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. confused miami

    Jordan are you for real? really
    Victor the GOP buyed the last 2 election did you had a problem whit that too?
    Tim form Texas if McCain actually said anything that made sence maby it would be reported, but all he did sofar is attack what exactly are his planes? and please I am so sick of his "Joe the Plummer" "I have the scares to prove it" (that doesn't make sence to me, what scares is he talking about?) He can control his capmain they fighting with each other how can he control the whitehouse? Heck this GOP is getting so desperate that they calling people Godless are you kidding me? is that what the GOP became under McCain's leadership? I guess the only thing you can say is " how low can you go"

    October 30, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  2. patrica

    i just cant believe all of the negitive comments on mr obama this is america obama is a good man a better cadidate than mccain /palin obama is for unity mccain is dividen the country with his hate speaches obama rallies is diverse and looks like america mccain /palin rallies loiks like nazi or kkk rallies we all suffering and the only thing you hateful people can think about is the color of obama skin shame on you all

    October 30, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  3. Niyi

    Well said Dorothy in NC ****************

    "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? "

    October 30, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  4. anna

    Tim in TX: I am with you all the way...also look at who is spoken about 3/4 of the time...Come on MEDIA you are not giving us the news for both sides...Again UNBIASED! YOU are too get the NEWS out to the public: NOT just what YOU want out!
    I know I will get hits, let me say that I'm an Independent! I have LISTENED to both sides. Again, I listened to the words they were saying. How many of you can say that? Who do you really think got us in this miss? Stop typing and go check it out, it just might suprise you..
    Everyone needs to look at their Congressmen too for they are not helping us at all in most cases, oh ya, mostly Democrats! Now who got us in this miss and who will get us out? No Taxes, ya right! Someone has to pay for all of the cuts and it WILL be the middleman. YOU and ME!

    October 30, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  5. ME

    You LIED about Palin yesterday. READ the transcript of what she actually said to Vargas on ABC. She was talking about the campaign going on RIGHT NOW and how she believes she and McCain will WIN on Nov. 4th. "I'm not in it for naught", a direct response to what SHE was saying about stayin in and fighting for a NOV. 4 WIN and NOT gibing in.
    You lie so bad, CNN......

    October 30, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  6. Doc

    The wheels are coming off the McCain bus: Republicans are openly criticizing McCain's misguided, negative campaign. In the world of educated adults, nobody is buying the "Obama is a terrorist" line. Nobody.

    October 30, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  7. John in Ohio

    The national polls are evening out, but the only movement in the state level polls is Obama increasing his leads.

    Gonna be a big win.

    October 30, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  8. Karl Marx

    How can Obama take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution when he thinks it is incorrect and needs to be changed?

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

    Jordan, I wish some of the Obama bashers like you would actually read, do some research, and think for themselves. The continual spouting of Palin talking points makes it obvious you were taught from a very young age to "believe" and never ever question the preacher. Open your eyes and open your brain.

    October 30, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  10. rob

    everyone get out an vote.. The polls don't include cell phones users , so nobody really knows whats going on....

    to Jordan Obama isn't bad– Mc Shame can't even tell the truth on any issue and Palin is a power abuser. , on top of being a liar..after 8 years of Bush –why would you want something that could be even worse

    October 30, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  11. mike

    Barbara – so why aren't you buying their stock, it will help the economy

    October 30, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  12. Alison B

    All the haters here "Tim in Texas" , "Victor" & "Jordan".

    Jordan: Do you have proof and evidence to back up what you are saying. Cause your statement can be considered defamation of character (the terrorist comment). And how is he bad in what way what has he done against you.

    Tim in Texas: So what would you say about a station like Fox News so what you are saying is that Obama should have not support from any news network correct.

    It is an awful shame when people take such a stance without be extremely informed. Do your research then you have to the right to speak because it has been shown via fact check that many things that the McCain/Palin party have said are outright lies and even though it has been indicated as such they still continue on with the lies. I guess all those that are for McCain/Palin and happy with the current economic stance of the country so they find nothing wrong if the trend continues for another four years. Well many of us who have already voted and will come out to vote will show who we really want in charge come November 4.

    October 30, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  13. McCain's concession speech writer

    McBush was involved with the Keating 5, & his transition chief worked with Saddam Hussein in loosening sanctions against Iraq.

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


    October 30, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  15. Fee, Philadelphia

    Count me in as another Obama supporter who laughs at the notion that CNN is in the tank for Obama according to these McCain supporters. At times, there are way more stories and headlines given to McCain just so CNN won't come under fire like MSNBC. I love MSNBC because I know they are bias and left-leaning. Wnenever I need a reality check, I come to CNN. Fox News is unworthy of my time and effort if I require objective information. BTW, Hussein means handsome in Arabic. There are probably millions upon milllions of men in this world with the name Hussein. It is just ingnorance that allows some to sling it as a dirty word.

