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. Kevin

    The pollster are going to be really shocked and surpise when they see how out dated they polling techiques are. They never poll the younger crowds ..the one's that voted in the millions doing the primary.

    Because they still use the land line style surveying. Hell I am 44 and I don't use a land line phone anymore.

    July 1, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. No McCain!

    It's good he has the lead, but the only poll that means anything is the GE.

    Obama '08!

    July 1, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |

    I really can't even tell where Obama stands on the issues anymore. He's flip-flopping all over the place like a fish out of water.

    I think the one thing that will sink Obama in the end is his refusal to support offshore drilling. It's just common sense to couple offshore drilling with conservation, nuclear power, electric cars, etc. And guess what, close to 80% of Americans agree.

    However, next week, Obama will probably be in favor of offshore drilling.

    McCain 08, but I would still vote Hillary if she ran independent

    July 1, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. Aubrey

    On a totally non-political note, both of the pictures chosen for this article make me giggle

    July 1, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. Aidyn

    LMAO! wow 5 points. Maybe all the recent weeks flip flops have not helped him that much?

    July 1, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Given Bush's popularity and the current anti-Republican sentiment, Obama should be 20 points ahead. He's not because of all the Democratic candidates, the least qualified was picked by the DNC.

    July 1, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    man, those 2 photos are terrible. Obama looks drunk and McCain looks evil.

    Just an observation.

    July 1, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. AK in LA

    Is it just me or is the race so far between Obama and McCain a real snore? Wake me when it's over.
    Hillary, come back!!!!

    July 1, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. Matt--NE

    America is starting to wake up.

    Obama is starting to lose ground.

    By November, McCain will be up by 15 points.

    No way we can afford to have Obama as President.

    July 1, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Mike Jones

    Bravo, General Clark. Stick to your guns. Someone needs to address McCain's "experience".

    July 1, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Mark

    Unfortunately, according to the latest polls, McCain will win the electoral college while Obama will win the popular vote.

    Time to get rid of that college if you ask me!

    July 1, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. EDW

    Why do you guys keep using the same stupid pics of these candidates?

    July 1, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. beth - florida

    I agree with Al from NY

    If gas prices start to drop by election day and/or the situation in Iraq continues to improve, then Obama is history.

    Go McCain 08

    July 1, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. Republican for Obama

    McCain made Propaganda tapes for the enemy.
    He crashed two planes during service.
    He has stated he didn't like this country for 31 years.
    If that's true patriotism then cursing god's name will make you the pope!

    July 1, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Brandon in MN

    Bottom line, CNN and MSM want to make it "look" like a close election, however all the prognosticator sites out there show Obama with a 120 – 180 EV vote lead with Obama looking to take over another 40 – 80+ EVs between now and Nov.

    If this was a "blow out", CNN and MSM would have no story.

    July 1, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    If you think your vote doesn't matter, think again.

    Remember Florida and Ohio.

    OBAMA 08

    July 1, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. jim

    Sean / You call CNN a liberal site....Are your you don't work for Fox rather then listen to them.

    July 1, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Nancy -Georgia

    McCain is on the wrong side of every interest of Americans. Iraq, Economy, Women's Health, Social Security, Fuel.

    July 1, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. TRUTH

    It must be a tight race when both Bush and McCain took credit for Webb's GI Bill that they were both opposed to a couple of weeks ago.

    July 1, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. Lim

    Obama is GW on the opposite sides of the political spectrum,
    with his campaign similarly running on hot air, slogans and

    Thus it is entirely possible that the American voters will be fooled
    yet once again for the third time comes November.


    July 1, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. Bob

    How can anyone consider voting for Obama. He has no experience, no credentials. He wont even say the pledge allegiange. What is he hiding.

    July 1, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. NObama

    Hey CNN, take a lesson from Howard Dean and the corrupt DNC. Popular votes DON'T MATTER. Its the eletoral votes that count. Even the Obamabots know this and they hardly think for themselves at all.

    July 1, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. joan

    I hope the Clintons haven't done enough damage to Obama and the Democratic Party. But I am afraid she has done very much damage. Hope Obama wins!

    July 1, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |

    Watch this change drastically after the first televised debate. Then the world will see McCain for what he really is: JUST ANOTHER TIRED OLD MAN WHO SENDS YOUNG MEN OFF TO DIE!!!

    July 1, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. aware

    It is the change question Americans have a problem with. Americans do not want to change America's foundation or its identity. 😦

    America was founded on Judeo-Christan morals/values/principles and Obama's Universalism or "Christianity just one of many ways" might please hard core Liberals, Progressives and Multiculturists but not Mainstream Americans and Evangelicals.

    Listen closely to the obfuscating candidate Obama!

    This former Democrat, Educator and Evangelical will not vote for Obama!

    McCain 08! 🙂

    July 1, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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