Obama ahead in Florida, Virginia in new poll

Obama ahead in Florida, Virginia in new poll
Democrat Barack Obama is running strong in traditionally Republican states, including Florida and Virginia, in a CNN/Time Magazine poll released hours before the final presidential debate Wednesday.

The poll shows Obama ahead of Republican rival John McCain by ten points in Virginia (53 to 43 percent) and five in Florida (51 to 46 percent).

Both states voted for Republican President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, and together represent 40 of the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.

Virginia has not voted Democratic in a presidential election since 1964.

Obama is four points ahead (51 to 47 percent) in Colorado, which boasts nine Electoral College votes and also chose Bush in the last two elections.

Colorado has not voted Democratic in a presidential election for 16 years.

In Georgia — which Bush won by 17 points in 2004 — McCain is up by only eight points (53 to 45 percent).

And the two candidates are virtually tied in Missouri, a state Bush easily carried four and eight years ago. McCain has a lead of one point over Obama, 49 to 48 percent.

“It looks like McCain has to play defense in states that Republicans have been able to count on in previous elections,” said CNN polling director Keating Holland.

“That doesn’t mean he will ultimately lose those states, but it does mean he has less time and money to spend in the swing states that are likely to decide this election.”

The surveys were conducted October 11 to 14 among 762 likely voters in Colorado; 765 in Florida; 718 in Georgia; 763 in Missouri; and 698 in Virginia. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percent.

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