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. Peter E

    Yes. And polls predicted slam-dunk for Hillary in the primaries. At this point I wouldn't pay much confidence to these polls.
    Polls are for people who don't want to decide for themselves and would rather have the media tell them what to think.

    July 3, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  2. David

    its useless for all you mccain people trying to convert obama supporters

    we have our minds made...and that who we are voting for

    as for the article

    those polls always mirror and predict the november results...except when they dont

    OBAMA 08'

    July 3, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  3. christine

    i dont think obama changed anything refine really means remove unwanted substance or improve something, my point is if they is progress in iraq why cant obama say he is going to refine his iraq policy that could mean he wants to pull out, because they is progress, so pulling out is the best way to win this war, rather than having to stay 100 years

    July 3, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    July 3, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  5. Mike

    Being a dem I will vote for McCain as will alot of dems. Obama does not have a clue how to run this country. He talks alot but does not anything. The media has helped Obama get where he is now. The fact is this country needs experience and McCain has it. Obama has none. This country is in bad times and we cannot afford to train Obama how to fix it. McCain is the only answer. Hopefully we will get a dem in 2012 that has some experience I can vote for.

    July 3, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  6. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    Support Hillary. Go to Hillary's website and donate $1. Target $18. Nevers say die.

    July 3, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  7. No McCain!

    Too bad... these polls don't mean anything.

    Obama '08!

    July 3, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  8. Jim Samples

    Wow, I sure am glad you guys balanced your reporting of the "Poll shows troubling trend for McCain" with "Soccer dad Obama gets swatted by wife." More proof that you guys at CNN really are "equal" in your reporting methods!

    July 3, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  9. 2Nurselady

    I am still disgusted with the injustice I saw against the Clintons during the primaries. They seem to want to move past it, but I am a person who stands up against injustice until I feel justice is done. And, I do not feel justice has been done as yet. I think the DNC and the RBC and the leaders of the Party DESERVE a LOSS in November. But, I do not want to see that happen. I would like so much to be able to be rooting for my Party and working for the Democratic candidate – because I truly like Barack Obama, but I do not feel free in my own conscience to do that right now. Barack Obama will make my decision for me. It will depend on who he selects for his VP runningmate. I will have to stand up for what is right, even if it hurts. I am so afraid that he is going to do something so very egregious to women in this country after all we have suffered in this election thus far. I am afraid he will choose a less qualified, less deserving woman or man than Hillary Clinton for the VP slot. That would be so egregious and so intolerable to me that there are not even words. I also do not think many Democrats will be appeased by a placement of Hillary Clinton into ANY position that is not equal to her.

    July 3, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  10. Dan, TX

    Do you want someone who says no matter what happens, no matter what unforeseeable thing happens we'll get out in 16 months. Of course not. Do you want someone who will get us out of Iraq and has a plan to do so if things go reasonably as expected. YES.

    July 3, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  11. Peter E

    Obama '08!

    Now, will my comment make it past the liberal media filter?
    CNN has a history of publishing polls only when it favors their agenda, which is to make things slightly 'interesting' while making their guy look good. They want to tell you not to think for yourself but isntead listen to what they conclude. And they're trying to intimidate you into thinking that if you disagree with the polls they publish then there's something wrong with you.
    Just a little while ago they published a poll by the LA Times (yeah... consider the source) showing Obama up by double digits nationally, while at the very same time not showing the poll from Gallup that had them dead even...
    The same Gallup that they highly publicized when it showed Obama above Hillary by double digits while denying to report how Gallup (the SAME poll!) showed Hillary leading McCain by larger numbers than Obama was leading McCain.

    July 3, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  12. SUE, Michigan

    I simply do not believe that anyone with half a brain can consider voting for more of the same with McCain. If we aren't in Iran in the next 4 months, we certainly would be come January 21. That should anger and terrify all of us! We are not to be the world's policemen. We are not to be invading countries in the quest for oil money. My God, this country was founded to get away from that sort of imperialism. Bush is a war criminal, and should be in jail. I'm not so sure McCain doesn't belong there as well. And Congress needs to be thrown out, every last one, for permitting this war to continue by caving to Bush AGAIN with funding! Does no one hear us??? I want my country back! IMPEACH!

    July 3, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  13. Jim Samples

    Anyone who votes to make a statement just represents a statment for stupidity. Do you really think anyone will ever know (or care), besides you, that you voted for micky mouse or bob barr? I meant, just how stupid can some people really get?

    July 3, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  14. Hispanic for Obama

    HIspanic for McCain,

    Being a Hispanic myself, I know that what you are saying on how Hispanics will vote is so true!! They will vote for Mc Cain, the polls are not true reflecting that Obama has the Latino vote, he doesn't and will not have it.

