July 4th, 2008
06:35 AM ET
10 years ago

Polls: Obama up, but race remains close


Obama holds a small lead over McCain, 4 months before the election, but previous summer polls don't always predict the outcome in November. (AP Photo)

(CNN) - The race for the White House remains tight as American heads into the July 4 weekend, a new CNN poll of polls shows.

In the latest CNN survey of four recent national polls, Barack Obama holds a 6 point lead over John McCain, 48 percent to 42 percent. That represents a slight increase for the Illinois senator over the last week: in a CNN Poll of polls released last Friday, Obama topped the Arizona senator by 5 points.

“As we hit the July 4 holiday weekend, the presidential polls seem to have settled into a stable pattern,” said CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. “Obama’s lead in our polling average has been holding relatively steady around the five percent mark for almost a month. The question now is whether that lead will hold — or possibly even expand — as we turn our attention to the conventions and the campaigns start advertising more.”

The presumptive presidential nominee has clearly increased his lead from one month ago: in a CNN poll of polls conducted June 2, when Hillary Clinton was still in the race, Obama led McCain by only one point, 46 percent to 45 percent.

But how predictive are presidential polls four months before the election? Not very.

Consider where the presidential race stood in 2004 heading into the July 4 weekend: then, John Kerry held a 4 point lead over Bush in a CNN poll of polls, 49 percent to 45 percent, a lead that evaporated by November. And in 2000, Bush was up 6 points over Gore at this point in the summer — and the outcome that year, of course, was one of the narrowest electoral victories in the nation's history.

Related: Election Center

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (245 Responses)
  1. JFK

    These polls are not how this thing is going to end up. Keep in mind that the election is based on the Electoral College votes not the popular vote (sad...of course from the '00 election). This time, however, it's going to be a very big victory for the Dems. Obama is up by huge margins in some states that should be going the other way...it's just going to keep that trend. So, don't be fooled by the 6 point split right now; it's probably more like 15 with the electoral picture.

    July 3, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  2. mike D.

    this election has nothing to do with mccain. it has to do with obama, and if he can keep a solid campaign going without crashing, he will undoubtably be the president.

    July 3, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. peakarach,des moines,IA


    July 3, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. Travis (in the real world

    The gap will get wider when McWar starts on his "economic policy" trip this week.

    He'll promise it all....gas tax..(oops too late for that)
    – off shore drilling
    -$300M for a battery
    -Iraq for 100 years
    -and a chicken in every pot...providing the
    dollar doesn't drop anymore (then it's bologna)

    July 3, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. Ron

    It's way to early. No one cares except you guys. It means nothing. Give it up until September! No one cares!

    July 3, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  6. Diamond

    I believe obama will win, but I dont think he will win in a landslide tho, I do think the polls will start to change even more as months go by, and people get tired of the same bush policies that got America like this in the first place. America was great when we had a democrat president until a republican came. Obama just needs to continue doing what he is doing, and pick a good vp, which doesnt really make a difference because his supporters and plus will vote for him anyway.

    July 3, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  7. vick

    Mccain will loose all the way. we need change!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 3, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. Diamond

    The Hillary supporters who support mccain look so dumb, and the ones who get online to post their negativity only does it to comfort themselves.

    July 3, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  9. jaylo

    It's getting tighter every second that Pumas reach more and more of the dissatisfied Dems in this election cycle. Fortunately, Obama is making it easier.
    Puma pac

    July 3, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  10. Desmond Sequeira

    No room for complacency, OBAMA. The electorate can be quite fickle, as we all know. And not electing OBAMA will be terrible for the USA and for world peace.

    July 3, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  11. IYIYI

    When a million more people are out of work by November, McSame will look like McInsane. 4 more years???? I don't think so!

    July 3, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  12. Hispanic For McCain

    All you Liberal Dem face the Facts OBAMA is NOT TRUSTED to the AMERICAN people. The American people especially the Hispanic people don't trust OBAMA. all of these polls about Obama winning the Latinos vote are not true. I have news for all of you Liberals Morons John McCain will win the Latinos Vote this election and he will win in OH, FLA, MI, PA, that is two Blue States turning RED!!!!. Maybe NJ, CT, and MA. He will win BIG TIME!!!!.


    July 3, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  13. Tru Democrat

    so much for this party . Put a lame duck in place to bid for the White House is what has cause my family and myself to change parties and vote for a real candidate. Change will come eventually when we get a real candidate in office and not some stooge from IL. Thanks to Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy this party will split and we will then change how we pick our parties candidate for the most powerful office in this country. Hopefully Hillary will stand back and watch him fall on his face , Bill also. What a disgrace this party has become.

    July 3, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |

    POLLS POLLS POLLS. Give me a break!!!

    July 3, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. mike frm caroline

    if ron paul is so good then why is his name missing from the categories list to the right of the screen dummy!!! dont waste your vote kid. be a usefull citizen and vote for sumbody that will nmake a difference. not for somebody that doesnt care about you

    July 3, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  16. Claudia

    Obama flip flopped on everything he ran on during the primaries .
    That is CHANGE alright.
    Will America finally take a closer look at him and apply the scrutiny he should have received a long time ago.
    You can't trust Obama , he is not fit to be the next President.
    He has used a lot of people and then discarded them for political expedience.
    Listen to what he has to say now and compare it to what he said a few months or a year ago , he is a first rate liar.

    July 3, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  17. Antonio in Los Angeles

    It would be odd for the outcome to be different than these polls. However, the fact that Kerry had such a simular lead at the same time makes you wonder about this one. How many people were polled and from where?

    July 3, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  18. JosBam


    OBAMA 08 & 12

    July 3, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  19. Xavier

    The True Young Person Revolution? And these people like to call Obama arrogant.

    Obama in 2008

    July 3, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  20. Teddy

    If you check Gallup Polls, in the past 3 weeks or so, whenever the stock market went down (almost every day), Obama's poll numbers were better. In the few days when the stock market actually went up, McCain did better. The stock market, economy, and gas prices will determine the election outcome. All kinds of campaining are only secondary. If the news about stock market, economy, and gas prices becomes better in the coming election, McCain will win. If the news continue to be bad, and even worse, Obama will win because Americans will just want to through Republicans out of White House evne though they still know very little about Obama and doubt he has enough experiences to govern.

    However, if there are some big events like terrist attacks or Israel bombing Iran's nuclear facility trigging another Middle East war, then the economy issue will become the secondary issues.

    July 3, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  21. George Gowan

    Another dazling headline from the news media. Why don't they just declare Obama a victor of the contest and ignore the election? Amazing the headline can be negative toward McCain and never be mentioned in the actual article.

    At one time, we had a media and CNN was one of the leaders that acted impartially and did not try to influence the election one way or the other. Just made sure the actual issues were discussed.

    It is amazing how far the media has fallen for OBAMA.

    July 3, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  22. Anita from Arizona

    Obama will continue his message and laying out his policy and plans for change. We will get that message and make a wise decision.

    July 3, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  23. Lilah

    So basically polls are useless and everyone should stop wasting their time trying to conduct them.

    July 3, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  24. smtwngrl

    48+42=only 90% Wonder who the other 10% are planning to vote for?

    With Ron Paul out, my vote is going to Bob Barr. A vote for McCain or Obama is a vote for the status quo (or worse), and thus, a wasted vote.

    July 3, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  25. not important

    Ron Paul is real change? No his not. Barack Obama is the only man that can end the Iraq war. He still must make sure that Iraq will not be another South Vietnam. Plus Ralph Nader is just a populist.

    July 3, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
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