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. Slapstick Psychic

    You've got to be kidding me? Ron Paul? The young people who are voting are educated enough to know that Dr. Paul would destroy our interior while isolating the US- effectively putting our heads in the sand internationally. Libertarians are great for rich people, but the rest of us know better. And if you think the majority of new voters this time around are excited about voting for another Texas Republican, I've got some snake oil to sell you...

    July 3, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  2. Val from MA

    McCain will win in November in the landslide.

    Obama = politics as usual. Everything that he talked about before (throughout the primaries) no longer serves any purpose to him – he is now trying to move himself in the middle, but it's too late now Obama. You are just a typical politician who would say anything and everything to get elected. American people are smarter than that. You will not get elected.

    July 3, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  3. A VOTE for MCCAIN is a VOTE for PAIN

    Polls don't really amount to much, especially when the media keeps things as close as they can to create meer excitement. I bet the real number is more like 78 to 19...give or take +/-3 percentage margin of error. McCain should use his campaign bus to help his twin brother Bush with his upcoming swift ejection out of our State House.

    July 3, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  4. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Kerry led at this point in 2004 based on his long experience in the senate and his war hero status. It wasn't until the swift boat attacks that he started dropping in the polls. McCain has long experience in the senate and has war hero status. Since his war hero status has not really been attacked yet, McCain should be ahead in the polls. The fact that he is not reflects what a weak candidate he really is. Obama and his "change" movement will carry the day in November.

    July 3, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  5. white people for obama

    Can the media please stop saying that Obama has shifted his plan for the Iraq War. He hasn't changed anything. He is not a flip-flopper.

    Please read Audacity of Hope and Dreams of My Father, you can see that everything he said 10yrs ago is the same thing Barack is saying now. He doesn't flip-flop.

    And the biggest flip-flopper is McCain, why isn't he getting scrutinized for his numerous errors and flip-flopping. Is CNN Pro-GOP!

    pls post, thanks!

    July 3, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  6. Tom, Obama supporter

    It will be extremely close, But I think we need a Democrat with big change, not little change with McCain.

    Go Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    Add Clinton to the ticket and watch a 20 point lead.

    Until then PUMA!!

    July 3, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  8. As usual, Democrats to the rescue!!!

    Repuglicans/conservatives are a complete joke right now. They had 7 years of absolute control, and right on cue they screwed it all up. Ruined our reputation. Built a bigger government and spent more of taxpayer money than ever before.

    Let the repugs spread their hate and fear, while us DEMS fix the mess they have left behind.

    Happy Fourth of July! God Bless us and our country! Vote Dem!

    July 3, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  9. Wayne

    Anyone voting for McSame is mentaly ill. What changes would that old man bring to america? none

    McSame has no clue himself what he stands for accept his quest for war.

    McCain: My friends, I know Americans are hurting, high gas prices, homes lost, jobs lost, high food prices, lives lost. I know all about these things my friends.
    Reporter: How do you suggest fixing it if you are president?

    McCain: Uhhhhh well, gotta go, I'm late for a meeting with the Sunis or Shiites, I can't remember which one is on our side.

    Oh well my friends, lets bomb them all!

    July 3, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  10. Gene

    I hope the whole country turns blue this year. Those of you voting for Nader, Ron Paul, and Bob Barr... I solute you! Because even though your vote is pretty much wasted.. those voters are generally taking away from the republicans. Those of you writing in Hillary.. I frown upon you.. you are choosing to slap Hillary in the face.

    I just don't understand why people are even wasting their time voting for candidates who either aren't even running, or stand a 0% chance. I know it may be out of principle... but really.. do you really want your vote completely wasted?

    July 3, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  11. RJ, CA

    Loved the bumper sticker I saw yesterday:

    Work - Succeed - Be Happy!

    July 3, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  12. Independent

    McCain's campaign is dying and cannot be saved. It is obvious. Republicans join Obama and help make history. McCain is out of touch. He is too old for today's world. He doen't even know how to work a computer he said. Plus McCain's wife has had a stroke. They are not able to run the country. Obama is intelligent and has great judgement for the job.

    July 3, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  13. Irene

    I'm a Democrat voting for McCain.

    I am not alone.

    July 3, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  14. rexx

    Funny how all the Lefties turn into cry babies when elections roll around. Anytime they lose the other side must have cheated. But when they win .... well you know it is all in the plan with Hoffa. lol. These polls mean nothing right now talk to me after labor day.Welcome to President McCain.

    July 3, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  15. ben

    SUGGESTION; How about just one (1) official pole per month from now until election time?

    July 3, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. Ian M

    I think this one will stay tight and then break big time for a landslide a'la '80. I'm predicting an Obama landslide but a McCain landslide isn't completely out of the question.

    July 3, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  17. jane

    Flip Floper Obama, he is not going to make it in November, sorry, too immature.

    July 3, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. Gene

    To Nightingale Sings:

    RE This statement: "BTW, this guy, Obama, has to the idiot of all times.. What does he think will happen, if we unilaterally pull out of Iraq in haste. He has no sense."

    This shows exactly what I'm talking about when I say Obama haters just like to plug their ears and close their eyes and throw out random comments with no backing.

    First off.. Obama isn't just gonna pick the military up and go in haste. He's talking about a slow, steady withdrawel over a period of a year and a half. If you call that haste.. I can only imagine how slow moving your life is. Second, he's even said that he plans on re-evaluating the situation once he goes and visits there... though he still aspires to stick to his original plan unless you sees evidence which would cause him to extend that.

    This statement alone has got all the Obama haters out there screaming that he's flip flopping... even though what he's saying is a statement of total common sense.

    So please... when making comments... stop being so black and white. Every situation has an element of gray in it... and if Iraq can NEVER keep the terrorists out of it's country.. then you're saying we can NEVER leave? Common.. let them take some accountability.

    July 3, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  19. Paul

    Much can, and probably will, happen before November. Who is ahead right now matters very little in the whole picture. I am waiting to see who the running mates will be. That could change things.

    July 3, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  20. Anita from Arizona

    Who in here is STILL talking about HILLARY? And giving a speech on a runway is fine. It's better than holding a conference in a foreign country. I read that act by McCain loud and clear. Other countries first but I'll fit some states on my campaign trail later on. So close to Independence Day too.

    July 3, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  21. Herman in LA

    If Obama where all white McCain would not only even be close and Obama would win by a land slide...

    July 3, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  22. gary


    July 3, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  23. rexx

    It is pretty obvious some of you lefty idiots are on drugs. McCain is not going to lose in North Carolina. It won't even be close. Polls mean nothing until Labor day. Watch as Obama's numbers drop like a pair of panties at a hooker's convention.

    July 3, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  24. Lynn

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a picture? The plane, secret service, the podium. Presidential. Has he already been crowned? The podium looks cheap to me.

    July 3, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  25. Peter

    Obama is a Marxist who will tell you what to eat?


    Where do you guys come up with this? How about some facts....like McCain says we could be in Iraq 100 years, McCain is ready to surrender the environment and drill off the coast, McCain is ready to nominate conservative Supreme Court justices (think Alioto, Scalia, and Thomas).

    This is real and it will take our country away from us.

    July 3, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
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