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. welches, oregon

    My entire family voted early for Barack Hussein Obama and I am proud!

    Vote and vote early!!

    Obama/Biden 'till 2024

    October 30, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  2. HouseDiva

    Obama did an excellent job on his infomercial




    October 30, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  3. PotCalledKettle

    Tim in Texas,

    Stop being shallow and ignorant by calling out Barack's full name, you simpleton!!!!!!

    Anyway, please vote people so ignorant, small brained, right-wing nuts like Tim won't win!!!!

    Obama 08!!!!

    October 30, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  4. Anna PA

    What does it say for McCain, Palin that after they insited such anger previously with there false Ayers claims they are back at it. They are playing with dangerous fire to try and win this election and it will get them no where. Have they already forgotten how unhappy the made the American people when they tried this the first time?

    The question that I have for anyone who believes some of the lies out there about Obama. If he is the things that McCain say's he is, Marxist, socialist, PLO supporter and terrorist supporter how did he get vetted to be a state Senator and then a U.S. Senator? It makes no sense but I guess people will believe anything if they want to remain blind.

    October 30, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  5. Gracie













    October 30, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  6. Dan, TX

    Yes, CNN is for Obama, MSNBC is for Obama, Comedy Central is for Obama, ABC is for Obama, NBC is for Obama, CBS is for Obama and now, FOX is for Obama. That's because everyone who actually has all the information and has thought about this election carefullly is for Obama!!!!!!!!

    October 30, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  7. Aliou salam

    Hi angie,
    Hi Sarah!
    Why don't you shake my hand angie?
    Oh no Sarah, before I shake your hand or any hand, I need to have your background checked. I don't want to be labelled "terrorist or socialist, or what ever" just because I appeared shaking your hand somewhere. You know what you said!!!!

    Well, at least we know each other right? No, sarah, before I answer those questions, I need to know if no satelite microphone is listening.

    If you have taped this, you will only see my back. not my face. I can't take that chance with you.

    October 30, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  8. Adrienne

    I really liked the 30 min. ad last night.
    It made me feel very comfortable with Obama. I'm so ready for someone in power to be honest about the hard times we face.
    We have a lot of work to do as a nation... and I'm ready to do my part to help heal our nation. I'm so tired of people saying I don't love my country because I recognize my country is in trouble.
    All of Mccain 's name calling has shrunk him.

    October 30, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  9. Ken in Dallas


    It's advertising. Obama has space on the Web and on TV bought and paid for. It's the American way. Quit whining. You've never seen "unbiased" in your life.

    As much as it makes logical sense for Obama to become president, I still have a very bad feeling about Tuesday. Bush is manufacturing a military crisis as we speak, and I have no doubt he intends it as a political gift for McCain's use.

    Besides, the McCain campaign is relentless in repeating every imprecation that comes into their rotten little noggins, and there are still a LOT of stupid Americans out there looking for an excuse to vote against Obama. Lots of people willing to have their political opinions shaped by fictional characters in the news.

    Please, America, prove I'm underestimating you.

    October 30, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  10. W Spivey Merritt Island, FL

    McCain will never take FL Senator Obama. We are pushing too strong for you

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 30, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  11. Rita Montgomery, AL

    SO WHAT Obama is friends with a Palestinian who thinks its Israel's fault. This is the whole Republican ideology that we cannot be friends with people we don't agree with, and if we are friends with them we are just like them? Its ridiculous!!! I am LONG-TIME friends with Republicans, does this mean I have Republican views??? NO! Don't drink the McCain/Palin KOOL-AID!!! Anytime two countries are at war one always thinks its the other ones fault. Being a Palestian blaming Isreal for the conflict does not make you like a "NEO-NAZI" as McCain is comparing it to. Its ridiculous. I've never seen so much prejudice toward Muslims and Middle Eastern peoples in my life. I am a Christian and this is wrong, McCain and Palin are wrong for this.

    October 30, 2008 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  12. Clarence in Cincinnati, Ohio

    It will be so nice come tuesday when we elect Barack Obama as our next president and get this country heading in the right direction. Everyone make sure to VOTE VOTE VOTE!!

