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. Alisha In Fl

    How can you call CNN bias when they gave John McCain an hour free on Larry King to spread his lies and didn't show Obama's 30 min ad and take the money...

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

    I would love to see Obama win ALL 50 states! He is the right choice for President. He is an inspirational person, and Americans need some inspiring these days. He gives HOPE and UNITY to our society–that which it sorely needs.
    There is just no place for the hate-filled, fear-based, divisiveness that is the hallmark of McCain and Palin's attitudes. They would set our MINDS back years. They are depressing to think about. The antithesis of hope an inspiration.

    Get out and VOTE!!!! Everybody. We can't get there without everybody getting out and voting. This SHOULD be a MANDATE that this great Country is not for hate or fear or division.
    It is the UNITED States of America. We are made up of all different backgrounds and beliefs. That is what makes us who we are.

    October 30, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  3. Turnabout is fair play

    Victor October 30th, 2008 8:18 am ET

    I guess Obama is the LESSER of the TWO EVILS! Or the common saying: "In the socety where the blinds areā€¦ the an eye blind is king!" I am feeling sorry for the American where only MONEY can buy presidency!

    Yeah, well how much money do you have compared to McCain and his beer heffer there. If he could, McCain would be using ole turkey neck Cindy's cash to BUY the election. It's not Obama's fault that McWalkingcane decide to take the federal funds instead of believing in us to fund his campaign like Obama did, he knows he would have lost that fight anyways so get off it.

    October 30, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  4. Somesh Ponmani

    I agree with Victor. In these unprecedented times of crises, unless one has a magic wand, things are not going to improve overnight. Let us all brace ourselves for some hard times before we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Mccain's bosom pals took the country to the end of abyss after being at it for the last eight years and it is time, we vote for a real change.

    October 30, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  5. DebM, Allentown, PA -- Voted Absentee for BO

    The infomercial last night was amazing. I actually got just a bit emotional about it.

    You know the best thing about it? McCain's name wasn't mentioned ONCE. It was positive, it provided policy statements, and it left me feeling hopeful.

    McCain and Palin's speeches are nothing but snide and derisive. They don't detail policy, they don't tell us what they're going to do for us, and all they do is bash Obama.

    I voted for the guy who has a shot at restoring this country to its former glory...I voted Obama/Biden.

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

    I guess all the money is paying off... But I still can not believe that these two guys were the best we could find!!!

    We are in for four years of speeches diverting us from all of the huge mistakes that will be made.

    October 30, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  7. McCain=the draft


    October 30, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  8. MD, TX

    After last nights infomercial, I will never vote for Obama. His whole campaign seems designed to gratify his ego.

    October 30, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  9. Mark

    McCain leads Obama in Georgia by 5 points and Georgia is 'leaning' McCain, and Obama leads McCain in North Carolina by 6 points and it's still a toss up...

    I say move:
    North Carolina to leans Obama
    Maine, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania to Safe Obama
    Arizona to leans McCain
    Arkansas and Louisiana to safe McCain

    October 30, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  10. Deb

    Tim in Texas get over it...certainly CNN is not biased...yesterday during the Clinton/Obama rally in Florida, they interrupted the rally to bring you the Larry King interview with McSame. So please, perhaps you should tune to Fox News with Sean "Little Ball of Hate" Hannity, he certainly has plenty of favorable things to say about McSame and Bible Spice and more than enough hateful statements about our next President...Senator Barack Obama.

    October 30, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  11. Don from Miane

    McSenile is right-change is coming, only he and Palin won;t be a part of it.. Americans have had enough of of the negativity and lies. 8 uears of republican rule have left the economy in shambles. all of McCain;s military experience becomes a moot point-we haven't had any terroriist activities here in america since 9/11, McCain himself stated that he did'nt know much aboyt the economy. Palin doesn't seem to know much about anything. It is no wonder the tide is turning in several republican stronghold states. Calm cool reasonable and intelligent leadership behavior trumps angry rhetoric and lies. Having come from a military family, been a POW and then a senator does not mean you are owed 4 years at the white house. There is no doubt that McCain loves america-however the elite america that he wants to preserve is not the america that most of us hard working people live. I only have 1 house and 1 car-I don't wear $500.00 shoes and I'm not married to a millionaire heiress. I think the corporate tax loopholes should be closed and I agree with Obama that in a country as great as america health care should be a right to all citizens. I agree we should stop this useless war in iraq and spend that 10 billion a month right here in america. Get out and vote for your childrens future. Yes we can and yes wel will.
    Obama/Biden 08

