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. Mike The Obama Voter

    Once Obama is president only those who truly lack patriotism will stand in his way. God bless america!!!!!!

    October 30, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  2. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    The fat lady has increase her practice sessions....soon we will be hearing her sing.

    October 30, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  3. alvino

    John McCain needs to come clean with the American People about his relationship with Rashid Khalidi. According to Sarah Palin, he is a spokesperson for the PLO and McCain was responsible for giving him a half million dollars.

    October 30, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  4. Anonymous

    The UNIONS and ACORN are making a push for NObama.

    Meanwhile decision day remains N0v. 4th.

    Be prepared for a big surprise.

    October 30, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  5. Boston Guy

    You cannot take anything for granted. There was cheating in the 2000 and 2004 electionsand that was by the Republicans. They lie about everything.

    Hey Sarah and Elizabeth, the bible says there is no place in heaven for liars so I guess you are not going to heaven. Godless women??

    October 30, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |


    LET'S DO THIS, MAN...!

    October 30, 2008 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  7. GA Independent

    Nevada apparently has some very smart people, even without the college degree...

    The continued whining, blustering, accusatory rhetoric from the McPain campaign is so lame... Watch, later today or maybe tomorrow, Obama will be labeled a cannibal....

    I cannot wait until this is over. Say "Obama Landslide".

    October 30, 2008 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  8. lim

    Obama/Biden 08, yes we scam!

    October 30, 2008 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  9. Bullwinkle doesnt want Palin back in Alaska

    Obama is Awesome! A real family man. A real candidate! A real American! A real Presisident!

    October 30, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  10. Sharon in NC

    Obama is shady. That commercial on TV last night gave me the creeps.

    October 30, 2008 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  11. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    I think the republicans that John and Sarah have riled up are the ones with enough hate to make threats.

    The McPalin team seems to be all about hate-mongering and fear-mongering, and I believe our country needs to get away from that once and for all. NO MORE.

    I voted early for Obama/Biden – Hope for our future – no more fear and hate.

    October 30, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  12. Turnabout is fair play

    WAY TO GO NEVADA!!! Come on Indiana, you can do it!! Yall want a better quality of life like you had in the Clinton years so go blue for Obama!! Thank you Pennsylvania for showing McLame the door!!! Virginia, keep it blue for Obama and finally, Florida, my home state where I live, make sure you go for Obama so we can find jobs down here again!!! Show McStain what a landslide victory looks like!!

    October 30, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  13. j williamson

    A good friend of mine has been working very hard out there for Obama – thanks Frannie A. (and the rest!) it's paying off!

    October 30, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  14. Bruce

    This just goes to show that NEGITIVE ATTACK ADDS that do not relate to current issues do not help McCain. Everyone sees that he is loosing and has lost all of his honor. Obama tries to addess the REAL ISSUES but is constantly forced to respond to the silly attacks.
    Most people can see that Obama has a better Tax plan for them. Only the few that make over $250,000.00 are afraid they might have to pay 3% more TAX. If someone would pay me $250,000.00 I would gladly pay the extra tax. I would still end up with a lot more money than I make now.

    October 30, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |


    October 30, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  16. Tom

    To um da man,

    very good point makes you wonder doesn`t it?

    October 30, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  17. Betty

    Tim in Texas – I'm sure if McCain had PAID for a link ad to be on CNN's website, it would be there. Those links aren't free, ya know.

    October 30, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  18. Donkey Party

    There sure are a lot of racist, ignorant anti-Obama comments coming out of Texas these days. Do they all have kin folk in WV and KY too?

    October 30, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  19. Jennifer

    all seems great for now. but wait and see Mccains next strategy of Rigging the election. the republicans cannot be trusted lol Mccain will not give up that easy. he is a fighter, and he doesnt mind to do some dirty work.I'm worried about this

    October 30, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  20. gbrown2


    October 30, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  21. Andy

    The Republicans preach fear and smear. The Republicans offer nothing but more of the same. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

    Barack Obama / Joe Biden 2008 & 2012

    October 30, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  22. OHIO here

    Tim in Texas: I am sure you can find the McCain website. The good news for you is that when Obama is Preisdent of the United States of American you too will benefit by his policies, his economic plan and the great memory of John MCain. I said memory. Give it up Tim and others who want to cling to a sinking ship, who must know deep in there hearts that what Obama is talking about nobody would disagree. He is a united not a fighter not a war monger and a wealth keeper. I see McCain as playing keep-away and Obama is no doubt a great uniter so start there and count your blessings you are an American and long past due we will have a American President who cares about you clinging to that sinking ship. It is called the big picture Tim. Get over the petty, the color, the brave POW.

    October 30, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  23. PA Voter

    With the Phillies winning the World Series, Pennsylvania is ready for another win on November 4th…for Barack Obama.


    I can't wait to yell, "Finally!" again on November 4th!!!

    October 30, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  24. Lisa

    I have been so nervous about this election. Last night was wonderful. It gives me so much hope that this time things just may be different. I am only 44 but I had almost decided that things in Washington were never going to change. Last night when Sen Obama said abot not being a perfect man and how he won't be the perfect president but he is going to do his best and that he will keep an open mind when people disagree with him, to me that is intelligence. It is the type of intelligence we need so badly in Washington.

    I am starting to get excited that it is actually going to happen. Barack Obama will be our next president!!


    Get out and vote!!!!

    October 30, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  25. Joe Weissmann

    Tim, McCain is yersterday's news. That's why.

    October 30, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
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