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Posted by on Oct 29, 2008 in Politics | 1 comment

Polls: Obama Still Has Stable Lead And Gaining In Battleground States

Most key polls still show Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama ahead with a fairly stable lead — as he continues to gain ground in key battleground states.

With a week to go until voting — and hours before Obama airs a 30-minute infomercial on several networks that could either help him solidify support or backfire and give his opponents ammunition — the polls paint a portrait of a race that now seems settled into minor up-and-down national swings, but with Obama gaining ground in several states that are in particular contention between him and Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain. McCain is working for a come-from-behind Trumanesque victory.

Here’s a partial list of some key polls:

*Obama has now taken “decisive lead” in Nevada, 52 to 40 percent, the AP reports. The AP also notes that this figure is of those who are likely to vote — or who have already voted with early voting.

*Gallup Daily tracking reports a slight tightening of the race with this bottom line:”Barack Obama begins the final week of the campaign with an advantage over John McCain in both Gallup likely voter models, up by 49% to 46% using the traditional model and leading 51% to 44% using an expanded likely voter model.”

*Zogby has Obama with a five point lead nationally:

Democrat Barack Obama has a steady 5-point national lead over Republican John McCain with six days left in the grueling race for the White House, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

Obama leads McCain by 49 percent to 44 percent among likely voters in the three-day national tracking poll, inching up from his 4-point advantage on Tuesday. The telephone poll has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

“The daily numbers were essentially unchanged from yesterday, with just a slight improvement for Obama,” pollster John Zogby said. “The race is frozen in place for now.”

*A CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation finds Obama is surging in Colorado:

Does the road to the White House run through the Rocky Mountains? A new state poll in Colorado suggests that Barack Obama has doubled his lead over John McCain there, as the Democratic nominee claims more territory on CNN’s Electoral Map.

In a new survey — one of five new CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation state polls released Wednesday — 53 percent of likely Colorado voters questioned say that Obama is their choice for president, with 45 percent backing McCain. That 8 point lead for Obama is double the 4 point advantage he held in our last poll, taken two weeks ago.

“Older voters in Colorado have started to break Obama’s way.” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. “Two weeks ago he was losing the over-50 crowd by a couple of points. Now he has a five-point edge among them.”

CNN also reports:

Colorado is one of three western states that voted for George W. Bush four years ago. The others are Nevada and New Mexico. Democrats have been making major gains across the west at the state level the past two election cycles and the party held its nominating convention in Denver, Colorado, this summer, as part of a strategy to win the West in the race for the White House.

CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider said Obama’s widening lead in Colorado is being “propelled by an amazing 15-point Democratic lead in Colorado’s fast-growing suburbs. The nation’s economy has faltered, and so has Republican support, for nearly 30 years the cornerstone of the Reagan coalition.”

The poll also suggests Obama is holding onto a strong lead in Virginia, with 53 percent of those questioned backing Obama and 44 percent supporting McCain. That 9-point lead is down from a 10-point lead Obama held in our last poll conducted in Virginia last week. No Democrat has won Virginia in a presidential contest since Lyndon Johnson carried the state in 1964.

Both McCain and Obama, campaigning in Florida Wednesday, are fighting hard to win the state’s 27 electoral votes. The poll indicates Obama holds a small 4-point edge, 51 percent to 47 percent. Bush carried Florida by 5 points as he won re-election as president in 2004.

Bush also won Georgia by 17 points over Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, in that election. But the poll suggests McCain holds a much smaller lead over Obama this time around. Fifty-two percent of likely Georgia voters are backing McCain, with 47 percent supporting Obama. That 5-point lead for McCain is down from an 8-point lead McCain held in our last poll, conducted two weeks ago.

*A new poll puts Obama ahead in Virginia:

Senator Barack Obama leads Senator John McCain by 48%-39% in the Presidential campaign in Virginia, according to a poll conducted by The Center for Community Research at Roanoke College. With just a week remaining until Election Day, 11% of polled voters remain undecided and 2% support other candidates.

The Poll includes interviews conducted with 614 likely voters (registered voters who said they were likely to vote or who already had voted) in Virginia between October 19 and October 26. The Poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

“These results suggest that it will be very difficult for Senator McCain to carry Virginia,” says Dr. Harry Wilson, the director of The Center for Community Research. “Virginia is almost a ‘must-win’ state for McCain. It is difficult to see a path to electoral victory for McCain if he loses here.”

*A battle down to the wire continues in Florida, where a poll finds a virtual tie:

Barack Obama’s strong appeal among women voters is balanced out by John McCain’s solid support from men, resulting in a race for Florida’s coveted 27 electoral votes that remains deadlocked days before the Nov. 4 election.

An Associated Press-GfK poll released Wednesday found that women preferred Obama 54 percent to 37 percent, while men backed McCain 51 percent to 35 percent. Overall, Obama was favored by 45 percent of respondents, compared to 43 for McCain, according to the poll of 600 likely Florida voters. Two percent supported a third-party candidate and 10 percent were undecided or didn’t respond.

It means Florida, the state that decided the 2000 presidential election by 537 votes after five weeks of recounts and challenges, is once again a tossup. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

McCain needs Florida to have a realistic chance of winning the White House. The state backed President Bush by a razor-thin margin eight years ago, and by 381,000 votes in 2004.

Obama, however, is doing well with Florida’s independent voters, with half saying they have or will vote for the Democrat while 32 percent said they have or will vote for McCain.

With so little time to go until Election Day, will either side move for a knock-out blow? The McCain campaign is pressing allegations that Obama has links to a Palestinian scholar. And the Obama campaign has just come out with this ad which is for the first time turning GOP Vice Presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin’s selection into a campaign issue. Note that some Republicans who’ve announced they will vote for Obama have cited the Palin selection as a reason:

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