July 1st, 2008
04:14 PM ET
10 years ago

New CNN Poll: Obama, McCain in a statistical dead heat

 Obama and McCain are in a statistical dead heat.

Obama and McCain are in a statistical dead heat.

(CNN) - With the dust having finally settled after the prolonged Democratic presidential primary, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama locked in a statistical dead heat in the race for the White House.

With just over four months remaining until voters weigh in at the polls, the new survey out Tuesday indicates Obama holds a narrow 5-point advantage among registered voters nationwide over the Arizona senator, 50 percent to 45 percent. That represents little change from a similar poll one month ago, when the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee held a 46-43 percent edge over McCain.

CNN Polling Director Keating Holland notes Tuesday's survey confirms what a string of national polls released this month have shown: Obama holds a slight advantage over McCain, though not a big enough one to constitute a statistical lead.

"Every standard telephone poll taken in June has shown Obama ahead of McCain, with nearly all of them showing Obama's margin somewhere between three and six points," Holland said. "In most of them, that margin is not enough to give him a lead in a statistical sense, but it appears that June has been a good month for Obama."

But the new CNN/ORC polls shows the race gets even tighter when the two most prominent third-party presidential candidates are considered. In a four way match-up that includes independent candidate Ralph Nader and Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, Obama's lead over McCain dwindles to 3 percentage points, 46 percent to 43 percent. (Nader registers 6 percent while Barr gets 3 percent.)

But it remains unclear just how much effect Nader and Barr will have on the election, as summertime surveys often overstate the eventual Election Day showing of third-party candidates.

"A useful rule of thumb is that third-party candidates in November get no more than half the support polls show them having in June or July," Holland said.

Meanwhile, one day after the Illinois senator sharply defended his devotion to America during a high-profile speech in the crucial swing state of Missouri, the new survey shows some voters continue to have lingering questions about his patriotism.

One quarter of all registered voters say Obama lacks patriotism, according to the poll. That breaks down to 10 percent of Democrats, 29 percent of Independents, and 40 percent of Republicans who say Obama lacks patriotism.

But it's likely the issue will not have a significant impact this fall.

"Strategically speaking, the question is not how many people consider Obama unpatriotic - it's how many people consider Obama unpatriotic who would have voted for him otherwise," Holland said "Most of the respondents who think Obama is unpatriotic are Republicans. That indicates that Obama may not have lost a lot of votes - so far - on this matter."

McCain, a former Navy pilot and prisoner of war during Vietnam, is viewed as being patriotic by 90 percent of all registered voters.

The poll, conducted June 26-29, surveyed 906 registered voters and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (414 Responses)
  1. Patrick

    5% lead on average in ALL POLLS. It's the trend. I love how the title shows it as if it's tied yet EVERY poll shows a 5% Obama lead. When you break it down by electoral states needed to win Obama's in a very good position. It's all part of the media trying to make this closer than it really is. I know I live in Portland but I have literally not seen ONE McCain sign or bumper sticker. There is literally ZERO enthusiasm for him and I'm hearing this around the country. As far as the poll showing voters questioning Obama's "Patriotism." Hey... some people will never educate themselves. They choose to live in their closed minded world. It's disgusting. It's also disgusting how the media has helped to portray for these people the fact that Obama could be "Elitist." Isn't that HILLARIOUS while McCain OWNS SEVEN HOUSES!

    July 1, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Florida-livin

    Amazing how McCain is going to Win win Win .. He cannot win in any poll and the base won't even give him the money to compete with Obama. Talk about Flip Flop and Double talk. The News always says that the are Dems are not coming togther but Mccain was done with his Primary many months ago and the Base still won't come to him or donate. That is the real story the Media doesn't ask about. Maybe they are too much Republican themselves to tell the truth. The truth is there is a real surge behind Obama and the Rally's are only the tipping point. After the European trip and the first debate he will be even stronger and the voters will be ready to go out in full force. Too bad Repubs you scared us Dems into listening to real issues which you don't have. Just scare scare scare.. and he is his and that. Not what you can do to help this country get back right. Every Repub knows this even if they have millions with there tax breaks. Just a question though. You got those big tax breaks to keep jobs here to boost the economy. Just tell me why are they still leaving. American workers and money just No good anymore. ... Obama 08 , 12 The only Choice..

    July 1, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  3. I am Billy Hussien Albertson

    Nobody's talking about it right now, but Kucinich is dead on with the rational behind a BUSH impeachment. Clinton had 1 article of impeachment on him when he boinked that tart. Bush has 35 articles of impeachment against him, including lying to get us in war, violation against the constitution, condoning torture, etc.
    Wake up middle America! Vote Democrat to get rid of the old Washington corruption.

    July 1, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. Enlightened Voter

    Hey voter'svoice – it's 'wake' up America, not weak up. And it's what you need to do, your princess is not in this one anymore, let it go. It will be alright.

    July 1, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. goodcitizen


    July 1, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. JO

    Obama is nothing more than a paid actor.
    we are all sheep if hollywood thinks he is kewl then we should all vote for hollywood obama. How pathetic ! Most rich people in hollywood barely have a high school diploma but yet we listen to them. HOW STUPID ARE WE !! Obama is inexperienced and cannot run a country. He has made many promises but has not said how he would get it done. Anyone can say oh i will do this and that but tell US how you will get it done. I don't think Obama is ready to head a country. I don't think he has any experience with the military side of things and we will lose our power and countries will laugh at us with how weak obama is going to make us as a super power. Not to mention the fact that our economy went in the crapper when the democrats took over congress not the republicans. Look at the last 4 years and its not all bush's fault the democrats have ruined this economy.

