out there. Given the way this is going, the more people that vote from across the political spectrum, the better Obama's chances. VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!!

    October 30, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |

    Excellent news..... Voters are "SMARTER" this year.... McCain will NOT DIVIDE AND DESTROY our Country. I VOTED for Obama because I want our great country to be U-N-I-T-E-D.

    October 30, 2008 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  7. JV

    OBAMA 08.

    October 30, 2008 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  8. theogracias

    Wow this is great news for John McCain.

    October 30, 2008 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  9. Patriot

    Get out and vote for real change! Vote Obama!

    October 30, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  10. Mel B.

    Has anyone bothered to bring up or ask McCain why is his state the only one in the nation that doesn celebrate Martin Luther King Day? You would think every minority in the state of Arizona would be voting for anyone but him!!! It just makes me wonder about McCain

    October 30, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  11. Dawn

    I hope that he does win in Pennsylvania.. I watched his infomercial, and yet the Phillies did win the World Series? Mmmm... was Obama a good luck charm for them? LOL

    I do not like baseball, but this is the first win for them in 28 years, it was in 1980 when the last time they won.

    Go Obama/Biden08/12

    October 30, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  12. Ken in NC

    McCain could have won the election but his staff controlled him enough to make him run contrary to what he is. Had he run his campaign on Honor and Clean as he said he would do then the nation would have elected a National Hero as it's next leader. Instead his staff ran him as "Another dirty Politician".

    McCain is the captain of his ship and it was his responsibility to stop and change the direction they pointed him in but he did not do it so in conclusion, he shot himself in the foot.

    October 30, 2008 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  13. mr g

    watched the special last night and I must say Obama did a great job. He is the man for the job. Let us get behind him and vote for a change one that we can believe in.McCain/Palin please stop the nonsense finish with some dignity and returned to your day job with respect and humility.You tried and did not prevail. Thanks for all you have done for our country,but now it is time to go.

    October 30, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  14. Spencer/Virginia


    October 30, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  15. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Sing with me onw everybody...

    "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
    Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Halleluuuuujahhhh."

    October 30, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  16. becky

    I pray that the people who support McCain wake up and see the truth!
    You have been lied to by McCain & Palin . Listen to many other Republicans that see the truth and are supporting Obama.
    Why on the fact check on Palin's comment about Rashid Khalidi did CNN not also point out that a group McCain was part of gave Khalidi $450,000? Is it because you are biased?

    America is broken and we need INTELLIGENCE in the White House.

    Dawn Chisholm:
    I would rather give all my tax dollars to the people of THIS country than to Iraq. You, my dear, are fooling yourself. You have to work in this country to get a tax break!
    My husband and I will glady pay more taxes to fix our broken country. Why is our country broken? Because of narrow minds such as yours. Vote Democrat – we just can't take any more help from the Republicans. Too many jobs lost, too many without healthcare, too many seniors who cannot heat their homes and the list goes on and on and on. Thanks, Republicans for totaling screwing up our country!

    October 30, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  17. Fatal Blow

    Cool, come on Palin/McCain, keep up the attacks, we are looking for a landslide here

    October 30, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  18. Independent from PA

    As Obama said, let's vote and not take this as 'in the bag.' We need to vote out those who would use divisiveness and race-baiting to the highest office. Americans are sick of it; and hopefully Shrill Palin will go back to Alaska soon!

    October 30, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  19. Candy West Virginia

    Did it ever occur to you rethuglicans that if there was any truth to the lies that mccain/palin spew, they would have been uncovered by now?? No it doesn't occur to you people because your foundation is hate and hate brews hate so you are willing to believe anything to foster your hate. All this terrorists ties, socialism, marxism crap your hearing is lies put out by a desperate team for the truly ignorant to swallow hole. You should feel insulted that your candidates take you for fools and know that in your hate you will believe what they want you to believe. It is sad and I feel sorry for you people.

    October 30, 2008 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  20. Tim in Texas

    and one more thing oh great CNN – it is quite evident who YOU favor, promote, cater to, kiss you no what of, etc, etc. I don't see a link on your website to the McCain campaign but you can't get away from Barack Hussein Obama II on your website. He is the most prevalent thing on your site. Shame on you for you "unbiased"????? stance.

    October 30, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  21. Victor

    I guess Obama is the LESSER of the TWO EVILS! Or the common saying: "In the socety where the blinds are... the an eye blind is king!" I am feeling sorry for the American where only MONEY can buy presidency!

    October 30, 2008 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  22. Jim Flynt

    I saw the 30 minute special on Obama last night. It was great!! I will vote Obama!!!

    October 30, 2008 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  23. Goodman Fredrick

    McCain & Palin should stop the smears against BO & JB if they want votes !!!!!

    October 30, 2008 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  24. Sophia, 24, FL

    OBAMA '08

    October 30, 2008 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  25. um da man


    October 30, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
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