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. Beth


    Not sure what you mean about your comment "I am feeling sorry for the American where only MONEY can buy presidency!"

    Are you talking about Senator Obama's ad? Why is it so hard for Republicans to understand that all those millions of dollars were given to Senator Obama because people believe in him! Do any of you think that the American people are stupid enough to part with their hard earned money in times like this without a good reason? People gave that money to change the current system, to do away with the old and get someone into the White House who will work for them. What you see when you see all those dollars is millions of peoples love, trust and hope in Senator Obama. Now, go out everyone and vote!!!

    October 30, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |


    2012 Clinton the real agent of change 😉

    October 30, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  3. Aliou salam

    Tim in texas,

    That spot on cnn for Obama is paid for by my private contributions.

    McCain's campaign is paid for by my tax dollars.

    MCCain is the socialist and is on welfare with my tax dollars paying for his campaign. Too bad you can't figure that out for yourself.

    October 30, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  4. proud dem

    rep stop cryiinggggggggggggggggggggg please

    October 30, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  5. Jeff from Jersey

    Extremists from any party are a sure-fire way to lose an election and McCain has listened to them and he has paid with losing not only this election but any self-respect as he will find out when he takes a long look in the mirror on November 5th when it's all over.He's become so nasty that even republicans can't stand it.

    His choice of Palin just further illustrates his poor judgement and will probably take much of the blame for his resounding defeat as will his dramatic personality change.

    Little credit will be given to Obama's carefully thought out plans,policies and vision for America.McCain and the republican party will say it was because of all the money that the Obama campaign had and will go through a witch hunt just to make us forget how nasty they've become.

    However,McCain will have to look himself in the eye and deal with the man he has become and not the man he was.He is the one with the final say as to how his campaign has been run and he has no one to blame but himself for that!

    October 30, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  6. Liz in Texas

    Everyone, if you haven't voted already GET OUT AND VOTE. Our lives are depending on you.

    Voted for OBAMA in Texas!!!

    October 30, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  7. Milton, Harrisburg, PA

    I guess Karl Rove was wrong about how Bush would create a Republican dynasty that would last at least 20 years. Instead it took eight years to better Richard Nixon's demolition of the party. My only regret is that Bush won't be tried for war crimes and spend his remaining years in prison.

    October 30, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  8. w.l. jones

    Democratic poll watcher, watch out for light flicter in key dmc precint at height of voting ,Acron?

    October 30, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  9. Annie, Atlanta

    I don't know how anyone could consider voting for John McCain. He has pinned us against each other. His VP pick is out there talking about the pro America America (so the hell with the rest of us, Sarah?). His brother called northern VA communist country. Cindy attacked Obama for the same thing her husband did. And those air quotes give me the creeps. I'm shocked Obama's not leading by at least 30 points. And all this hate and fear, John McCain, how do you propose we heal from your vicious battering?

    October 30, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  10. Eric

    Tim in Texas- the "link" is a paid advertisement, and McCain could pay to have one on CNN's website- as a matter of fact, I think there is an advertisement from the McCain campaign.

    Stop looking to place the blame for your favored candidates flaws on someone or something else. The McCain candidacy does not appeal to a majority of voters, plain and simple. This is no "conspiracy"- it is fact.

    Stop acting like a snivelling 5 year old- sometimes you just don't get what you want!

    October 30, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  11. pat C.

    it is to late for america to continue the mud slinging at this point. the american people are shouting for barack obama. we need to come together and rally around the choice of the majority and start to rebuild what the rebublican party has done to america over the last 8 years,. we are a strong nation and the world is looking on as to how we handle ourselves over this election. the mccain camp has demoralized america with smut and lies and tried to separate us as two groups of people. we now must stand up and rally for our new president BARACK OBAMA that was chosen by the majority and stand strong as not democrats or republicans but as AMERICANS!

    October 30, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  12. Matt Shine

    Sorry Tim, but CNN was one of only two networks (the other was ABC and that was the Obama campaigns choice) not to air the 30 min presentation last night. Even Faux news aired that.

    I would say CNN is one of the more balanced stations out there. If you see only negativity towards McCain, there's a good reason. Perhaps you should wake up and realize why.

    Besides, if the McCain camp wanted to buy ad space on the CNN site, they could have (or maybe they can't given their fiscal situations).

    October 30, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  13. Susan

    I am now really concerned about Obama after I heard on the news yesterday (Oct. 29) that Obama has spent over 7 million dollars on TV ads.

    Think about how 7 million dollars could have helped those in need.

    This is the WORST campaign ever.

    October 30, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  14. Tony

    November 5th is the first day of a new life for the USA. Time will tell. I dream of a Mc Cain win only so that I can say to you all "I told you so!!!

    October 30, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  15. Lisa

    Obama is clearly head and shoulders above McCain in intelligence, emotional stability, ability to get along with others, to make a long term strategy (two year campaign) that was so well planned out. McCain just flings his arms like a drowning man. Feel sorry for McCain, but feeling sorry for him isn't enough to make our country suffer through 4 more years of bad policy.

    October 30, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  16. Brandon from Ohio

    Tim in Texas you are a moron. If you don't recall, I'll be happy to remind your ignorant self that CNN refused to play the Obama infomercial last night. If that doesn't show whose bucket they're in, I don't know what does. Clown.

    October 30, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  17. Bill

    This is great. ...now I don't have to get in line and vote. Obama is the winner.

    October 30, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  18. independentsoul

    CNN is very one sided, did you see where Palin was interviewed and the anchor completely twisted the story into a horrible situation for Palin. This station is not at all truthful, they did not apologize sufficiently either and make it right, I will not watch this station again and am only here to see the total Obamanation of their news.

    October 30, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  19. CM in AR

    GET OUT THERE AND VOTE PEOPLE!! Polls are one thing, this isn't over until Nov 5th!!

    GO BARACK!!!!

    October 30, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  20. Jonathan

    The thing I find most pleasing is that the more negative the tone of the McCain/Palin campaign, the lower the numbers they get in the polls. It is refreshing to see negative campaigning backfiring. Their campaign has obviously gone over the line by attacking someone for going to dinner with colleagues who are college professors. Utterly ridiculous.

    October 30, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  21. SPQR

    I will be so glad when on November 5, John McCain can have his lifelong ambition fullfilled by being an underdog for the rest of his life. Underdog McCain. Hey, sounds like a great costume for him for Halloween! Do you think he can dress up with a mask, a cape and a "U" on his chest and sound like Wally Cox??? He's already got the hound dog look....

    October 30, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  22. Hall for Obama

    Tim in Texas: If CNN is on Obama side I would hate to see them when they are against Obama.

    October 30, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  23. arlene, CA

    I thought the 30 minute special was wonderful & very inspirational. McCain/Palin have nothing left but attack, attack, attack. It will not work, not this time. No McCain, no Palin, no way, no how.

    October 30, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  24. Not McCain's "Friend"

    McPalin has run one of the nastiest campaigns America's ever seen and obviously, the majority of us are SICK of it. Because of this giant mess and the Palin monster he's created, he won't go down in history as "war hero." The hate ticket he's running on during this election is what he'll be best remembered for. Sad, definitely–but he made his bed.

    October 30, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  25. Show Me State- Missouri

    SAY IT LOUD!!!! Obama!! SAY IT LOUD!!! Obama!! 08

    October 30, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
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