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. Georgia Voter

    You know what is really ashame in this election? We have a good candidate in Barack Obama and there are people that smear his name and he has done everything right. Its okay to disagree with his policies, but if you are a person that agrees with his policies stop making excuses and join him and making this country a better place for all of us. Say what you will about BO he has taken on a tough fight, and has proven himself over and over again. African Americans should be proud of him this is a dream come true for America as a whole. We preach all the time about what is right, but we all know what is really in our heart, and we know what the right thing is, and therefore you have to search your very own soul because at the end of the day, you have to live with you no one else.

    October 30, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  2. Matthew

    Oi, Tim - Back under the bridge, Troll.

    Lose with some honor, please. Stop bringing your racist slants and implications into the debate, it lessens us all to hear them.

    Yes, CNN promotes Barack. Yes Fox News promotes McCain. Stop stating it like it's some incredibly revealing secret.

    I've been an Obama supporter since I saw him speak in 2004, one of his first 10,000 donors when he started his campaign. With that in mind, I'll wholeheartedly say vote for Obama/Biden.

    October 30, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  3. john

    John McCain calls Obama the redistributionist in Chief thats rich coming from the Vote rigger in Chief

    October 30, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  4. Ken in Dallas


    McCain has barbeques with G. Gordon Liddy, one of the most notorious criminals in the US, who issued recommendation on how to kill US law enforcement officers over the radio. Ayers is a nobody.

    You probably think "equal protection under the law" is a left-wing plot to overthrow our Dear Leader.

    Incidentally, if your preacher told you God wants you to vote for McCain, he's a blasphemer and an apostate. That's not a slur, it's what the Third Commandment means.

    October 30, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  5. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    Don't let the polls lull you into complacency. It's still possible for the Republicans to pull this off if we THINK that we have it in the bag. Right now, for example, early voting in Nevada is down for young people and Hispanics–people that are strong Obama supporters. If they don't show up, then being ahead in the polls means nothing.

    Lets make this happen with big numbers in both the popular vote and electoral college vote. I live in California and I'm voting today even though it SEEMS obvioius that Cali will go Obama. I want my vote to be in that number of votes counted next Tuesday.

    October 30, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  6. BJGT

    Exxon Mobil breaks profit record, earns $14.8 billion
    The Commerce Department reported that gross domestic product, which measures the output of goods and services, fell 0.3 percent in the third quarter, the weakest quarterly reading in seven years.

    October 30, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  7. Joe oloo

    I have a simple question, when does Palin's children go to school? i see them on the campaign trail all the times. And what time does the young one go to bed? i see him on stage with the mon as late as 11.00pm. This is bad for the children. is she puting politics above the kids?

    October 30, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  8. virginia voter

    I really believe that people are tired of all the lies and underhanded tactics of the last 8 years. McCain has proven he is one of the guys. With all of the lies and deceit that his platform is based on, why would anyone want to vote for such a person? Please be careful of anyone that can lie so easely!!!!!!! OBAMA / BIDEN 08

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

    How is money buying votes? Did it pay for yours? Money may pay for ads as it for does McCains ads. I just don't listen to all the negative ones. I only pay attend to the things a candidate says to help this country not venting his disapproval about someone else. If that all a candidate can come up with in a speech then it is apparent that his ideas of how to run this country is not appealing to the majority of his audience around the country.

    October 30, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  10. Reason and research

    ""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.""

    Hmmmm. I guess this means that more of uneducated people are voting for Obama. Maybe if more people did thier research our economy would be in a better state. Let alone we would probably have better educated congressman and senators to actually make good decisions. More than likely if these people did not want to further their education(and don't say that can't afford it, I did working at McDonalds full time),so what makes you think they are even going to research either of the candidates. More than likely they just listen to biased media outlets and the first to reach that person with biased information is going to have the most effect. People are easily manipulated by the media because they are not educated enough to find the truth. I have to give props to abc, nbc, fox, cnn ect. ect. .. for knowing this last statement to be true and using it to their advantage. If the people are stupid enough to believe then they deserved to be duped.

