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. Bill

    Its hard out there for McSame

    July 1, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Tim

    I loved Hillary, but not voting for Obama would be stupid.

    July 1, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. eam

    i think the question someone said was " since when are we not allowed to say what we think" when a black man is running for president thats when cause then you are racist ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    July 1, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. Amen to Aware

    As an Evangelical Christian I totally agree with you. This is not the type of person we need at the helm of our Nation. For years the Atheists and Socialists have chipped away at our foundation as a Nation. We cannot allow the Left Wing of the Democratic Party via
    their surrogate, Obama to control the country.

    July 1, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. Rose - Baltimore, MD

    5 points aheat is not dead heat. Mccain is behind in the cold alone.

    July 1, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. lr


    July 1, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. Humm..

    There should be a law that requires all voters to have in their possession a voter card that states who they voted for during an election.

    That way, in case there is a draft, the government can't touch the families of those who did not vote for the person who decides to go to war, like Bush did and like McCain wants to continue.

    If this law existed, McCain's percentage rate would be in the single digits.

    July 1, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. The Lady

    Polls numbers change based on the states they are polling in.

    July 1, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. America for Obama

    Seriously CNN? Will you guys just post any old poll you find just to make it seem like it's a tight race? When you and I both know Obama is up by 20% minimum!

    OBAMA 2008!!!

    July 1, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Hakim Rasheed

    I'm an Obama supporter but make no mistake, this race is going to be close. John McCain is the best republican they could've nominated and he's a much stronger opponent than one might think, even in this terrible political climate for republicans. We have to do all we can to get Senator Obama elected to the White House. We've got to keep the pressure on the republicans and force a debate about the issues instead of McCain's biography.

    July 1, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. al



    July 1, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. SpringTxVoter

    MDG: I don't think it's fair to say that Gen Y does not have work ethic. Gen Y works differently than other generations of workers. I see it everyday. I see a lot of Gen Y'ers coming up with new and innovative ways to get work done. Who do you think will take the place of the baby boomers as they retire? Sometimes things have to change. I understand that the Baby Boomer generation is reluctant to change, but think about your kids – their kids. Do you want them paying $10 a gallon for gas? Having to sacrafice food or shelter because they can't afford to fill up their cars? It's already happening now! Something has to give, and it can't be the people, not anymore!

    July 1, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. truthdetector2

    If the truth regarding BHO and all his dirty Chicago politics gets out, there is no way anybody would want that corruption in the Presidency. With Wright, Ayers, and Rezko as friends, his judgement, or lack thereof, is definitely lacking!

    July 1, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. Raoul - Lake City, SC

    Those unitied with Obama. Just wait until after the convention and when Obama chews McCain up and spits him out during the debates. In the end, Obama will blow him away. Go to realpolitics.com to get the more up to date polls.

    Obama '08 & '12

    July 1, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  15. puff

    GEE Barack, I thought you said you were SURE that all the Hillary voters would just come right over to you. What a sap you are now!!
    I predict it is just a slide down the hill from here. You will not get the nomination at the convention in August because by then the DNC will have realized their huge mistake and they will crown Hillary and all will be well with the world and the Dems will take back the white house.
    You see, they just can't do it with you around!!

    July 1, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. Bayou Joe

    The African Idol has failed to reach out to the Hillary Billies. That spells defeat to me and thank God for that.
    Hispanos don't be mislead by this wolf in sheeps clothing. Our Children and Grandchildren deserve a better Commander in Chief that this Mulato will provide.

    McCain para Presidente. Viva John McCain el Patriota.

    July 1, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  17. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    If the lead is no 5% versus 3% the last time it was taken, doesn't it seem to be incrementally – GROWING?
    Uh Patrick, I dont' think Kerry every was ahead in any poll.
    By the way, the only ones that really matter right now are the state polls:
    New Hampshire – Obama
    Pennsylvania – Obama
    Ohio – Obama
    Iowa – Obama
    New Mexico – Obama
    Colorado – Obama
    Virginia – McCain by less than one point

    Here's a little secret McCain fans, if Obama keeps NH, Penn, Iowa, New Mexico and Colorado, he wins. But, to make it legit, he's working hard for Ohio and will ask Rendell to help solidify Pennsylvania.

    It's elrly still, but I like where Obama is. Getting a 6-7% lead, especially in these 7 states would really put his candidacy in great shape. Here's to those who haven't gottne involved yet to get involved.
    Donate time, money, etc. to the cause. I'm tired of the last 6 years of total Republican rule, and the last two years with President Bush now getting his veto pen a work out. I gave him and them a chance. They blew it (out all on all of us) and now it's time for a complete change to something new and something better.

    July 1, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  18. JO

    Change of course is good.... but if you think the carter adminstration was a joke... then stand by for worse economy if obama is elected.
    IF you like big goverment,,,, bigger taxes then vote for obama. History will show you that DEMOCRATS are into big goverment. If you think things are bad now... stick around folks with a democratic congress and a democrat for president.. we are in BIG BIG TROUBLE !!!

    We will see a depression forget a recession.
    We will be screwed.

    July 1, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  19. Glen in Maryland

    The polls would be accurate if we voted by answering the phone and answering a few questions, but we don't. Which candidate's supporters are likely to be motivated to register and show up in greater numbers on Election day to vote?

    July 1, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  20. jack

    CNN and every other poll takers need to get a life! What are you accomplishing by conducting daily polls on upcoming november election when Americans are dying in Iraq, a gallon of gasoline is over $4, The white House and its cohorts are predicting a terrorist attack on the U.S. and John Mccain is in agreement because he thinks the best thing for america right now is war and more war.
    Is anyone paying attention to China? As i write this, China is positioning itself in all major African countries such as Nigeria and everywhere else while we are stuck with bunch of war mongers who knows nothing about economics. Its time for America to reclaim its position as the world's economic engine.
    Obama '08.

    July 1, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. rd

    WHY, NADER!?!? Someone please explain the situation to this guy....

    July 1, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  22. Obama the Great Deceiver

    why does Obama always look like one of Jerry's Kids in a lot of his pictures

    July 1, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  23. uber intelligent, better than you, creme de la creme Obama Supporter

    Obama is up by 110 percentage points in like a gazillion polls. He's going to win the Electoral by 50,000. He'll carry all 57 states.


    Rhetoric you can believe in!

    July 1, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  24. Mike, Iowa

    I think people should only listen to the candidates themselves. Not the supporters who love to trash the candidates and smear thier image with lies and spin and twist everything around they say and question them on the dumbest of issues that have nothing to do with what "smart" voters care about. Its a simple fundamental choice between WAR and PEACE! going to war over and over will never bring peace... think about that!

    July 1, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  25. Jesse - San Antonio TX

    He's going to lose.

    America will not elect a black man to the presidency no matter how fashionable black pop culture is at the moment.

    Aside from Clinton, Look at all the other more Qualified Democrats who ran for the presidency.

    They weren't as hip and were written off.

    America Made a mistake and chose wrong.

    July 1, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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