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. jenny

    The more these two idiots swipe at Obama is the more the RED STATES will turn BLUE.

    October 30, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  2. Latina for Obama (nj)



    October 30, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  3. Remy

    I never see any Republican feel sympathy for Obama after the plots to kill him. I think Republicans silently approve to eliminate Obama through bullets and not by ballots.

    The same crook Americans preach about GOD, Human Rights and Democracy to the world while they just spit on them in their own country!

    October 30, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  4. Jordan is brain washed


    Since I can see you know how to use a computer why don't you also take the time to do some fact checking? You need to use your brain instead of buying into the Republican propaganda.
    I work for a University and I know that if one of our Professors was a known terrorist he/she would not have a job. They would be in Jail. Why would Ayers still be allowed to teach our young if he was a dangerous criminal?

    I voted yesterday for Obama because I believe he will change Washington and bring new ideas to a bunch of very old set in there ways politicians.

    Yes, it's time for Change! Trickle down economics doesn't work.

    October 30, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  5. Austin, GA

    Suggestions: if you are having a hard to decide who to vote for, vote for the guy that looks more presidential. Think about it ...its not that hard now is it?


    October 30, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  6. Dawn Kessler

    I don’t understand how ANYONE can trust Barack Obama. As Dennis Miller says: “he creeps me out”. It amazes me how many people actually trust this man. In every political race, both sides promise things that are not in the spectrum of reality. But, for me, it comes down to “WHO CAN I TRUST?”. I’ll tell you one thing….how anyone could TRUST Barack Obama boggles my mind! We all know everything about John McCain. He hasn’t tried to hide ANYTHING. Obama lied about public financing for one thing. We don’t know about anything else because he hides EVERYTHING from his past. He is NOT an open book like John McCain.

    On election day, ask yourself one question: “Can I trust this man?” That’s the guy that you should vote for this Tuesday!

    October 30, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  7. republicans hate america

    Tim in Texas - If CNN is so in the bed for Obama why did they refuse his money to air his 30 minute infomercial? Obama is winning this thing becaus McCain is an angry old man who pouts and complains about everyone elses flaws while he thinks he is entitled and perfect and offers nothing but stupid jokes on the trail.

    October 30, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  8. Lori

    I am so happy that the American people are waking up (and not falling for the desperate tactics of McCain and Palin to instill fear and spread lies about Obama) and are making a smart choice this year (unlike the last 2 elections).

    Obama's television special last night solidified what my friends and I already knew- he is a dignified man, with morals, family values, and the intelligence to take America where it used to be 8 years ago and beyond. He is what America needs especially during these troubling times.

    October 30, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  9. j in PA

    Tim in Texas, Barack Hussein Obama II...clearly you are not biased. You are the type of person that makes appreciate the fact that Barack will be in the white house.

    Why? Beacause you are completely ignorant like McCain and Palin to what is important in this election. No one cares about his middle name. You are so.....2004 buddy.

    October 30, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  10. Tom in Wheaton, Illinois

    One more thing... Barack Obama has buckets of money to spend because the American people GAVE it to him. $50 at a time. I was one of them.

    October 30, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  11. Don

    Obama was very specific last night in what he will do. Too bad the only tactic the Republicans have left is linking him to the so-called "shady" figures in his past life, which now nobody cares about. How lame. Obama is going to win, so you might as well get used to the idea.

    October 30, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  12. Dorothy in NC

    Barak Obama is a descent, hard working brilliant man who, I believe, will change Washington by working together with all people, talking to all world leaders and bringing common sense back to the way business is done. You don't get to be the President of the Harvard Law Revue unless you work hard and have a good character.

    All I hear is "black man" this and "black man" that. This is 2008; slavery is over; there are good people and bad people of ever race. We need to grow up in this country and start thinking about the things that matter; things like world peace, economy, universal healthcare, and jobs and stop this senseless bashing of a man who is the best hope we have had in years of trying to get our problems straightened out.

    I honor the service of John McCain but when does the statute of limitations run out on what he went thru? A good soldier doesn't necessarily mean good president. His campaign has been running the most negative ads and lacks any kind of sevility. Ok.....but there has been very little said about John McCain leaving his first wife after she was disfigured in an auto accident and having an affair with his second wife while he was married; or of his history of anger. We could go back and forth all day but what does it really accomplish?