    October 30, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  11. Stephanie "Atlanta, Ga"

    The last 8yrs. has been HELL( because of G.W.Bush ). I refuse to deal with it for 8 more years. It is truly time for a change. YES WE CAN with OBAMA. P.S. If you want to talk about Barack being a terrorist, that's a lie, the terrorist is that man this country elected to lead us for the last 8yrs. and Mcain is his best friend.

    October 30, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  12. Ashley Blackheart

    I am one of the unfrotunate one's that lost their home due to the economy crunch. I bought a house for $185,000, with a fixed rate monthly payment $1,253. In 8 months that payment went to $1,853 which was way above what we could afford! I was told it was taxes and insurance that brought about the rise in cost! After research found that my insurance didn't raise a penny it was all taxes! Then I get a state appraisal saying my $185,000 home wasn't worth but $127,000. I went to the Stae appraisal Office and was told I couldn't negotiate the taxes for months and still had ta pay taxes on $185,000! Well that was under the rule of the rep. I voted all Dem this time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A EX Rep

    October 30, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  13. Kees from the Netherlands

    You finally got a candidate with the potential to unite instead of divide. As crises become more global, that may be handy.

    October 30, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  14. For Change

    I will be praying for you Obama haters on election day. Instead of trying to bash Obama you should check out who McCain/Palin hang out with.

    October 30, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  15. Karen - Missouri

    The more votes for Obama the better this country is! Obama has run as clean a campaign as possible. He has remained steady, dignified, and intelligent from the primaries to the financial crisis. We need a president with the integrity of Obama.

    It's been a very long primary and general election season and I'm so sick and tired of erratic and nasty (and lies) McCain and his diva VP. Obama has been tested and proven his "presidential" abilities. McCain has shown he can't handle anything in a logical, dignified manner.

    I am praying every day that Obama and Biden will be our leaders and once again, we can regain our economy and our standing in the world.

    October 30, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  16. marcellus

    ...jesus sat down w/anyone at the table & broke bread. matters not whom anyone interacts with. wisdom defines one & interactions w/another... re3member wisdom is far greater then experience, for what is experience if it has been incompetent or lacking ability utilize wisdom.

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

    win Obama win, the citizens of Baton Rouge and the state of Louisiana are eagerly awaiting the victory of positive change. We would like to take the time to invite you and your family along with the Biden family to the city of Baton Rouge,La.

    God Bless you all !!!
    Obama 08'.........................................................

    October 30, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  18. Mike

    Obama, Reed and Palosi should be identified as an axis of lextreme iberalism.
    Wake up America. Save our Nation, Save our Country.
    Keep Oboma and his terrorist friends out of the White house.
    They will destroy this country and Isreal if you put them in charge.
    After the election they should be forced to go to a rehab teaching
    integrity and honesty.

    October 30, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  19. Brenda- Illinois

    -McCain scares me- his ideas on health care are a disaster, his nasty attacks and how off base they are -are bizarre, how he thinks the american people are so stupid to buy into his commercials- he's never been president either, he made such a poor choice for his running mate- he picked a person that is everything he attacked Obama for being- saying that he's not ready, please. Illinoisans are as skeptical about politicians as they come these days- and I see Obama as the best choice

    October 30, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  20. Concerned in MA

    Obama should concentrate more on Pennsylvania than on Nevada. He loses PA, the gig is up.

    Here's looking at a red PA!

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

    when was the last time you've seen a presidential candidate not raise money for their campaign? Are you speaking of Barack the way you are because he has made history by raising more than any other candidate? His raising so much money is evident that he is knowledgeable and very much capable of handling the economy and other facets of this country. Why would you call him evil and what has he done that is so evil?

    October 30, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  22. mike

    CNN thanks, I've been censored again. I made a comment about seeing what an extra 4 million dollars and a giant ego can do for television and it was "moderated" out of existance, but ALL of the Pro-Obama stuff about the BOmercial is all still there. Where is the freedom of speech today?

    October 30, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  23. jurons

    cnn you have had great coverage of both canidates mccain had a good chance of winning until he went so negative he lost focus obama kept his focus on the issues the american people care about

    October 30, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  24. I Love Him

    OMG! Obama is the greatest thing this country has seen since JFK. I watch Obama and become so motivated and inspired. Just don't think for one minute it is over! So Vote, Vote, Vote! Vote Obama!

    October 30, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 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

    October 30, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
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