Obama and Clinton Lead McCain in “Purple” States

Posted April 17, 2008 at 9:16am

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton each are running 4 points ahead of John McCain when it comes to the sum total of so-called “purple” states – states that were competitive in the 2004 presidential election, according to a Gallup analysis of data collected April 1-15. Gallup is defining a purple state as one in which the difference between George Bush and John Kerry had been less than 6 points. Gallup listed those states as New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Florida, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Oregon. Taken together, Obama and Clinton each have an ov erall 47 percent to 43 percent margin over McCain with a 1 point margin of error. You can look up recent polls on a lot of these states by looking at our last round-up of state-by-state general election match-ups.

Where Obama has the advantage over Clinton is that he does better than her against McCain in “blue,” or Democratic, states, and in “red,” or Republican states. In those he leads McCain 52 percent to 39 percent while Clinton’s lead is 50 percent to 41 percent. McCain leads Obama 49 percent to 41 percent in red states, and does a little better against Clinton, 51 percent to 41 percent.

Gallup says: “McCain and his supporters can take solace in that there are more red states, more voters, and thus, more electoral votes in those states. So even though he trails by four points in the most competitive states, he is down by only two points to Obama (46 percent to 44 percent), and is down by just one point to Clinton (46 percent to 45 percent), among registered voters when all states are combined.”