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

    Tim in Texas October 30th, 2008 8:17 am ET

    and one more thing oh great CNN – it is quite evident who YOU favor, promote, cater to, kiss you no what of, etc, etc. I don't see a link on your website to the McCain campaign but you can't get away from Barack Hussein Obama II on your website. He is the most prevalent thing on your site. Shame on you for you "unbiased"????? stance.

    Umm, same could be said about Fox Noise where McCain is concerned.. All they do is talk negatively about Obama and just grease up their @sses for McCain so try again.

    October 30, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  13. Bruce

    Seems likeevery McCain Palin supporter has a bad attitude. It has been geeting worse as the polls continue to show Obama leading. Back a few weeks when things werelooking better for McCain they were quick to point out that Obama supporters were being nasty about the way things were going. Maybe they have listened to the LIES for so long they really think they are ture. One thing for sure they will have to accept the new president just as the Dems had to accept Bush in 2000 after he had the cort apoint him president because he did not WIN

    October 30, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  14. TF

    Yes we can and will!!!!!!!

    Obama has tied McCain in Arizona. McCain's life in politics is over, if he doesn't win his own state everyone and thier brother will run against him for his senate seat next time around. I truthfully think this is what the republicans wanted in the first place.

    October 30, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  15. James

    Tim in Texas October 30th, 2008 8:17 am ET

    and one more thing oh great CNN – it is quite evident who YOU favor, promote, cater to, kiss you no what of, etc, etc. I don't see a link on your website to the McCain campaign but you can't get away from Barack Hussein Obama II on your website. He is the most prevalent thing on your site. Shame on you for you "unbiased"????? stance.


    Another dumb, brainwashed Republican. Go jump off a cliff Tim!

    October 30, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  16. Alan Louis

    It's over for McCain/Palin. The Republicans should have run Mitt Romney. McCain is no match for Obama and Palin is just a cheerleader that revs up the folks would would vote Republican anyway. They are finished.

    October 30, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  17. Craig a Texas Democrat

    Its good to see that McCain and Palin are ruining the Republican Brand and its good that they and their supporters are being exposed for the racist, kkk, fear and war loving wacks they really are. Im glad so many Independents and Republicans who are intelligent are seeing the light. I believe in the brightest and smart should run this country i wouldnt want a C student doctor doing an operation on me and we had a C student President and look where that got us. Smart minds support smart people and the blind leads the blind.

    October 30, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |





    October 30, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  19. Daniel

    Tim, the media exists to sell itself, therefore, it exists to report on what people want. The media is not a "liberal rogue agent" as typical GOP hysterics would suggest. They do extensive market research and then cover what's hot. More people are donating to Obama, more people are talking about him, so it only follows that he receives more press. The public has always created the demand for what stations like CNN show - yes, even Fox news - so it's a ridiculous premise to accuse CNN and the media of being in the tank for Obama. Coverage, for the large part, has been fair – and let's not forget that Obama had to defend himself against Rev. Wright, but by and large there has been no mention of Palin's fundamentalist pastor making inflammatory statements towards Muslims.

    October 30, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  20. Maggie from Virginia

    Do not put anything past the GOP and the McCain camp. They are already lying. Get ready for them to cheat and steal to win this election. We must vote.

    October 30, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  21. scoobydoo

    Heard on the news that obama standing next to the professor who is a known terrorist. what was he thinking? why would ya want a man who hangs around terrorist, want to try to be our next president. whats his real reason. better think twice on throwing ya vote on obama.

    October 30, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  22. Lone Wolf

    Okay, let's get out there on Nov. 4th and turn this electoral map into a reality! Go Obama!

    October 30, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  23. michaelcal

    Funny thing happened on the way to this election. The Reps are being beaten at their own game. Obama is the only hope to take this country foreward. Anyone who can immagine Palin as president needs to get therapy.

    October 30, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  24. lena/dallas

    OBAMA O8!

    October 30, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  25. John McCain


    October 30, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
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