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. Jim Central Florida

    I am very disapointed in hearing Sen Obama comments tonight on the war. My wife & I have have been rooting for him since day one. Unfortunatly his comments on the war is starting to make both of us really wonder if he is just another pol. Also he should not blame this on the other side as he spoke the words not them. Now he has to prove he deserves our votes to bad ! The nation is in a mess and we need honest leadership not BS !

    July 3, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  2. Neutral

    This is troubling for Obama. He should have been ahead by double digits considering the state of our economy and Bush's low approval ratings. Looks Like Obama is going to lose.

    July 3, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  3. Nava-Canada

    American people did not like Geroge Bush to run the govt.but they never objected to any other republicans running the govt. Mr.McCain
    is distancing himselves away from Mr.Bush and this is to remind the voters that he is against his policies. Senator Obama is changing his stance from what he said in the democratic primories to please the
    democrat voters to something else to please the international communities. He will be soon found out playing games with the people of America and it may be difficult for him to defeat Mr.McCain
    in November unless he does not change his policies and plans now & then and stict to what he said earlier in the primories.

    July 3, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  4. Michael

    Sauce for the Goose, as they say. These polls are nothing more than something to argue over. They are a snap shot in time and mean about as much as the paper they are written on. Let the race play out, we will see who wins come November.

    July 3, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  5. annette

    You know people, aparently mc.shame can't do anything wrong (that is in the eyes of CNN) can you people just it before you, the upror if Mr. Obama had gone to some other country over the 4th of july weekend. But nobody is even mentioning, that he has the audacity to not be in the country, but on purpose went to a latin country.
    Guys this man is frigging unbelevable and so is CNN for not rasing a big stink about it like they would have if Mr. Obama had done this stupid thing.
    get real people

    July 3, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  6. WoMaN4McCain

    Hispanic For McCain.....i'm for McCain too but dude you need to get a grip.

    July 3, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  7. WoMaN4McCain

    To Chris.....you Queen Senator Clinton is history. Quit whining like a little baby and get on the McCain train. You know you wanna.

    July 3, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  8. Dick in Sioux Falls

    I'm an 82 year old white man, and I truly believe Barack Obama can be one of our greatest presidents. You would think that simply being a former POW somehow constitutes insuring that such a person would be a great Commander-in-Chief.
    We need a strong non-military man as our chosen Civilian leader of our military establishment, as our Constitution calls for. Eisenhower's warning about the power of the Military-Industrial complex is more relevant today than it was 50 years ago, when he warned us of the insidious nature of a strong Military combined with a powerful Military Industry constantly seeking to lead us from one military adventure to another; to maximize business growth in that arena, as well as an ever-growing military cadre.
    The world's citizens are excited about the prospect of a possible Obama victory in this country. His appeal across the spectrum of nations, from Europe to Africa to Asia is astounding. The World Press is much more sophisticated than our own. Obama's election, if it comes about, will be greeted with excitement and celebration in every capitol of the world.
    However, they are not too sure we will show the wisdom to overcome racial and political games to elect him. Remember the headlines in 2004, in world-wide newspapers: "How can 59 Million People Be So Stupid!?" Even if America did not know its blunder, the other people in the world knew!
    Certainly at times I said a small part of this, but never in this context! It is ridiculous to throw out these comments because your computer finds some common ground with former comments. I protest!

    July 3, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  9. Dr. Bob

    Like I said before once B. Hussein Obama selects someone else other than Clinton as his VP the polls will be reversed. McCain will be up then. Mark my words.

    July 3, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  10. Jorge

    A question for Obama supporters....Today Obama said he'd "refine" his promise of getting the troops out immediately. When he made that promise in the primaries was he telling a lie or just demonstrating his lack of experience/understanding in national security matters? I'm not sure which is worse.

    July 3, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  11. Richard

    The difference this year is that Democrats are more energized than ever. And things in the country are much worse now than in '04. Had we had just a little better candidate in '04, we wouldn't be in this mess right now. In Barack Obama we indeed have a much better candidate and this time the fickle youth vote will be there. That was proven in the primaries.


    July 3, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  12. Joe in Indy

    In 2000, Bush did not have an electoral victory. He had a judicial victory. Also, while things will certainly change before the election, a six point lead is by no means "tight." If he wins by 6 points, it will be considered a mandate.

    July 3, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  13. Alison, FL

    Georgia...said:July 3rd, 2008 6:24 pm ET

    Make a statement. Vote for Ralph.

    We can't afford your STATEMENT!!!

    Vote Obama '08

    July 3, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  14. DM, Arlington TX for Barack Obama 08

    Too many of our service member gave their lives base on a lie.. We need real leadership to bring our men and women home.....

    Obama is and will do the right thing I trust him and he haven't lie yet...

    July 3, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  15. raheen

    Go Obama08

    July 3, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  16. frank

    John McCains problem –


    July 3, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  17. OBAMA/Richardson

    Yeah, lets START THE DEBATES and see OBAMA whip McCain!! Obama is much brighter, smarter, and change we can believe in!

    July 3, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  18. wisdom

    We do not trust Obama. We are with you Peakarach.


    July 3, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  19. Chris in NY

    I'm always surprised at how mean spirited people are over McCain's age. If such comments were made about Obama's race then there would be an uproar. it just shows that age discrimination is alive and well in this country and apparently much more tolerated and acceptable. Quite sad.

    July 3, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  20. Bill

    I think John McCain is going to pull ahead of Barack Osama....

    July 3, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  21. Teddy California

    I am surprised the lead was not bigger. The stock market has gone down in four straight weeks and it has gone to Bear market officially. Unemployment is going up. More jobs are cut. Gas price keeps going up. Under these conditions, you expect voters to support a Republican?

    July 3, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  22. Susan

    He can jump way a head if he picks Hillary for veep.

    July 3, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  23. The Lady

    If the polls showed McCain with 48 and Obama 42 this would be a different story. The headlines would read "McCain has a big lead over Obama".

    July 3, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  24. Daniel

    Obama is a flipflopper. He is dishonest and he has no policy.

    July 3, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  25. Jason of Indianapolis

    I think that it so funny that (THATS REALITY) would try to make a comparison to Hitler, Yes some people did follow him, but only because they were weak minded idiots. No one is falling for that now, thats why the republicans will lose the election. STOP LIVING IN A BUBBLE!!!!!!

    July 3, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
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