    The fact is no one is perfect but I think it is time to put the negativity behind us; put all our prejudices behind us and work together to try and solve our country's problems before they totally destroy our way of life, regardless of who wins. No other time in my 60 years have I seen things so bad in our country. Our standing in the world is terrible, people in this country are truly hurting from loosing their jobs and homes and retirement and not having proper health insurance and our infastructure is crumbling before our very eyes. We have rebuilt Iraq, now it is time to rebuild the United States.
    I hope we wake up and grow up before we destroy ourselves. We are well on the way.

    October 30, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  13. Brad

    CNN is biased? They're so biased that they didn't take obama's money and they didn't run his ad. They're so biased that they had john McCain on larry king. Time to get over yourselves, people.

    October 30, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  14. Steve - Minneapolis

    Victor – there are different kinds of money being spent in this election. Barack is spending MY money and that of millions of other “regular working guys” who want to return an intelligent, capable individual to the White House. McCain's money comes from a smaller pool of larger contributors, many of whom are expecting favors.

    The issues we are facing require more than a ready-fire-aim ideology and a reckless "drill baby drill" mentality. Barack, and the competents who will surround him, will take a studied approach to solving these issues.

    Feel good about voting ability and intelligence. Vote Obama.

    October 30, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  15. WeLuvObama

    I beg to differ with you McCain/Palin supporters. Lately the ticker has been all about John McCain and Sara Palin. Why are you all so angry that Barack Obama was smart enough to not except Campaign Finance? He needed as much money as he could get to fight all of the lies and smears of the republicans.

    John McCain is such an old whiner. Get over it, the people financed Barack Obama's campaign because they want change. McCain is more of the same. We will not be fooled this time. These are the same tactics the republicans use every election when they can't win on the issues.

    Go Barack! I am praying for a landslide.

    October 30, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  16. S. Holt

    Fantastic video. Pulls the nation together, unlike the division that McCain/Palin is drawing. Why should he take public financing? He said he would think about it. Voters started donating to his campaign. I donate every month. Why should he do townhall meetings? That does not allow you to reach a vast number of people. McCain is sowing sour grapes. Obama and team are organizers. They know how to run a campaign. McCain started the negative campaigning. I love Obama's last ad on McCain's pick for VP. Outstanding.

    October 30, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  17. Noah

    Sorry but I stopped paying attention to CNN and NBC polls because they are so clearly biased. They always poll more Democrats than Republicans, so clearly that skews the results. How else can you explain those polls showing Obama with almost double-digit leads but the 3 most accurate polls (Rasmussen,Zogby, and TIPP) have it between 2 and 3 points nationally as well as in the swing states.

    October 30, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  18. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Thank God that Americans don't like the "kitchen sink" politics after 8 years of McCain/Bush failed policies. Americans know it's time for change and there's no turning us back now, we're ready for change and to move forward. If you're not ready to move forward, step aside because Obama is coming through with all followers that are ready for change.

    October 30, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  19. SW,OHIO

    Nevada, come to Ohio and campaign with us. We need your support so Ohio has a clear vision of what you see!!! OBAMA / BIDEN

    October 30, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  20. JB Cal

    Tim in Texas, feel free to go to Fox News. The can't seem to get their noses out of McCain's butt.

    October 30, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  21. John. Austin, TX

    Tim in Texas:
    The reason why CNN has an advertisement, not "link" to Obama, is because HE PAID FOR IT!! He purchased the advertisement slot and put an ad. I'm sure you know that's what people do in newspapers and magazines, and yea, on the internets too!!

    October 30, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  22. Ramen Dude

    It's time for the partisan healing after this election. I urge my fellow Americans, especially Democrats, liberals, moderates, and independents to watch Pat Buchanan and Sean Hannity when they announce the winner of this election on Nov 4th.

    Remember: There is no red or blue America; there's only ONE AMERICA. Peace to all!!!

    Ramen Dude, Plano, TX

    October 30, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  23. Ms. Jenny

    Obama is actually catching up in ARIZONA!!!! Last two polls had him within a few points of McCain.

    October 30, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  24. Ronnie

    McCain and Palin might as well take their ball and go home cause this election is a wrap!I vote over a week ago and it felt great to vote against McCain and Palin and another 4 or 8 years of the Bush agenda.

    I had a great laugh when I heard that Palin was going to head the GOP! With her leading the way maybe the republican party will die in agony!

    October 30, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  25. Abigail Bryan

    Vote for Obama! We need someone who can make sound decisions about our nation. He is definitely the best candidate for the job. The man is brilliant; he has a clear understanding about this economic crisis. McCain is obviously out of touch with main stream Americans.

    October 30, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
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