    July 1, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. xddy4u

    There's a long way to go before November. CNN has to do something to keep us riveted. This race is not even in the back stretch. You wait until after the conventions, you haven't seen nothing yet. The "Swift Boat" operators got us Dems the first time because Kerry was to weak kneed to respond rapidly and dirty. Obama is a good man as long as you don't cross him, then he's deadly, he's proven that. Just let Mccains operators start some s–t, Obama is going to step back and call his operators in action. MoveOn and that crowd is going to blow McCain's -ss out of the water. Obama was saying in his speech to MoveOn, not now, it's too soon, don't blow your cover, you'll have time to open both barrels, I'm not John Kerry. This poll is pure crap.
    Omaba/MoveOn '08

    July 1, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. Cindy

    McCain is doing amazingly well! Clark should be ashamed of his remarks. They were disgraceful. Newsweek 15 point lead was nothing
    but a biased media stunt and not objective reporting. With all that McCain has to deal with in regards to the Republican Party and such low ratings on Bush, McCain is doing a very good job in showing how different he really is from Bush and how steady he is. Obama has "change" written all over him in his flip-flopping positions lately. It does not look very good for him. I think that the hype that was around him is steadily wearing thin and now, when we have to focus on substance, there is not much there.
    McCain/Powell '08

    July 1, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. Patrick

    SETTLE DOWN FOLKS:) This time during the KERRY run he was up 2% when averaging ALL POLLS. Obama's up 3 to 6%. Big difference on a national level. He's doing just fine:)

    July 1, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. SpringTxVoter

    I think we are all ready for a change, regardless of where it comes from. The archaic ideas that we call politics are not working anymore. I can't take another 4-8 years of a Bush Administration. I'd like to give Obama a chance, it surely can't get any worse then it is now!

    July 1, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. HTA

    If I am not mistaken, these polls don't include all the cell phone only users. It excludes many younger voters who have ditched land lines.

    July 1, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. Working Mom

    I'm sure Obama's camp is working diligently on bringing his numbers up. Maybe he should give a speech to the Hamster Club of America, or an inspirational talk to the Biker Babes Over Age 40 and the I Can Change a Tire Faster than You Can Club of America – I think these are the only groups left that he has not pandered to. Never know, just might put him over the top.

    We've gone from drama to sitcom.

    July 1, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Rick

    This poll can't possibly be correct. I guess it just goes to show that democrats will vote for anybody, even a clown like Obama.

    July 1, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. DJ, LA, CA

    Obama is consistant. McCain is a flip-flopper. Oh by the way...McCain is one of the Keating 5 Senators caught receiving large donations from Charles Keating. Obama doesn't have that kind of baggage.

    Just do a google search on Keating 5 to find the truth. He received the most $ from Keating than any other Senator that was implicated.

    July 1, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. Brian

    If you question the messiah BO you are a bigot or a racist but if you question McCain, call him names or drag his record through the mud you are a...well I guess you are a Democrat. Go look up the word hypocrisy, it applies to a lot of people on this board!

    July 1, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  16. country_voter

    In the Unity atmosphere Obama and Clinton urged that we should stop the partisan bickering and reach across the aisle. I'll be reaching and stretching across the aisle this fall and give McCain my only vote.

    July 1, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. Bayou Joe

    What a sham. CNN stop trying to portray Obama as a winner. This loser will end up the same as Gore and Kerry. No one wants a
    inexperienced, first term Senator (3weeks). in the Whitehouse.

    The man cannot even define Patriotism. He is what he is and no speech will change that for him. We are all shaped by our parents and surroundings, he is no exception. By the time we are 6 years old our values and beliefs have already been programmed.

    McCain in a landslide.

    July 1, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  18. John

    This would mean something if (a) we were in October and (b) we elected a President by popular vote. Meaningful polls would be by state so that the electoral college projection could be shown.

    July 1, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  19. Brian, New York

    I.m with Mike from Texas

    What happend to the 12 or 15 point lead that Obama had over McCain in last weeks polls?????? Give me a break....Obama will win big...even if race is an issue.....as a black man...I believe that Americans will vote their "pocketbooks" over race...at least I hope so....

    July 1, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. Keith

    Enough with these ridiculous polls. They don't mean anything.

    July 1, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. Bukky

    We all know that CNN is trying to make the race closer than it is for more ratings... Obama is kicking McCains butt. Stop trying to turn a landslide into a horse race

    July 1, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  22. ezekial

    I prefer I war hero over a recovering drug addict

    July 1, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  23. Nicole in NE

    yay – McCain is starting pull in from behind. I am SO grateful people are going to get him elected, the same ones that voted Bush twice!

    Give me a break

    Obama 08'

    July 1, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  24. loveamerica

    Both pictures look terrible! Let's have a real good one there.

    July 1, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  25. tim

    You guys report Obama up by 15 points last week and now even.
    Seems like you have some pretty phony numbers.

    July 1, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
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