    October 30, 2008 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  13. katiec

    I would imagine decent republicans are sad, disgusted and
    disappointed in the way their party is handling this campaign.
    This is going down and as the sleeziest campaign in the
    history of our country.
    And now, their party is trying every dirty trick in the books to
    try and suppress our vote.
    Democrats, support and vote.
    We cannot take any thing for granted as there are some
    out there that actually believe all the sleeze.

    October 30, 2008 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  14. Aliou salam

    There is no one with their senses on, who would vote for McCain despite all of his help "brought to you by Bush's own Karl rove crew".

    October 30, 2008 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  15. cyndy

    to tim in texas

    i guess you are a fox news fan....

    October 30, 2008 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  16. Thomas

    This news heartens me. I have become numb to the Republican onslaught of innuendo, misinformation, lies, and duplicity. Never have I seen such a campaign as this. It appears that the Republican strategy is to smear as much mud as they can in order to win by any means. The Republicans have lost all honor. I don't trust them. This conservative, traditional Catholic is voting Democratic.

    October 30, 2008 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  17. Hellen from Canada.

    go obama, you give me hope.

    October 30, 2008 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  18. Dustin in OR

    A presidency cannot be bought, people still have to vote for you regardless television ads. Feel free to be strong enough vote your mind and come to your own decision regardless of how much money one side or the other has raised. Be responsible for your own vote.

    October 30, 2008 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  19. Joe

    For anyone who hasn't already voted, and those who haven't yet decided who to vote for:

    Consider the "Wealth Redistribution" that will occur if, as he intends to do, Obama succeeds in giving:

    (1) Amnesty, citizenship, and full voting rights

    (2) Medical Insurance,

    (3) Social Security, and

    (4) Welfare, Food Stamps, etc.

    to the 11 million (or more) Illegal Immigrants who

    (A) are already here, plus

    (B) the untold number who will come here immediately when they hear about it!

    That will: (1) buy the democrats the votes of those people for a long time (the goal),

    (2) require taxing a lot more than the "top 5%" to pay for it,

    (3) bankrupt this country, and possibly bring on Socialism as a result (possible goal)

    (4) happen if Obama is elected, with democrats controlling the House and Senate.

    You can (A) vote to let it happen, or

    (B) vote to prevent it.

    October 30, 2008 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  20. JOLO (Houston)

    For some reason all these conservative pundits just don't get it. The seem to think they are the know all of all that is right and good in this country and some how the MILLIONS OF VOTERS leaning towards Obama are misguided.

    I will continue to see there rethoric as purly "entertainment"

    October 30, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  21. C A

    Tim in Texas:

    Stop whining. If Mccain loses this election and it appears he will it will be no one's fault but John McCains. And here is why.....

    Picks a lousy VP running mate that is killing him in this election.
    Decides to go negative rather than staying above board.
    Exchanges his positive war hero and experience arguement with negative attacks against his opponent.
    Lacks a single consistent message (is all over the place).
    Ignores the middle/independents while playing to his base.
    Ignores the Hispanic voters.
    Attacks Bush policies but fails to propose anything new (until it was too late).
    Tries several grandstand moves that backfire on him (suspending his campaign during the bailout votes).
    Fails to drop the appaearance of a grumpy old man that allows for questions regarding his temperment.
    Listens to Bush advisors rather than controling his own campaign like the maverick he was in 2000.

    These and other errors on his part is what cost McCain this electioon. Not the media nor anyone else.

    So stop whining.

    October 30, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  22. welches, oregon

    McCain broke his promise to run a clean campaign.

    Obama/Biden '08!

    October 30, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  23. Proud American from Charlotte, NC

    I watched the 30 min. Barack Hussein Obama special last night and I think it was absolutely brilliant! I typed Obama's full name because I want to make it crystal clear to the Right that your smear campaign and fear tactics do not sway me. I voted for Barack Hussein Obama on the very first day of early voting. I gladly waited in line for 3 hours to cast my vote. I would have waited longer if I had to. Go Obama/Biden!!!!!

    October 30, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  24. Kay in Georgia

    Even Georgia is turning blue...Reved up...Ready to Go!!!

    Obama 2008

    October 30, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  25. Vickie

    Hey Tim in Texas, if you don't like what CNN is covering you can always go to the McCain station... FOX. I'm sure Bill, and the other idots will inform you with what you want to hear...

    October 30, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
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