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. Get it straight

    Tim, I'm sorry, but I have to respond to you. The Obama campaign pays for those ads to appear. If McCain wants his to be here too, he can pay too.

    Blah blah blah, Obama raises money unethically, blah blah blah. Check your facts before you shoot any of that back.

    October 30, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  2. steven

    Tim, its called buying advertisement space

    October 30, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  3. Brian B

    Tim in Texas...it's called advertising, and if the McCain camp was able to make a sound decision, they would have bought ad space on CNN like the Obama camp did. More bad decisions, more of the same.

    Don't vote McCan't.


    October 30, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  4. dan

    obama will win .

    October 30, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  5. republicans hate america

    while Barak send a positive message about what he plans on doing whether you agree or not all Mccain does is cry and whine and pouts how he's a victim thats why McCain will lose this race.

    October 30, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  6. Blue in FL

    Vote Early!!!!!! & Vote on Nov 4th!!!!

    Polls don't win Elections ... votes do!!!!!!!!

    October 30, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  7. Ken Sawyer

    Are the same pollsters that worked for Tom Dewey in 1948 now working for Obama? I have not met one Republican that has been polled in my state.The Liberal news media is running the polls just as they are the Obama thing. This is truly the making of a president by you and other organizations like the Los Angelos times by withholding public information such as the tape they now their little sticky hands.

    October 30, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  8. Election watcher

    Great show last night, Obie-NOT! As if we need him to delay the World Series to tell us the economy is bad. Thanks for nothing, big brain!

    October 30, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  9. Constance

    I hope everyone will get out the vote for Barack Obama. I am tired of the idiots and their mudslinging and innuendo. They believe they can tell you who is Patriotic or not while consistently doing very unpatriotic things – attacking Americans based soley on their Religion.

    October 30, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  10. Arkansas for Obama

    tim your a racist. I know Hussein is your code word for that black guy who is a muslim. Please go jump in a river. <3

    October 30, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  11. Greg in Albuquerque

    Like sheep being led to slaughter... can't you people see what's happening here..... have you lost your ability to think critically? I think not – you rely exclusively on biased media reporting, hollywood babble from anyone with access to a microphone, and false, undeliverable promises of from the "messiah" himself.... obama.

    Quit drinking the kool-aid

    October 30, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  12. Marvin Hunter

    Obama's 30 minutes,
    How can Mccains people complain ,Tom caused Tim to roll over giving John 30 minutes free last Sunday. Obama paid for his!

    October 30, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  13. Joe P from Louisville

    Last night's 30 minutes ad was the making of a landslide. It will be Obama next week with between 330 and 390 electoral votes.

    October 30, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  14. Dave in Texas

    To "Tim in Texas" ... this is "Dave in Texas," your Democratic counterpart (Yes, there ARE Democrats in TX). Step outside your door and I'm sure you'll find exactly what you're looking for: right-wing, bible thumping, religious right bigots that go around using veiled racist comments like "Barack HUSSEIN Obama" to get their point across to white voters. Well, Tim, start gritting your teeth even more when next Wednesday you see in Big BOLD letters across Texas newspapers – "President Barack HUSSEIN Obama." Whatever you may think, CNN reports news – plain and simple. If you don't care for it, seek out Fox News (as most scared, rural whites do) and hug your hunting rifle close to you because this, my friend, will be a loonnnnnggg and well deserved ride for Rrepublicans. LOL!

    October 30, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  15. Watermann

    I really do hope that the UNITED States of America can be UNITED after November 4th. This requires much more of Mr Obama`s talent which he has proved after clinching the nomination. However, it takes two for tango.

    October 30, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  16. Dixon

    To Victor, the money came from small donations. (I think that means more voters support him) I would prefer that to a smear campaign the Republics pull out every year. The VP candidate for the Reps is already under investigation. Maybe it is one or both of those issue causing problems for McCain.

    Tim in Texas, McCain is able to advertise on CNN.

    October 30, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  17. Betty

    VOTE!!! Make your voice heard!!!

    October 30, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  18. go vote

    CNN is there some reason that there is not more coverage of the US raid into Syria?

    And can anyone get Tim some Cheese?

    October 30, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  19. Get Real

    Tim In Texas, Jordan and others! Why don't you try doing so fact checks to get your facts straight. You and the rest of the GOP make all these claims against Obama and when the facts are laid out for you, then you cry that everyone is lying. Come on now.... everyone except for the GOP is lying!!!!! Let's get real! Let's look at yourselves in the mirror and just come out and say what you've been thinking all along. You won't vote for Obama because he doesn't "look" like you! But to try to hide it behind fear and divisiveness is even a disservice to yourself and the rest of America!!!!! WAKE UP AMERICA.... get out there on the 4th and show this country we want a new direction, a change and some unity in this country instead of the divisiveness we've had for the last 8 years.

    October 30, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  20. Slick

    I saw fox trying to pull up the fact that Obama was tardy to senate hearing but they said nothing about McCains over the pst 26 years. They know that it is Obama 08 and that there is nothing that they can do. However, what makes up all of our minds is the quote from President Regan "are you better off than you were four years ago?"

    October 30, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  21. Pam

    Dear Victor,

    Obama is NOT buying anything, we the people are. Unlike McCain and his lobbiest friends.

    Best Wishes though!

    October 30, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  22. Obama 08: white, female, 60 yr old supporter

    Alaska polls show Palin has slipped to a 60 percent approval rating as governor.

    October 30, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |

    Obama is our new president for 2009, no color does not matter but im black and i voted black. he is very motivational and a black intelligent your brother , so whos hatin "mccain voters"

    October 30, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  24. Hellen Fields

    Obama.....GREAT man, BRILLIANT mind, AWESOME leader!!!!

    NOW the world will beging to heal again after 8 years of being beat up and knocked around!!

    America will be back on track Nov. 5!!!

    YES!!! WE!!! CAN!!!!!!

    October 30, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  25. Double standards?

    Jesus was a "socialist" and "redistributionist" ... perhaps the conservatives need to read their Bibles! In addition, McCain (along with Bush) just bailed out banks on Wall Street. Double standards, indeed!

    October 30, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
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