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. Melissa Atlanta, GA

    I don't get it. I am baffled as to why this race is so close statistically. McCain has abandoned his brand "independent thinker" or "maverick" which made him so appealling. Now he is doing just whatever the RNC says. That being said, why in the world are people voting for a man who will essentially KEEP the same aweful policies of the Bush Administration.

    America needs to WAKE UP. Let's turn a new page in American History – VOTE OBAMA!

    July 1, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  2. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    Well, the polls have been wrong in the past. With Bush's approval rating at 29%, I doubt that this race is a "dead heat" doubt it.

    Why would anyone vote for McCain?





    July 1, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  3. Chris

    These polls are worthless and don't include:

    College Students or young adults with Cell Phones
    A lot of African Americans nor Hispanic Americans that share a household phone

    and use traditional methods of obtaining data in an Internet world

    July 1, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  4. DeMcCrat

    McCain vs. Obama: The Hero or the Zero

    July 1, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  5. Phil

    I'll take McCain's military experience over Obama's "community organizer" (Hah!) experience any day. Community organizer, backbench Illinois state senator, and rookie US senator where he started running for president 150 days into the job.

    July 1, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. Natalie

    Who do you guys poll? I've never been called, and neither has anyone else I know. And wasn't Obama up by 15 points last week according to you. Please stop with this polling nonsense b/c it's obviously not accurate.

    Obama/Clinton '08

    July 1, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  7. TAB

    Rasmussen Report dated 2008-06-27
    By a 58% to 8% margin, voters believe that John McCain agrees with the Court ruling. Voters are evenly divided on Barack Obama’s view—43% believe the Democrat’s presumptive nominee disagreed with the ruling while 41% think he agreed.


    Seems there are a lot of NOT SO SMART people out there.

    July 1, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. Dwayne L, OH

    I prefer an intelligent human being who can make intelligent judgement rather than one who needs anger management counseling, economic education, and some skin removed from his neck.

    July 1, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  9. Marco Valdez

    I guess it should not shock me how ignorant most Americans are when it comes to the issue of what being patriotic is. Wearing a pin, saying the pledge, flying a flag or singing the national anthem on a daily basis makes one no more patriotic than teaching a monkey how to salute. Outward symbolism is very easy for people to display since all thats required is for one to see another showing some sign supposedly related to what patriotism is. It is a lazy man's way of justifying himself to others without actually having to back up his opinions and what he stands for. The fact that some Americans still question Obama on this issue is a sad example of how stupid people really are. As for these self-righteous McCain and former disgruntled Hillary supporters, keep on in your dream world. The more you chuck out your filth each days shows how full of rage, anger and disillusionment you are. And watch out for calling Obama crooked or dirty; McCain has his own skeletons and has flipped more times than a circus acrobat. Check out his past statements regarding positions he holds now; ts not evolution of positions, its outright lying. As a current Arizona resident, believe me I know and have had a lot of exposure to John McCain and for the rest of you out htere in the country, not as many of us have a kind opinion of him as you are led to believe.

    July 1, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  10. Michael

    Obama is in trouble. The teeny-weeny lead he has is coming from big states like California. But it is not about the popular vote...it is about the Electoral College and that is where is has some big problems. In all those battlegrounds with "clinging" voters.

    July 1, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  11. Brando

    It doesn't matter...Barack ain't gettin' 270 come Nov. It's all 'bout the Electoral College, stupid. You'll learn someday. (Hopefully Nov 5th, 2008).

    July 1, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  12. DAN

    How many points ahead would Hillary be, dha!

    July 1, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  13. EyeDoc

    Obama would need to have a solid 15 point lead at this point in time in order to pull out a win in November, because as we get closer to November, Obama's lead will continue to shrink. This is terrible news for Obama. Obviously, the more people get to know Obama, the less they like him.

    July 1, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  14. Dan

    Obama ROCKS !

    He'll soon leave McBush in the dust.

    Obama/Webb '08

    July 1, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. Tony, Miami

    I will start taking the polls seriously by late September and October

    July 1, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  16. California Gold

    These are the same pollsters who 18 months ago projected Hillary Clinton would be the Democrat Presidential Candidate and boy were they wrong!

    July 1, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  17. Tari

    I'm so sick of this patriotism crap every presidential election cycle. Both men are Americans and they love America. No one can doubt their commitment to this country and what it stands for. This CNN poll would of been actually relevant if it asked the following: Which candidate do you trust to repair the economy?

    July 1, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  18. the cynic

    Who cares about a national poll? Anybody with half a brain knows the popular vote doesn't decide the election, electoral votes do. Anybody that knows history knows this to be the case (see 2000 election)

    July 1, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    You know Hillary can still win this!!! What, a whole 2 weeks for the "change" candidate to move to the center on a whole list of issues. I never doubted it for a minute. This guy isn't any different than any other politician. But, now we get a Democratic nominee with no experience to top it off. Way to go super delegates.

    July 1, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. Marie in California

    Was for Hillary, now for McCain! Go McCain!


    July 1, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  21. AdamT

    Jesse what are our options as U.S. citezens? Take a look around you there bud. Gas, dead soldiers, dollar bill losing its value america is currently slipping off into the abyss......AND THE WINNER IS????? America can ill afford another Republican in the white house, there is no need to be upset, it can only get better from here :))

    July 1, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  22. Gina

    I'm voting for McCain ... the candidate with experience, judgement, character and patriotism.

    July 1, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  23. Bill

    Boy, there sure are a lot of stupid people on here.

    July 1, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  24. Making Sense

    Anyone who is citing the Real Clear Politics average needs to know they included those wacky Newsweek and LA Times polls that have now been proven to be overly loaded with democrats which resulted in faulty polling. So of course Obama's averages are up there with those unrealistic 12 and 15 point bumps averaged in.

    Obama polls the highest nationally with Clinton on the ticket. It will be historical and unbeatable.

    Obama/Clinton 08

    July 1, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  25. TED

    NONPARTISAN view: Reagan rebuit what J. Carter destroyed, and as for G. W. Bush, while his Iraq War could remain questionable, he has been unlucky in terms of economy as the high gas price problem arises during his term. The high gas price is NOT his fault. It is the global phenomena based on "supplies-demands" caused mainly by China's and India's strong economic expansions. In Europian countries gas prices are MUCH MUCH higher than what we pay for here. What I disrespect of the Democratic Party candidate's campaign is HE makes voters believe that the high gas price caused by Bush and as if the gas price drops immediately after his inauguration. Some people tend to believe his words blindly and emotionally based on the current situation they face. While such reaction is understandable, emotional reaction will never lead you to the truce. I just want a honest person (regardless of Party) becomes our president, not the person who sells EMPTY PROMISES.

    July 1, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
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