    Nevertheless, I am a Democrat, I am a Hillary supporter, and I will be voting for Obama in this election. Why??? Because I am sick and tire of paying the high prices at the pump, I want this senseless war to end, I want more jobs created, affordable healthcare etc..... etc.

    Look where we are after 8 years of a Republican Clown in the White House. Mc Cain is more of the same.!!! With McCain there will be no change!!!!!!


    July 3, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  15. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    Mccain Is Going Down Hard In November And This Article Proves It!

    July 3, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  16. Get real people

    So many of you say Obama is going to win by a landslide. How many of you people read past a 2nd grade level? I believe the most recent "poll" shows a 6 percent lead for Obama at 48%. I hardly call that a landslide and based on the last 2 elections and these recent polls I'd have to say this great country couldn't be more divided.

    Of course we shouldn't worry much about the terrorism threat in this country, this country is going to go down the toilet from the inside out. Many of the imigrants that came to this country wanted to fit in with the crowd, now everyone has to be independent or in their little "click". One little thing ruffles their feathers and they scream injustice or inequality or their civil rights have been violated. I got news for you all....get over it. No more african american, latino american, chinese american, korean american, etc. How about just plain old American!?! I bet most people that call themselve _______ american (fill in the blank) don't hold duel citizenships which pretty much means you are an american as mom and apple pie.

    July 3, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  17. Brando

    It doesn't matter. Barack ain't gettin' 270 come Nov. It's all 'bout the Electoral College, stupid. Someday you'll learn (Hopefully, by the morning on Nov 5th).

    July 3, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  18. Jo

    Get thru your heads .... McCain is not BUSH !! Obama is a big flip flop PHONY !!

    July 3, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  19. Mike

    The stupidity of some of the comments (from both sides) on this board is frightening. It's no wonder we have an enormous deficit, as the majority of people simply vote for who sounds good or connects with them without actually thinking about or understanding the longer term ramifications.

    So because McCain is a Republican, that means he's just like Bush to many of you? One individual says we need change in Washington, but she was a Hillary supporter. Huh? Oh, and Obama is going to do a better job to turn around the economy than McCain, that's laughable. Let's raise taxes accross the board and see what type of economic stimulus that provides. On the other side, we have a few people making no so thinly veiled comparisons of Obama to Hitler. What a joke.

    If people could just tone down the rhetoric and talk about facts instead of fantasy, we'd all be better off. This will not be blowout by either side. Whoever wins, we better start to actually work together to address the long term problems this country faces rather than always voting along party lines and trying to appease voters..

    July 3, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  20. Obama 08: Female, 60, white

    It's all about the electoral math and Obama and his campaign understand that....

    July 3, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  21. Marc in DC

    I'm voting for Nader, a man who has demonstrated he can start and lead a "movement" unlike a certain Hawaii-raised, Harvard-educated elitist.

    July 3, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  22. InspireThis

    Obama does not lie, he just changes his mind....A LOT.

    July 3, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  23. Peter E

    A quick note to CNN, and mostly to your editors:
    I don't expect you to publish my comments because I know you won't. But I do at least want you to read them instead of filtering them through key phrases like 'Obama 08' or 'vote Obama' or 'gobama.'

    I am tired of your pro-Obama bias, filtering the news, only publishing polls that have Obama up, rewording news that make good news about McCain seem sinister, (example: McCain's knowledge of the Columbian 'raid' instead of calling what it was, a rescue operation) and bullying the public into not thinking for themselves but just parrot your selections.
    You've published irrelevant stories about the personal life or campaign tactics of the candidates while suppressing stories about issues that affect our lives, where the candidates stand on those issues, and what their record is on those issues.
    You don't report. You don't analyze. (analysis is based on facts and data, not made-up stuff) You inflame, speculate, and filter with a bias.

    It's not as if I disagree with Obama on all the issues, but now, thanks to the double-standards of CNN's reporting, I refuse to vote for him even if he saw the light and agreed with me on more issues.

    July 3, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  24. jimmy velman




    July 3, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  25. Santiago

    I am still an angry democrat and still planning to vote for McCain. It is evident that neither party elected the best candidate. I still believe McCain will surprise many when he win the presidency; he deserve it. Obama is not ready yet.

    With all the problems in McCain campaign an he still close to Obama... watch out he is going to win...just wait until he put his campaign in order. Those other democrats deserve to loose for not paying attention to the reality of the moment; a moment that deserves a different kind of president.

    July 3, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10