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. Eileen

    Obama is a cheat, a liar, and a thief. He is stealing and buying this election. Theres nothing good about that.

    October 30, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  2. Mary

    Last night CNN's subheads, kept flashing things like 'Is Obama Trying To Buy The Election?' And Lou Dobbs is *very* anti-Obama. So I definitely do not consider CNN to be in the tank for Obama. MSNBC? Sure, like Fox is in the tank for McCain. In answer to the first question, I'd say Obama's *supporters* are trying to buy the election, one $25 donation at a time. Unlike any previous election, individuals are voting with their wallets and they've already elected Barack Obama. Now we get to see whether the results hold up on November 4.

    October 30, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  3. Jim L.

    The only thing Gramps and Failin will accomplish is to divide the country, which is thel last thing the next president will need, regardless who wins. By the way Victor, I have no idea what you wrote.

    October 30, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  4. family guy

    Ok Im getting tired of the lies- I supported Obama since day one and after accepting private $, and now the tax bracket has moved from 250K to 200K and Biden said 150K ... I HATE the alternative ticket so now what?!? Im one of the few that has not voted early-

    October 30, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  5. me


    =====Just Stop it====

    one day he's up, next day he's done.....

    People Get out and Vote Early.

    October 30, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  6. KD

    I saw the Obama special last night, It was fantastic, he stayed right on message and showed he connects with the average american struggling to survive and did not once mention McCain. McBush, Palin and the GOP can't seem to voice a coherent policy without mentioning a democrat, go trying to say Obama is buying the election (I donate to twice to Obama, I decided to do without something I wanted to do so) I don't mind him doing the ad, you can bet if the GOP had the money they would have done it, they are just mad that they are getting beat at they own game. So they continue trying every dirty trick in the book (Karl Rove's book), but after 8 years americans have finally opened their eyes. We are watching closely now and watching the voting machines. To all the Democrats and Independents who are sick of the GOP and their tactics: get out and vote, to students: get out and vote, everyone needs to help those that don't have a ride get to the polls. Don't let the polls to lull you into a false sense of security, VOTE VOTE VOTE.

    October 30, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  7. LK

    When this race started I was voting for John McCain. But after the last few weeks his campaign has become truly vile, with there dishonest smears and name calling.

    McCain is not a maverick, he is a coward who sold his soul to the right wing of the party.

    October 30, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  8. Just me in Texas

    Smears=less votes.

    Get a clue.

    The more smears, the more I donate up to the legal limit.

    All the lies and smears from McCain and Plain has moved many to vote and volunteer for the first time. "This One" thanks you for that.

    October 30, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  9. Brielle

    Just because CNN is reporting the facts, it doesn't mean they are biased. The Republicans are just mad they're losing, and they're going to blame anyone they can, including the media. CNN makes a point of being fair and weighing both sides–don't you even watch the shows, "Time in Texas"? If McCain wanted to pay for advertising space on CNN's homepage, he would be there too, so quit whining–your candidate chooses to advertise to different audiences.

    October 30, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  10. blaising

    Why? Because Americans are taking another long, hard look at the GOP ticket of corruption, both of whom have been found guilty of beaking ethics laws.

    Americans are saying, "these criminals (McCain/Palin) don't represent me and the values I hold dear".

    October 30, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  11. To: Tim in Texas

    Why do Republicans whine about "any" Obama coverage? You'd like for all the coverage about Obama to be negative. If you don't like the coverage, why do you post here ... every day??? I'm here because I love to read all the wholesome stories about my candidate! If you don't like it, find a better way to spend your mornings. Go over to drudgereport.com, or ... a cousin of theirs. Get a life.

    October 30, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  12. Sandy Texas

    Vote! Vote! Vote! McCain and Palin – Please stop the negative and shameful campaign tactics. McCain pledged to run a "clean" campaign my friends.

    October 30, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  13. Amy

    Tim in Texas–

    If you feel that way, go back Fox News. They cater to the Republican party. The lies they tell are just unbelievable, and these lies have been disproven time and time again. You will fit right in there!

