June 6th, 2008
07:25 PM ET
6 years ago

CNN Poll: McCain and Obama locked in a dead heat

ALT TEXT

(Above: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama talk backstage at AIPAC in Washington Wednesday. Photo credit: Callie Shell/Aurora for TIME)


WASHINGTON (CNN) –
The general election season opens with a neck-and-neck race between Barack Obama and John McCain, with more than one in five voters admitting that they might change their minds between now and November.

In the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted entirely after Obama became the presumptive Democratic nominee, he leads his Republican counterpart 49 to 46 percent among registered voters - a statistical tie, given the question’s 3 point margin of error.

The poll is the first conducted entirely after Obama became the presumptive Democratic nominee.

McCain and Obama aren’t alone: independent candidate Ralph Nader and Republican-turned-Libertarian Bob Barr are both vying with the two major-party candidates for independent voters.

But at this point, it looks unlikely either will play a spoiler role: the margin between Obama and McCain is virtually unchanged, with the Illinois senator leading 47 to 43 percent. Nader pulls in 6 percent, and Barr 2.

What would Hillary Clinton bring to a Democratic ticket? Answer: about three percentage points.

A hypothetical Obama/Clinton ticket would currently get 52 percent, compared to 46 percent for a hypothetical McCain/Romney ticket. And if she's not on the ticket? Sixty percent of her Democratic supporters would vote for Obama, 17 percent would vote for McCain, and 22 percent say they would stay at home in November and not vote for anyone.

“That's just one estimate of the ‘Clinton factor’ and it may not be an accurate predictor since it piles several hypotheticals on top of each other and asks people to guess their state of mind five months from now,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Nonetheless, it does indicate that unmotivated Clinton supporters may be a bigger risk to Obama than defections from the Clinton camp to McCain.”

The results are based on interviews with 1,035 adult Americans, including 921 registered voters, conducted by telephone on June 4-5.

soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. Ellie in Aurora, CO

    Brian, you look like a Republican wolf in Democratic sheep clothing! Any true democrat would not vote for:
    1) A new cold war – McCain wants to exclude Russia and China from the G8.
    2) More illegal wiretapping – McCain stand with Bush on this.
    3) Conservative Supreme Court Justices – At least 2 will be in play.
    4) A never-ending Iraq occupation
    5) Continuing the tax benefits for the wealthiest
    6) etc.
    7) etc.

    June 6, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. SBvoter

    I will never vote for Obama without Hillary. I will be a McCain democrat.
    count me as one of the 18 million.

    June 6, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. aware

    I don't know why she would want it? McCain will win in 08! :)

    Disillusioned Dems will give the centrist McCain the edge. He is in touch with all Americans!

    The extreme left-wing Obama has a trustworthiness, credibility and unfairly elected by left-wing media and the Democratic Party problem. Time will not change this regardless of any pandering he will probably attempt.

    June 6, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. Irene

    Unless there is some biasness going on with democrats who voted for Hilary Clinton, for the life of me i do not understand what is the big deal here. Hillary plans and Obama's are not that different. After all the only downside i can see here if any is that Obama is claimed not to be that experienced. At the end of the day experience does not gaurantee one to make perfect choices or decisions. It comes down to sound judgement. If Hilary supporters want to defect to Mc Cain, then i say let the flood gates open, at the end of the day they will be punishing themselves for the most part, self infliction of a failing economy and radical political views towards the rest of the world amongst other things. Voting for Mc Cain is like taking a suicide pill....If democrats truely want to defect to Mc Cain, then i say birds of a feather flock together, i just hope i do not hear them complaing later down the road...Fools!

    June 6, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. ANGIE

    go obama i know you can do it the more people get to know you those polls for you will soar and when the more people come to the senses and see that john mccain is just another bush and that at least you offer some change for our future rather than the same last 8 years you will win by a land slide (OH NOT TO MENTION WHEN ALL HILLARY WOMAN VOTERS COME TO REALIZE SHE IS GONNA SUPPORT YOU!!! they are not gonna want to betray her right ladies dont worry obama you will the next PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES and i cant wait obama08

    June 6, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. Lynette

    If there were no racism, Senator Obama would win this election hands down. People are making up all kinds of excuses and rationales as to why they can not or will not vote for Senator Obama. We all need to search our souls. If we find racism, we need to confront it instead of finding ways to nurse it or denying that it exists within us. Lets us 'keep it real'. We can not fool ourselves and we certainly can not fool God.

    June 6, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. McCain for President

    CNN, why would you need to moderate my last comment?

    June 6, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. Mark Kahle

    Hello you Rush Limbaugh Operation Chaos Republicans...sorry thats what you truly are, why not come out of the shadows and realize twhat your doing is NOT working, and in fact hurting your candidate...