    I smell victory...don't forget to vote for Obama!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 30, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  16. republican voting for obama

    mcbush has palin.
    what a loser.

    he is the stupidest man to have chosen the stupidest woman.

    however, americans aren't as stupid as them.

    we will choose obama.

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

    Barack Obama 2008

    October 30, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  18. South Jersey

    Yeah!! Exxon posts $2.54 per share profit!!

    while the rest of us have seen our net worth cut in half

    The current REGIME IS RIGGED !!!!

    October 30, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  19. joe



    October 30, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  20. Stephanie

    Jordan please stop please "he worked with William Ayers and Acorn" stop trying to bring up all the so called negative stuff he has done what about all of the good stuff he is trying to do? Obama is not a terrorist. The Republicans having been running a dirty and very disrespectful campaign since day one and I must state all of this negativity is not going to pay out in the end ****OBAMA & BIDEN 2008-2012******** I ALREADY VOTED*********

    October 30, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  21. Steve

    Do you know that Barack Obama supports and voted for partial birth abortion and the clone and kill act. He also said that he will repeal the Hyde act when he gets into office. The Hyde act protects children that are born alive during an abortion. If Obama rescinds the act, the hospital will no longer "have" to keep the baby alive. Instead, they will watch the baby die and feel no compunction. I have never seen someone so pro-Abortion in my life. Even his running mate, Joe Biden, a staunch liberal, does not support partial birth abortion, the clone and kill act, or repealing the Hyde Act. I understand that a lot of you are Pro-Choice, which is your perogative, but do we really want to ally ourselves with someone who takes such a bleak view on human life. There is no rationalization for this. Obama is a dangerous man and I'm very concerned. We need to stop fantacizing about this ethereal notion of "change" and snap back to reality. I do not support John McCain either, but Obama, is no more than a fancy facade.Please cast your vote with care. Unfortunately this election comes down to the lesser of two evils.

    October 30, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  22. Luther, PA

    No matter who wins on Nov 4th it's clear that we as a nation all hunger for change. Change from the washington insiders looking out for mainly washington insiders collecting from the washington lobbiest for personal gain. I hope no matter which candidate wins they will see that the other candidate can help change the direction we are going now. I am voting for Obama, yet I hope he will place McCain in a postion that he can help support the needed change. Though who we actually need is all of us, quit turning our heads and letting politicians take advantage of the system. Sure when the economy fails everyone has there eyes on Washington, but when times were good everyone had there blind eyes on. Wasteful spending is wasteful if you have $1 or $1 trillion wasteful is still wasteful. I do look forward to an Obama Presidency and I hope he can turn his web site into a tool to help the American People help bring about this change.

    October 30, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  23. tax payer

    I'm censored by the "moderator" too. Just for saying that you can't give 95% of the people a tax break when 40% of the people do not pay taxes!

    October 30, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  24. Michael in Houston

    It's amazing that even after the facts come out, you McCain/Palin supporters and the candidates themselves still try to push this terrorist issue. help me understand your logic Obama haters, if McCain or Palin says something that is found out to be very misleading or a flat out lie, and after the facts are presented, they continue to convince you of that the lie is fact. Doesn't that make McCain and Palin liars. Okay so why would you put your support behind people who continue to lie to you. That speaks volumes of your intelligence. Why don't you McCain/Palin supporters at least call them out about the lie? Obama has made misleading statements and in my opinion lied about a few things and trust me, ebvery chance I get I call him out on those things. And one mor thing. Why are most people who make over 250,000 per year okay with Obama's tax plan and all of you who make between 50,000 and 250,000 pissed about it? And the arguement that IF you get to over 250,000 is laughable, most of America will be lucky to make more than 30,000 over a 20 year period from where they started, unless you hit the lotto. I just don't understand the McCain/Palin supporter mentality.

    October 30, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  25. Betty the Beautician

    There have been lots of things that are negative towards McCain/Palin that have not been brought out by CNN. Palin has yet another ethics charge filed against her in Alaska and her ties to the firm that got the Alaska pipeline deal that she touts–the firm is TransCanada Corp.

    There has also been no mention of McCains ties to Phil Graham who is now one of Americas Most Wanted.

    Why is it that McCain can't even have one interview without bashing his opponent–why can't he just tell us what he's going to do? Balance the budget in one term???? yea, right.

    His so called "mortgage plan" that he doesn't talk about is because it wasn't his idea. This was already allocated in the 700B bailout money and Hilary Clinton also had already come up with the idea. The reason McCain doesn't tout his idea is because his version of this plan rewards the banks/mortgage companies at the expense of the taxpayers–has been factchecked and is true.

    McCain has not had one fresh idea other than his 401K idea. Also, in his previous interview with Wolf Blitzer, he stated that he would consider privatizing Social Security like Bush. Thank God that didn't happen because Social Security would be in a big mess right now on top of everything else.

    It amazes me how McCain can sit there with a straight face and say income taxes collected from workers that go to welfare is not "spreading the wealth". Collection of any type of taxes is exactly that–a redistribution of wealth.

    October 30, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
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