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. David Goldman



    July 1, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. Jim

    You people should read your history about the forefathers of this country and how far this country as gotten away from what they wrote and said, You would be shocked !!!! Read and listen to what both Obama and Mccain have said and there actions in the past and now, then compare them to what forefathers said. Where headed down a slippery slope of socialism with Obama and the same old same with Mccain.
    Be careful what you ask for, you might not get what you bargained from both of these candidates.
    How about this for a CHANGE, read the constitution for once!!!

    July 1, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  3. Allan

    I told you obama going down.The only difference betwen obama and osama is B>S>.

    July 1, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  4. slax

    separation of church and state, barack. everyone already knows that the federal money that goes to these faith-based prgrams ends up getting used for their anti-gay and pro-life initiatives.

    technically, their not supposed to get involved woth politics, but these religious organizations do. leave it up to secular programs that won't discriminate against the people who wish to volunteer for them and the people who come to them for help.

    July 1, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. Nicholas

    How is it a statistical dead heat? the margin of error is 3.5. Obama has a 5% lead. Why are you using that stupid headline?

    July 1, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  6. chris in va

    The U.S. is full of idiots and morons. We still have posters supporting Hillary almost a month after she conceeded, 15 % who think Obama is a Muslim the same time they complain of his 20 years in a church, others who think he is the second coming of Christ, and still others who tout the "experience" of someone who cannot explain correctly the religous demographics of Iraq, who sings diddys concerning bombing of another country, and admits the economy is not his strong suit. Geez!

    July 1, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  7. Shannon

    Maybe people are starting to figure Fast Eddy out! We could have had a decent nominee, but no, we went with a man with no experience who will do or say anything to get elected. Democrats should be way ahead, but this guy just doesn't have what it takes.

    July 1, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  8. gotcha

    Funny how the blogs have quieted down. The haters have seen the light and acting like they have some sense. Obama is a dead duck, Go McCain.

    July 1, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  9. Meme

    Hakeem, McCain tried to have a debate, Obama after asking has refused. Get the facts

    Price of oil, Doubled under the Dems in congress who said they would fix oil...they fixed it alright. Double the price and Obama said it should be high, just was too fast........the guy knows nothing about economy, foreign policy....just affirmative action rights for more and more people

    July 1, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  10. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    To Jay –

    Here's your proof...
    Obama is winning in the polls in Pennsylvania and Ohio right now!
    You might want to look at the state poll averages at RealClearPolitics.com

    July 1, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  11. Allan

    GO news.aol.com and se real poll Obama 31% McCain 61%.

    July 1, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  12. Ralph

    Democrats are gonna be stunned!

    July 1, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  13. Michelle

    McCain will pull ahead as more and more truth is revealed about

    The real Obama. Not the "hope and change" guy.

    Did you know that Obama stole that slogan from Bush?
    Bush was the change and unity guy. LOLOL

    Obama = Bush 3

    Obama and Bush are what happens when you pick a guy
    due to charm and cheesy slogans.

    July 1, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  14. HG

    If Obama wins by 5 points its going to be big, it will lead to an extra 70 electoral votes. Look at Bush vs Gore and Kerry they were less than 2 points.

    July 1, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  15. Marg

    God, I hope not. I've had enough of the leaders we have in the white house. It has been time for a change for years. Look at the state we are in, unemployment, are rights being taken from us. We need a young, fresh person, Obama you need to win, get the world back on track.

    July 1, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  16. Historic Moment

    Let's wait until McCain has the chance to speak next to Obama, he'll be in a fix. The conventions will be completely different and the public will see what a farce the Rep. have in a platform and a candidate. Polls mean nothing today... how does it capture the non-homeowner youth with cell phones and working their way through college?

    July 1, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. brian

    Mccain is just flat out terrible, Obama isn't the greatest, but at least I'm smart enough to know he's the lesser of two evils. Unfortunately that's the way we have been forced to vote for decades now: for the lesser of two evils.

    July 1, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  18. RB

    John McCain is going to Central America to talk about how wonderful NAFTA has been ........FOR THEM. How many times does this fool have to poke the American people in the eye before they figure out that it hurts!? What's he doing?? I wonder how many jobs and visas he's going to promise them???

    July 1, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. Alison, FL

    Patriot Woman July 1st, 2008 4:26 pm ET

    When they poll me, I tell them I'm voting Obama. I'm really voting McCain. Whether there are others doing this, I don't know. But I sure do get a chuckle out of it! Vote. Sen. John McCain=Experience

    Figured it was just a matter of time before people on these blogs started lieing and saying they are telling pollsters that they are voting for Obama but that they are really voting for McLame...get real idiot!!

    July 1, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. henry of cleveland

    the only experience mcain has is too continue giving rich people tax breaks,extend the war in iraq and keeping minumu wage low
    vote for obama 2008

    July 1, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  21. pramod

    McCain 08, Hillary 12. I will not vote for the candidtae chosen by the media & teenagers.

    July 1, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  22. Upon Further Review,Texas

    Yes folks,we have to keep selling AD time and news papers.Its really more like Obama by 9 points.

    July 1, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  23. Walt

    This has been a decisive week for many who have loyally supported Barack Obama during the primary season. During this week another Barrack Obama has shown his face. This Obama supports ultra conservative judges on the U.S. Supreme Court. This Obama has become wishy-washy on FISA and far less concerned about our Fourth Amendment rights. This Obama turns on General Wesley Clark who was correct in his statements to appease the McCain campaign. And now this new Obama is making nice with the Religious Right (Senator, you can change the name from Right to Left but...) and supporting religious based initiatives a la G.W. Bush ignoring the fact that many of these groups will discriminate in their hiring practices against those who don't subscribe to their belief system.

    The new Obama apparently feels he doesn't need the Liberal wing of his party any more. But he is still depending on us to go to the polls in November and give him our vote as the better, at least on some issues, of two unsatisfactory candidates. Well we may have been tricked into doing just that but as the difference between Obama and McCain decrease so may our likelihood of bothering to vote at all...and then watch the polls.

    July 1, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  24. ben

    Polls,polls and more polls. With these polls being taken every few minutes, how is anyone able to place any reliability in them? Besides, who is being polled besides the polls?

    July 1, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  25. Bridget

    Go McCain, a true American hero!!!

    July 1, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
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