    Obama/ Biden 2008

    October 30, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  14. Bob from Beulah

    The difference between the two candidates can be put very simply: While Senator McCain talks about his opponent (negatively), Senator Obama talks in positive language about his plans, policies, and hope for America's future.
    Obama offers a fresh positive direction for America!

    October 30, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  15. Wisconsin Vet

    Tim in Texas

    Obama paid for that ad on the CNN site just like a commerical on FOX network. Just like McCain on ABC network.

    What you should be asking is why McCain chose to spen the money he got dirt digging and not Unity and Answer promoting like the McCain of 2000.

    I miss the OLD honest, Clean hands, war dawg McCain he would have my vote.

    I just don't know this McCain

    October 30, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  16. Foreign observer

    When reality comes down to votes there is only one way. Change instead of fear.

    October 30, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  17. BJ

    After watching Obama's ad last night, how could anyone not feel hope and inspiration? No snipes, no smears, no negativity. Having listened a lot to both campaigns, I must say I do hear more details of his plans and how he would like to help the American people, but with the speeches from the McCain/Palin camp, there is a lot more negative stuff being said, more smearing, and no details at all of how they are going to help the people. McCain says he will do this, do that, but gives no details whatsoever. I may be wrong, but it seems to me that whenever McCain sees something working for Obama, e.g., change, education, to only name a couple of things, he then gets on the bandwagon. I get the feeling that he doesn't have any clear plans of what he is going to do if he wins. Isn't it best to prepare for whatever may be to come? McCain/Palin camp has also made a great deal of character, but what kind of character does McCain have....one who cheated a lot on his first wife? The Republicans go on as if they are so Christian, but they are such hippocrites. Christians do not behave the way they have behaved in this campaign. Quotes from the bible – “He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight." and “He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.”

    October 30, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  18. Tom in Wheaton, Illinois

    To those who think CNN is "biased" in favor of Barack Obama:

    I am an old journalism graduate. CNN is trying to report on the largest and most enthusiastic groundswell in two generations without seeming to be a cheerleader. It is a tough road to walk. What are they supposed to do? Perhaps NOT report the paltry crowds that McCain is drawing? Maybe NOT report that the folks who ARE showing up at these rallies are a cross-section of tractor-pull enthusiasts? Or, maybe they should ignore the biggest story in American politics in the last 40 years all together and just show sports.

    Even Fox news has been unable to "spin" this election to make it look like McCain has a chance. And believe me, they've tried.

    October 30, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  19. Tim

    Yay Obama....can't stop him now

    October 30, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  20. Susan in NC

    WHERE are Gov. Palin's medical records?

    Hope will always overcome hate and fear!

    Obama/Biden for America!

    October 30, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  21. Dan in FLORIDA

    I just found that McCain and Palin are asking for campaign contributions from FRANCE!!!

    In a letter from Palin, she specifically asks for money... isn't this against the law?

    Here is the link: apre.over-blog.com/article-24235832-6.html#anchorComment

    October 30, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  22. Fidelis

    If McCain/Palin ran an honest campaign, their chances would have been better... Who am I kidding? Palin was a risky gamble, that is not going to pay off for John McCain.

    Poor John, he hast lost the race and his legacy, too bad "My Friend."

    October 30, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  23. DebM, Allentown, PA -- Voted Absentee for BO

    cmon cnn..

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    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 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  24. Ashley from REAL VA

    ** I went to the PO box yesterday and you should have seen all the negative literature I got yesterday, in which some were bold face lies! The RNC should really be ashamed of themselves!

    October 30, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  25. Georgia Girl

    Tim in Texas, give me a break. CNN is far my unbiased than the racist fox news. the only stories they will show on Obama are the ones based on misleading lies from McCain and Palin, while all of McCain and Palin stories are all glowing, no stories on Sarah and the AIP or McCain's not so perfect character. CNN covers both candidates, and Larry King should have asked McCain about the race baiting tactics his campaign has practiced but he didn't so please spare us with that BS.

    October 30, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
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