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. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Obama by 220 electoral votes and rising every day. It just isn't a fair match up with only the kooks left supporting McCain/Palin. All sensible caring Republicans are now supporting Obama.

    October 30, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  2. JB Cal

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

    October 30, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  3. Me from Missouri

    This will be a landslide victory for us over McCain/Palin. I don't see a neck-and-neck election here, all i see is a landslide. The change we need is here. People, let'sgo out and vote and make our dreams and those of our family become a reality.

    Obama/Biden 08!!

    October 30, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  4. sarahinfla

    Cnn will not touch this group why? News agencies continue to state that John McCain is a former Chairman of the Board of Directors, yet there own website still list him as current? This board of high powered lobbiest and business types are a concern to some. What are we getting for our money here and with this type of direct contact with Sen. McCain what type of policy influence do they have? Very simple questions, see Bill Ayers, does not bother me. But lobbiest and big business type do!!! We can't even get our own elections in order and yet we are around the world influencing other governments elections. Big business only has one interest exploiting others for profit.

    Where does IRI get its funding?
    The International Republican Institute (IRI) is a 501 (c)(3) IRI is funded by U.S. tax dollars.

    Who is on the Board of Directors?
    IRI’s board of directors is chaired by U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

    No smoking gun just simple fact please, help me be informed....Please!!!

    October 30, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  5. russ

    To the idiot 'Tim in Texas', the Obama link is a paid placement. If it were not for smears and personal attacks, McCain would have no campaign.

    October 30, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  6. USMC Sgt

    Please American Make us pround and vote for Obama, So he can bring us home.

    October 30, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  7. Swiftboat my a$$

    to Jordan!

    Poor you.. I guess you can still move to alaska......
    Cry me a da%?& river
    No way No How , NoMcCrypt

    October 30, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  8. curioushome

    The Obama video highlighted the difference between DEM and GOP *perfectly*: The video was all about issues. It didn't mention McCain or the GOP even once. The GOP talking points couldn't be more different. The *only* thing they talk about are their opponents. To them it's all about inducing fear among the voters, intimidating the media (see Tim in Texas, above), and ultimately, partisanship. Ask yourself this question: if the GOP was suddenly given 30 minutes of airtime on all those networks, what would they do with it? You know the answer already, don't you ...

    October 30, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  9. Alison B

    Are we surprised? Come on people look at the choices we have honesty and integrity versus lies and deceit which one would you want.

    Obama/Biden all the way to the WHITE HOUSE. Oh Yeah!!!!!

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

    Obama has set forth clear and sensible policies to get our country back on track.

    McBush only offers the same policies that have failed us and uses politics of lies, fear, greed and deception.

    This is a no-brainer. Vote Obama-Biden !!

    October 30, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  11. Pesty like ants!

    Tim in Texas: Shame on YOU! If you check out the site regularly, you will see that CNN is fair...equal time for each, despite if the stories, etc. are lies or not!

    Victor: Stop hating on the phenominal fundraising that the Obama campaign has done. If McCain had it, he would be doing as much advertising...even if thy are spouting lies and half-truths! Money won't buy the presidency...people who are sick of the same old stuff will.

    Jordan: What a waste of a blogger's space. You don't even know what you are talking about...have you been following this thing or are you another "johnny come lately" like Palin? You seem to have like minds.

    October 30, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  12. David, Silver Spring, MD

    The McCain / Palin attacks have been so underhanded as to cast serious doubt on their ability to lead a united country. More importantly, it shines a light on how they would govern.

    If McCain/Palin are this willing to lie to the public to get elected, what will they be willing to do to stay in power?

    October 30, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  13. tax payer

    Senator Obama and fans – your math is not working, you CANNOT give 95% of the people tax cuts when 40% of the people DO NOT PAY TAXES! Is this a "lie" from the Democrats, and I thought you all said only the Repulicans could "lie".

    October 30, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  14. Democrat 4 Life

    Tim in Texas.
    Did you see where it says paid for by Barack for America. McSame is spending his money on Robocalls and is now broke. Plus he has Faux news fighting for him for free...

    October 30, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  15. rene

    that ad last night was AWESOME, MCCAIN CAMP IS jealous, hopefully he sealed the deal

    October 30, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  16. Mikey

    Hey Tim in Texas:

    In case you hadn't noticed, Barack Hussein Obama II just happens to be running for President, so there are news stories about him. Go figure! Same holds true for John SIDNEY McCain III.

    Guess what? There will be lots of stories about President Elect Barack Hussein Obama next week.

    Can we the people get our country back? YES WE CAN !!!!!!!

    October 30, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  17. go vote

    [Exxon Mobil: Biggest profit in U.S. history
    Largest U.S. oil company surges past analyst estimates to post net income of $14.83 billion.]

    Thanks Bush Crime Family...

    Four more years of McPalin would be Great
    More War to grow the economy, More Oil Drilling and Tax cuts for the Oil Companies, More Tax cuts and Bene's for Big Corporations ... Maybe if they work really hard they can out source all of our really good jobs and eliminate the Capital Gains tax completely.

    wake up

    October 30, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  18. Penny

    Dear Jordan....try checking "factcheck.org" for the truth on your statements.....you will find that you are being lied to.

    October 30, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  19. alvino

    John McCain was on the board that gave a half a million dollars to Rashid Khalidi. According to Sarah Palin, Rashid is a spokesperson for the PLO.

    October 30, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  20. Steve

    Polls are fodder. Kerry was up by 11 points over Bush the day of the last election. Obama was beating Clinton in polls the day of the NH primary. Why do we continue to believe in polls?

    October 30, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  21. Niyi

    "Jordan" its obvious you have your own serious problem complain about Barack, since u comment twice about him within 2 minutes but maybe you should take off your foolish hat to see the light

    October 30, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  22. barbara

    Exxon, Halliburton, Blackwater, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin have all become much richer under the Republicans, and that was the goal all along.

    Senator Obama will hopefully win this election, but I fear that such a mess has been made of America that Obama will have to make some unpopular decisions, and the greedy, corrupt GOP will have another chance in 2012.

    October 30, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  23. Charla in TX

    hmm......and just yesterday afternoon, Sean Hannity was bellowing on his radio "show" about how the tide has turned because the polls were closing up, and McCain was making great gains because the undecideds were flocking to him.


    October 30, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  24. New Day

    Jordan – do you honestly think there's a person out there that hasn't heard all that already. People have researched it and have come to their own conclusions. Let it go, already.

    October 30, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  25. McCain/YPM...let's get moving

    YPM...lets continue with our fraudelent plan and let's keep this hush, hush. We will win this election for John McCain and Sarah Palin. This plan worked in 2000 and 2004 and we were able to get "W" successfully in the White House. I bet it will work again 2008

    YPM...there's no stopping....

    October 30, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
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