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. BM

    Blacks are not racist people and trust me we have a lot to dislike about whites. Blacks have always been loyal to whites and continue to be, I wonder why when there is so much hatred for the black race.

    October 30, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  2. um da man



    October 30, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  3. Michelle in AL

    Perhaps the McCain/Palin tactic of "FEAR! FEAR! FEAR!" is finally being recognized for what it is..a last ditch effort to grab as many votes as possible from the undecided voters.

    "If we make you scared enough of the other guy, you'll vote for me"

    Makes me sick!

    October 30, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  4. ATLian

    What makes McCain think he has a chance in Pa? Still counting on the "bitter" people. GIVE IT UP!!!

    October 30, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  5. Ryan, Florida


    October 30, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  6. Doug R.

    The people will speak and McCain deserves to be publicly humiliated on 11/04/08. He has run a dirty, dishonest, and fraudelant campaign. Nothing good or positive, just smears and attacks and lies. He has become angry, nasty, and very frustrated. It's written all over his face.
    And Palin is the very worst possible selection as a VP running mate. She has no clue what she's doing or talking about. You cannot be serious to believe she is ready to be President if something happens to old man McCain.
    The choice is crystal clear...Obama/ Biden 08.

    October 30, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  7. Joe Green

    I saw Obama's cartoon last night on youtube.

    I'm going to vote for him anyway.

    What a waste of 30 minutes, though.

    October 30, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  8. joseph marcucilli

    It is not money that bought the election but small contributions averaging 86 dollars.The point of buying elections is when you have large contributors you owe favors to.People like Obama well enough to send him money.I guess that is why McCain took public financing, since the poeple do not like him well enough.

    October 30, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  9. California Gold

    After weeks and weeks of nonstop personal attacks, inuendo, blatant name calling, and general fear mongering it is clear the 30-minute campaign video by Barack Obama made it very difficult for the voter to reconcile the McCain-Palin portrayal of Obama as a supposed evil terrorist socialist: the man in the video. No wonder McCain is in a tizzy. He just regrets he didn't have a 30-minute spot scheduled for 8:30.

    I do believe the Obama campaign will be the gold standard for effective campaigning. Let's hope the sickening McCain-Palin tactics are abandoned or at the most severely limited.

    October 30, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  10. Tom in Arizona

    Tim. He paid for it.

    McCain has some too.

    October 30, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  11. Tony

    Will the GOP try smoke and mirrors to steal the election again this year? It sounds like it when I hear about all those names that have been stricken from the rolls in the last two weeks. I was too young to vote for JFK although serving in the Army but for those that I did vote for were all some of the best ones we had. Those that I did not vote for will go down in the history books as some of the worst presidents. Polls are great but the last one on Nov. 4th will be remembered for a long time.

    October 30, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  12. Jordan

    Obama is bad

    October 30, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  13. bruce

    VOTE..that is the only poll that matters

    October 30, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  14. Trina

    Why do the pundits keep saying McCain is gaining? In looking at the graphs on pollster.com, Obama has gained in several states that he hasn't even campaigned in!

    October 30, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  15. BM

    We as blacks have helped to make this country what it is today. Without our sweat, hard work, this country would not be what it is today. yet we receive less.

    October 30, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  16. mike

    OK, now we have all seen what an extra 4 million dollars in the hands of the biggest ego on the planet will get us. Just how NARCISSISTIC can one person be? But now I'm really scared. What will happen to the world when the biggest ego on the planet gets bruised and the biggest ego on the planet has his finger on the BIG RED LAUNCH BUTTON?

    October 30, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  17. Nurse Ratchet

    Tim in Texas, you republicants really need to invest in more education so you can 1. write a complete sentence and 2. make up your mind on your propaganda: is he a socialist or a muslim? You probably don't know the definition of either one but we'll give you a hint: you can't be both at the same time. So which evil is he?

    October 30, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  18. Jordan

    he worked with terrorists lik william ayers and the ACORN company

    October 30, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  19. Renea from Birmingham

    Barack Obama will be the first Black Man in the White House As President!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 30, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  20. dan

    Great , Great, Great, Great for obama .. i can't wait that obama will win in every single state of america.. Go obama on nov.4 !!

    Mcsame is a lyer now every one know the true . The american people can't be fool for four more years of bush failed policy . enough is enough .

    October 30, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  21. Tim in NC

    Hey "Tim in Texas"

    Check your facts before you go spouting! Obama PAID for his 30 hour of air time last night... what did CNN do?

    Gave McCAin FREE air time with Larry King to repond ANd CNN REFUSED to air the infomercial.

    SO who's really biased and jaded... take a good long look in the mirror. McCain has run a lousy campaign, and it woudl BIASED to report otherwise; that Obama is leading and McCain is struggling.

    October 30, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  22. Marc

    What's amazing is that about 45% of the American people are still supporting John McCain even after his smear campaign and the selection of the incompetent Sarah Palin.

    People. Presidents with the qualities of Barack Obama only come along once in a generation. Get over your set ways of thinking.

    October 30, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  23. K-Dub 4 Obama

    There isn't a link on here Tim in Texas for the McCain camp because they can't afford to buy it and I'm pretty sure CNN doesn't give discounts on links. Barrack bought the link on the website as an advertisement, which any citizen, business owner, or presidential candidate has the right to do. Victor, Barrack isn't buying the presidency, because it's something that can't be bought. He's only using an advantage in hard earned solicitations of the American people. Anything otherwise is only an accusation, and a falsehood. You nor Sarah Palin or McCain are smarter than the FBI and if there was a direct involvement with Obama in a campaign funding theft ring, he'd be on the news yesterday. He is black remember. Unless you think the FBi is in the tank for Obama also...

    That says more about you than it says about anything or anyone else. Sit back, enjoy the ride. Your candidate got beat fair and square, even while playing his dirty tricks. Sucks don't it.

    October 30, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  24. Dan

    A politician who promises to rob Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the support of Paul.

    October 30, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  25. Valarie in Ohio

    We shall overcome....we shall overcome.....we shall overcome someday. Oh Oh deep in my heart....I do believe....


    Obama/Biden 08

    October 30, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
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