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. mel

    bayou joe - if that's the case – mccain said in his own words – he did not love his country til he was a prisoner – so by age 5 he did not love his country – i guess he still doesn't – according to you -

    July 1, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  2. no mccain

    you can do or say anything,at the end victory will be on obama side.

    July 1, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  3. JERRY

    Why is the MSM still driving this narraitve of his patriotism???? Lets call a spade a sapde here. it's the media that is questioning it.

    July 1, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. WoMeN4McCain

    My boy McCain will prevail with help from the PUMA tards. Go PUMA tards.

    July 1, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  5. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Jesse from San Antone,
    All you need to do is vote for him and then have faith that the rest of us will do our jobs and vote for him as well.

    Dave, next time you post, why don't you share four or five 'values" you share that McCain has an Obama doesn't.
    Hopefully you'll start with marriage, something McCain didn't hold onto by his own accord. That's a nice value if there ever was one, especially if you look at the 10 commandments (#7 or 8 is where you should start reading).

    July 1, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |

    WOW, every other poll has Obama ahead. I doubt your poll's validity.

    July 1, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  7. Obvious

    Ah, senselessly questioning Obama's patriotism...the GOP has nothing on him!

    July 1, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  8. John Johnson

    It is truly appalling your shameless pandering to McCain, an absolute abdication of these supposed conerstones of your profession – fairness, balance and truth. On each of the, you have failed miserably. Every headline, analysis and reporting is so skewed that it seems to go beyond a mere professional incompetence. It is looking like a well orchestrated campaign to ensure that by whatever means necessary that Obama's campaign is derailed. You continuously apply a higher standard to him while the old man can make the most ridiculous claim without as much as a comment. A good example is McCain extolling the virtues of the GI Bill that he firmly oppossed, yet you have deliberately failed to highlight the downright lies and hypocrisy. I am certain if Obama shows such reckless abandonment of the truth, ( especially as his mantra is straight talking) he would have been ripped apart as a liar. And the way you and the other friendly journalists pander to McCain at Press conferences is reminiscent of the press in zimbabwe. Are you all that insecure that him being friendly and a stand-up guy is enough for you all to forsake any semblance of professional integrity or is there a more sinister motive?

    July 1, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  9. Tina Hussein Wyatt, NC

    I'm really tired of people like you saying that Obama is the Messiah. I am a Christian and this is very offensive. Obviously you know nothing of the Christian faith or you would know that we already have a Messiah. His name is Jesus.
    You are free to take all the shots you want but to refer to Obama as the Messiah is beyond low.
    You, and people like you, should be ashamed.

    July 1, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  10. Clinton, no, wait, McCain Supporter

    Obama is about as patriotic as a Madison Avenue advertising salesman. He could tattoo an American flag on his forehead and I wouldn't believe him!

    July 1, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  11. Peter


    So did you vote for Gore and Kerry or are you a Bush apologist who now wants to spin the reason and use it to vote for McCain? (The candidate who has basically said he will continue the failed policies of this administration.)

    July 1, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  12. Annette, Washington, DC

    The pressure is on McCain camp. Gen. Clark comments have now become the media frenzy...

    July 1, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  13. Agnes

    In this year with all the dissatisfaction in the current president and administration, shouldn't there be a landslide lead? It isn't because the democratic presumptive is such an unknown quantity. How can the voter make an informed decision on the issues when Sen. Obama's record is so lacking in history? We have only inference and empty words to go on. We have a great obligation to democracy and our nation to pick the best candidate for the job; Hillary is by far the better choice, but since the DNC foisted the lesser on us, the polls are now showing what the rest of America is musing. And, as more time goes by and Sen. Obama shows his weakness in experience the more musing will occur.
    Patriotism, separation of church and state, economic uncertainty, 20 years member of a hate mongering – ridiculing church, immoral election practices, numerous "disappointing" relationships, a senatorial voting record of present, flip – flops.... These are facts that linger. The polls reflect the weakness in the candidate.

    July 1, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  14. Barack Hussein Obama

    There are way too many idiots posting comments here.

    July 1, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  15. Jan Illinois

    Want to WIN, Bring HER in.

    July 1, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  16. Geneva Hill


    July 1, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  17. sarah

    neat how the zealots dedicated to the hot air vendor say this is a sham and obama is way ahead. then they say that no one with a brain votes for mccain. then they say it does not matter cause their golden boy will win anyway. wrong....................mccain will wipe the floor with this 2-bit wannabe.

    July 1, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  18. Paul

    Now I know why he is flip-floping more recently.. Hillary, please, come back...

    July 1, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  19. Vivienne

    I believe that people do not have a right to question your patriotism. This is one of the main reasons we are in the stupid war with IRAQ. The American people didn't do their duty and demand that the government be accountable to them. Instead American's stayed in their homes acting afraid and 4,000 plus Americans have lost their lives for what? 20,000 more Americans have lost their limbs and/or sustained grotesque injuries to their bodies; why? They lost their lives and their limbs in a misguided crusade of bringing liberty and freedom to another people in another land while the people of the USA hunkered down in their homes afraid to say this is wrong. Why? Because they didn't want their patriotism questioned... and they were afraid.

    July 1, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  20. Hispanic For McCain

    HAHAHAHA for all you LIBERAL Morons the polls last week that OBAMA is up 65 to 29 among the Hispanic is NOT True!!!!! Hispanic will vote for John McCain!!!!! Just ask the Hillary Hispanic Connection they already said they will NOT support OBAMA. They are going with McCain. In Reality because the Media, the Pundit that control the news does not want you to know the TRUTH!!! The Raza people will support John McCain, the Puertorican Nation, the Mexican Natuion, The Colombian Nation and all of the Hispanic Nation will support McCain and not OBAMA!!!!! Obama is the loser here!!!!

    July 1, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  21. Paul

    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 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  22. MINX

    If McCain led the poll by 5 points, would CNN report the result as a statistical tie? They never have in the past.
    There is 3.5 point margin of error in this small poll.

    July 1, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  23. Uncle Fester

    still waiting ...tick tick tick tick

    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 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  24. Ilona Hussein, Proud Canadian!

    How long has McCain been campaigning for the General Election?
    I think it is now about four months.

    How long has Barack been campaigning for the General Election?
    Roughly three weeks?

    CNN, don't you think the positions should be reversed? Let's just wait and see what the POLLS say closer to November.

    July 1, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  25. Herman in LA

    hog wash...

    July 1, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
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