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. dave

    I am voting for McCain, never thought I would vote for a Republican until now. I like his ideas, sorry Dems but Obama has too many skeletons that have come out of his closet that do not support my values and judgement calls.

    Democrat for McCain...

    July 1, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  2. McCain=the draft

    The republican machine is going to have to pull a good one, right before the election, to get McCain in.
    Expect anything folks.

    July 1, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  3. dave

    I am voting for McCain, never thought I would vote for a Republican until now. I like his ideas, sorry Dems but Obama has too many skeletons that have come out of his closet that do not support my values and judgement calls.

    Democrat in California for McCain…

    July 1, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    OBAMA Rocks...I like the Einstein quote..."two things are infinite: the universe, and human stupidity..."

    July 1, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |

    Not polling Hillary supporters for McCain obviously.

    Won't change my mind. This independent for Hillary (the most qualified) will now vote for the second most qualified – McCain.

    PUMA – let's teach the DNC and the thugs a lesson.

    July 1, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  6. Michael

    This is all we get with our rock star? A statistical dead heat? All those Republicans voted and gave money to Obama so that the weakest person will be the Democratic nominee and now they are withdrawing their money and telling pollsters who they really support, McCain. African Americans and liberals once again fell for Republican dirty tricks!

    Hillary 2012

    July 1, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  7. bob in L.A.

    Obama is not perfect but what possible reason would anyone have for voting for McCain?
    He has said he will continue many of the Bush fiancial programs. I guess if your wife is a multi-millioniare, the econmy is OK. He thinks this war, which is technically over basedon our reason for first going in, needs to keep going because its "winable" despite the fact that the enemy isn't just in Iraq, only our men and money are. He now thinks drilling off the coast is an answer to our energy crises, instead of pushing to do away with oil dependency and power our cars and homes with alternatives.
    It seems the line from the song "everything old is new again" should be his campaign slogan.
    More than half this country is complaining- how is he statistically tied with Obama?

    July 1, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  8. Brian, NJ

    Obama's is more ahead than this poll shows since it only polls voters with a land line and they tend to be older voters. The younger voters who will go overwhemingly for Obama all have cell-phones and are not captured in these polls.

    And a 5 point win could turn into an electoral college landslide,

    By the way Hill fans, she would only be ahead by a few points as well.

    July 1, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. rw in ct

    wow, and this is suppose to be the year of the Dems., and this is after the end of the Dem. primary bounce, and this is after the unity NH gathering, and this is after one of his safe non-stuttering-57-states teleprompter speech...let's just get it over with already, Obama is toast....or waffle.

    President McCain may we have the inaugural speech before we all go off on vacation?

    July 1, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  10. fairelection2008

    Obama is trying to pander to the religious right wing with his latest proposal on federal funds for faith-based organizations. Obama knows that there is a reason for the separation of chuch and state – so why is he trying to blur the lines? I thought he supported the LGBT community and their equal rights under the law (according to one of his fundraising speeches)?? There is nothing that Obama won't say or do to try to get elected – what a phony!!

    July 1, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. Jazzy

    Why isn't Obama's lead greater? If people are looking for a government that is different from the past 8 years, why aren't the polls showing it. Is it because of Senator Obama's race. Society says he is black because that's what history stated back in the slave days–one drop of blood and then you are black. He is a multiracial American. Why can't people see him as the candidate for change. He has two or more nations in him so he will work best for all people. Let's come together and put a stop to this Republican dominated country.

    July 1, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. Tjaye in LA

    A statistical dead heat where McCain is ACTUALLY losing.

    July 1, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  13. CitizenAJ

    Polls, the snap shot in time that means very little especially this far away from election day. I am betting on the American people to not be fooled by the republican's propaganda this time and vote for their best interest and the interest of future generations. John McCain is not that best interest.

    I supported John McCain for years, but he made a huge shift in 2004 after watching Bush/Cheney scare up votes. He aligned himself to the republican party and Bush policies. Any one who has followed him knows this. I am banking, willing to bet that John McCain will not be the next President. I have faith in the American people that they will vote for Senator Obama, a real candidate offering solutions for the future.

    July 1, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. topynate

    One poll showing a 5% lead with 900 polled isn't significant. A string of polls showing about that lead is significant, and that's what we've got. McCain is behind.

    July 1, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. Obama Supporter from FL

    Is there a way you can stop using that photo of Obama, CNN?

    Worst. Photo. Ever.

    July 1, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |

    Tim from Indy said:

    America doesn't need or want a tax and spend big government liberal like Obama.




    Please address what I have just said... or you will be written off as a parrot of the party line.

    July 1, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  17. Fed up with the lies

    You can lead a moron to the truth, but you can't make him listen. Sen. Obama is overflowing with patriotism, and Sen. McCain's being a POW in the last big war only makes him a victim, not a qualified Presidential nominee.

    July 1, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. Sister

    Truthdetector2: As a nation, we have had more than one corrupt president. Why are you so hard on Senator Obama. I know that you won't admit it, but I know that you can't fanthom the idea of a country led by a black man. Get over your prejudice. As African Americans we have had to deal with the slime that you all voted for and I bet you never said a word. If being honest about your feelings would kill you, I know you would explode.

    July 1, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  19. Tony

    Hey Patriot Woman:

    I'm glad you get all giggly because you tell the pollsters that you're voting for Obama but really want McCain. I bet you feel that you're really skewing the numbers. Because I'm pretty sure that the pollsters' complicated formulas don't take such things into account. And I'm almost certain that there aren't Obama voters who are saying that they're going to vote McCain just so they can do what you think you're doing.

    Your ploy is insignificant.

    July 1, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  20. Sharon Minnesota

    The undecided and independents will go with McCain in November. It just works that way. And by the way, keep religion out of government. That way true religion will rise up and show itself to all.

    True religion is: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your strength and with all your might, and your neighbor as yourself.

    Less government and more true religion.

    July 1, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |

    There are paid bloggers on here from the right...

    July 1, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    close now,a rout by november.so much for the hope & change & hope candidate.obama's toast.

    July 1, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  23. John from LA

    Great News-can't wait until we get closer to Nov.-the shine is FINALLY coming off Obama and all the bots are now afraid!!!

    July 1, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  24. Obama Supporter

    Oh just stop with this Rezko and Ayers bull crap. Once the convention comes around and Obama pretty much shows why McCain is nothing but a GOP puppet . This election is over. I love how last week "polls didn't matter" when Obama was said to have a 15 point lead but now its "Oh well polls matter"..Republicans are clowns

    July 1, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  25. mitchell hussein martin

    obama will win.if not, mccain will start wwlll.

    July 1, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
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