    DEMOCRATS 08'!!

    June 6, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Sharon R.

    Brian, from knoxville : you sound like your voting against a black man . You sound ljust like you are voting with ignorant judgement. It sounds like you are a hater and a sore loser too!
    Go ahead and vote for John McCain. Barack doesn't care.
    Hillary lost get over it, and stop hating on Obama.

    God rewards righteousness not evil and hate.
    She reaped what she was sowing. So stop crying, and go ahead and vote for McCain. Go Obama, Yes you can!

    June 6, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. tom

    mccain will never get out of the bush shadow

    June 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. david,baltimore,mamryland

    If a statistical dead heat is the best that MCcain can do after the democrats have torn themselves apart for the last two months while MCcAIN had no opposition,then Obama will win in an absolute landslide.
    THE only thing that McCain has achieved is a cure for insomnia;everytime he opens his mouth people fall asleep by th ethousands.He is a total joke as a speaker;he is really attracting loads of people with great enthusiasm to listen to him ,isnt he?
    It is a changing of the guard fellows.Old guard republicans and old guard democrats.I predict that this election will effectively terminate the republican party and a new third aprty will be formed.The neo-cons and evangelicals do not represent a large segment of th erepublican party and they will meld with socially conservative democrats to form a new party.

    June 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Once for Obama

    I was initially willing to vote for either Democratic candidate.

    The profound hatred, disgusting name-calling and vile filthy denigrating insults coming from the Obama camp worked to change my mind.

    First, you don't GAIN votes by trashing and bashing the other candidate and her supporters.

    Second, disrespecting others is a road to division, not unity.

    Third, You can not COMPEL us to vote for Obama by threats, indimidation, forcing your opinion, and name-calling.

    Finally- what does it say about Obama, if he attracts such a hateful and intolerant following?

    June 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. RB TX

    News
    "When we'll be seeing the YouTube file showing Michelle Obama on-stage with Louis Farrakhan lambasting Caucasian America with the term "whitey."

    CNN , why are you not running this breaking news. I think the American Public would like to know if this is true or not?

    June 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. aware

    I don't know why Hillary would want the VP spot? McCain will win in 08! :)

    Disillusioned Dems will give the centrist McCain the edge. He is in touch with all Americans!

    The extreme left-wing Obama has a trustworthiness, credibility and unfairly elected by left-wing media and the Democratic Party problem. Time will not change this regardless of any pandering he will probably attempt. :(

    June 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. RyanD.

    OBAMA 08!

    THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE.

    June 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. Mike

    Hillary is the only real democrat in the party. Obama is an independent by any measure. We have missed out on having Hillary a person that was the right person for the job as president.

    I will vote for McCain, I cannot vote for Obama.

    June 6, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. al

    There is no such thing as a "McCain Democrat"...the real term is a white Republican who is afraid of change...if you really have voted Democrat all your life and suddenly have to vote for McCain to spite Obama, then you are quite simply, a fool...

    It's Democrat vs. Republican now, you can pine for the defeated primary candidates all you want, but they are now out of the picture....

    Vote Dem 08

    June 6, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. Johnny

    There are 5 months before the Gen. Elections. McGaffe will have plenty of opportunity to let the American people how stupid he really is.
    CNN quit making predictions at this point!

    June 6, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Antoine

    Brian, have you even WATCHED all the debates between the two of them???

    June 6, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. Cial

    This is an early poll. In about 3 weeks the separation will be apparent. Obama will win big in November.
    Go Obama 08 & 12.

    June 6, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Joseph, NY, NY

    Obama stop trying to paint Mccain as another Bush, true Americans know he's his own man and a good one at that. He has more courage in his pinky than you will ever have. You are unpatriotic and disrespectful to our nations symbols, you are not worthy to wear a flag pin. You lie and go negative and get a free ride from the press. If the media would replay all your negative comments the same way they played the others comments you would not be where you are today. You’re a phony and true Americans see right through you.

    June 6, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. paolo brandi

    Just don't worry: polls! As ever! Read a good book, i suggest.
    Everything will fall into place. Don't worry. It's not about polls, it's about individual quality of candidates and if one thing is sure: that counts in the end. Again, the 100.000 polls , pfff...The intellectual capapicity of voters if what counts. Relax.

    June 6, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. No Obama McCain President!

    The Democrat party is now DEAD thanks to Obama! I also have voted the
    Democrat way NOT this year!!!!!!!!!

    June 6, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. aware

    Disillusioned Dem for McCain 08! :) McCain is the only choice!

    June 6, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. Enlightened Voter

    'Hey McCain, the honorable president' thanks for listing for me all the reasons I AM VOTING FOR OBAMA. hahahahahahahah

    June 6, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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