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. dj

    Obama's 30 min inframercial last night was exceptional..covered just about every base except not enough emphasis on border control, seniors and, mental, physical and financial support for the military and their families. We need to know more about where he stands on these issues! He's still has my vote!!!!

    October 30, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  2. Average_Joe

    Mikey.... Get our country back. NO WE WON'T!!!! BHO and McCain are cut from the same corrupt cloth and any American who can't wade through the smog of the presidential elections is a schmuck. BHO will bring his marxist and jew hating allies along with him to ensure we become the USSA. JSM will continue to grow the US debt at a rapid pace. Until we the people stand up and hold our elected employees accountable! BHO is not the answer nor is JSM. Yet again we are forced to vote for the lesser of to evils, JSM is the only choice that is left. WE have a little hope for capitalism with JSM and a lot of fear for socialism with BHO.

    October 30, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  3. Annie, Atlanta

    USMC Sgt. – we're doing our best. God Bless You!

    October 30, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  4. Fred

    I can already see all major world wide newspaper:

    A Landslide Win For Obama!
    Landslide victory for Obama!
    Obama wins election by landslide!
    Obama landslide in Ohio!
    Obama, the new president of United States of America!!!

    October 30, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  5. john in PA

    Uh oh, Tim and Texas has decreed shame on CNN! The gloves have come off and the race is wide open! Tim, you can have W back. Right now the majority of the nation wants Barack Obama. You have 5 days to convince at least 8% of the population to change its collective mind.
    Obama talks of hope and change, and McCain espouses fear, uncertainty and doubt. And Palin... should go back to Alaska.

    October 30, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  6. Billy


    You still have AZ as solid McCain, get with the times.

    Why not cover the other half of the Khiadi story about how McCain has funded over $500,000 to his foundation in 1998? If you claim to be the most unbiased news outlet here, why do you only talk about McCain's talking points on this story?

    CNN, you're not as bad as FOX but you are definitely, McCain-Light network.

    October 30, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  7. Mike

    To Victor–

    How do you think Republicans always win the close elections of the past? They buy them. They always infuse more money in advertising with 527's and then hide behind the premise the candidate is only accepting the public financing. Biggest farce this country has seen and it happens year after year. Why would Obama accept public financing and tie one arm behind his back when the AMERICAN PEOPLE, not lobbyists and corporations are funding his campaign. We do need reform, and it has to restrict private groups from airing all of these ads - then we might have an even playing ground. It's funny to hear republicans whine about being out spent though... because you do it every election...

    October 30, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  8. Rudy

    A man driving a white pickup truck with McCain bumper stickers stole all the Obama signs in my neighborhood – right out of the yards.

    The fear, hate and division generated by the campaign methods of McCain -Palin are not in the best interest of this country.

    Early on when McCain began his campaign, he admitted one of his weaknesses was that of economics. He has offered no significant change in strategy to help us out of this economic mess. A mess that was caused by the same stratgies McCain supports.

    If McCain has such a grand plan to get us out of the economic mess, why doesn't he lay it out there for the voters instead of spending so much time trying to discredit Obama ?

    Trickle down economics is not going to work given the magnitude of our economic mess. Obama has the right idea of growing the economy from the ground up.

    McCain wants to continue giving the wealthy yet another bite of the apple. It's time we all had an opportunity to have a bite.

    How can McCain expect the economy to grow when more and more jobs that should stay in America are being shifted overseas ?

    How does being a prisoner of war qualify McCain to be president ?

    McCain and his wife are financially set for life. So are the 5% of the population who are currently enjoying the benefits of tax cuts. How many of you reading this can say the same ?

    The lifestyle lived by McCain is miles above that of the average
    working person. How can he even begin to relate to the circumstances and day to day problems faced by the majority of Americans ?

    I've followed the campaigns, I've watched and listened to the candidates. Obama is by far the best candidate.

    October 30, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  9. the_raven

    I hope Obama is elected, since I think, with him in office, we stand the best chance of educational standards being raised, so that by the time kids graduate from high school, they know how to spell, and they understand how to use apostrophes.
    Reading comments posted to blogs and articles, I have seen that Americans are deficient in both skills.

    October 30, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  10. John in Ohio

    If people think that the polls are BS, then just look at the early voting numbers. BY a 2-1 margin more Democrats then Republicans are voting early, and in previously unheard of numbers. This year, the youth are voting. This year, Obama is going to win.

    October 30, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  11. TAYO, NY

    I hope people come out to vote Obama on 4th of Nov.

    That is the only pole that matter.


    October 30, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  12. vote! OBAMA-BIDEN NOV.4th


    October 30, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  13. what the duce

    LET'S GO NEVADA!!!!!



    October 30, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  14. wilberforce

    It will come down to the RepubliKlans in the end

    October 30, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  15. Jean from Belgium

    No Tim from Texas: McCain becomes free Press from CNN and
    CNN didn't wire the commercial from Barack Obama.
    In Europe we are shocked by the fear and hatemongering of the Republcans. Untill now we see and hear more high profile comments from the Democrats. You just want to believe what you want. Special Jordan. Factcheck the facts: 80 % McCain and Palin are False or at least misleading? Some common sense that's what you need.

    October 30, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  16. Awaiting Moderation by CNN

    If you are elected to serve the people why is it that in 26 years in Congress you have failed to educate yourself on the economy? How can you set policy if you are ignorant on a subject? Why are you ignorant on the subject after 26 years? What have you been doing Senator McCain? You have been tested for almost 3 decades and you have failed.

    October 30, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  17. rodondo

    Average donation was around 80 bucks...I gave that much so did my wife and 3 voting age children...when you owe everybody do don't owe anybody in particular. Should eliminate big funders and only have individual donations.

    October 30, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  18. Nola

    We Obama supporters cannot stop working until after the polls close on November 4th. We cannot take these polls seriously –


    October 30, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  19. Rob Johnson

    ACORN may have some problems with their voter registration operation, but they are not and have never been terrorists.

    There are some legitimate criticisms to make of Obama, but when Republicans sink to this childish name-calling, it just makes you look....well, childish.

    Grownups for Obama/Biden!

    October 30, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  20. Jo-Ann

    All I have to say is...HARVARD GRADUATE....!!!


    October 30, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  21. Junius

    this article should read:

    Polls suggest beat down for McCain!!

    Philly just won the world series, we winners now!! We not voting for no losers like McCain!!! First championship in my life for philly!!!!

    October 30, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  22. Obama is a liar

    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson

    WeluvObama- It's not a problem that Obama did what he did with financing IF he did not in writing make a deal about the public financing. HE LIED!!! and if you think he lied about this to get ahead what else did he lie about to get your vote..

    OBAMA- Not ready to lead (as stated by his running mate)

    October 30, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  23. Sarah.......shut up

    Sarah, Sarah, Sarah......Perhaps your handlers are not telling you the truth. You need to take a closer look at the numbers and the comments. You are done. Now and forever. I love that you are actually so misguided that you believe you have a future in big time politics, but you are a nutcase and we all know it. You step on everyone that has ever tried to help you, most recently McCain. You don't have the backing, the brains or the ability to be anything more than a SNL skit and pin up girl for the religious nuts of the GOP. Obama will take this election and you will fade into the woodwork. Thank God.

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

    Remember to VOTE next Tuesday. It's not over until the pig with lipstick is back in Alaska permanantly.

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

    Yes for Obama.

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