July 30th, 2008
04:13 PM ET
10 years ago

Poll shows Obama's trip didn't change race

Obama's trip abroad did little to alter the presidential race.

Obama's trip abroad did little to alter the presidential race.

(CNN) - It was a weeklong trip that drew blanket media coverage and sharp criticism from Republicans, but Barack Obama's recent tour abroad did little to alter the standing of the presidential race, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows.

According to the survey - the first national poll conducted entirely after the Democratic presidential candidate's trip to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East, and Europe - the race for the White House has remained virtually unchanged since late June, with Obama holding a 51-44 percent edge over Sen. John McCain. In a similar poll conducted one month ago, Obama held a 5-point lead over the senator from Arizona , 50-45 percent.

The CNN poll of polls, an average of several recent national surveys, tells the same story - a single-digit lead for Obama (48-45 percent) that keeps McCain within easy striking distance of his Democratic rival with less than 100 days before voters weigh in at the polls.

The new survey also suggests the trip - carefully designed to burnish Obama's foreign policy credentials - did little to alter voters' perceptions of how the Illinois senator would handle national security issues.

"Did Obama's trip help his standing with the public on foreign policy issues? Not really," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Obama has not picked up any ground against McCain on foreign issues and some 52 percent think McCain would do a better job than Obama on the war in Iraq - virtually the same number who felt that way in April."

The poll also shows the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has an edge on terrorism, Iran, Afghanistan and the Middle East - in fact, every foreign policy and national security issue addressed tilts toward McCain. (Terrorism, Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Iran, and Immigration.)

But in what is good news for Obama, the poll suggests few of the McCain campaign's criticisms of the trip have stuck - especially charges Obama was presumptuously acting as if he had already won the election, and claims he nixed a visit with injured troops because members of the media could not accompany him.

Instead, more than two-thirds of voters surveyed said the trip was appropriate for a presidential candidate, and 72 percent think Obama cares abut veterans and the troops currently in Iraq.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • Polls
soundoff (429 Responses)
  1. Voice of Reason

    media outlets like CNN need to have better common sense when promoting various surveys and polls, since a grand majority of the time, there is bias in the selection process on whose answers are actually recorded....

    im certain that the number of Americans favoring Barack Obama are so much higher than that supporting McCain. you have to be a moron to vote McCain after analyzing the current trend with the Repubs

    July 30, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. ANGIE

    I would like to know where the polling is taking place they never reveal where the polling is done.

    July 30, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. Brian, Pittsburgh

    While Obama was visiting troops, meeting with heads of state, and giving an incredible speech in Berlin... the media at home was constantly attacking him and ignoring John McCain's many mistakes. And the polls are still even? What a surprise.

    National polls mean nothing. The election will be decided by state-by-state electoral votes. If you look at all the state polls, Obama would win by a LANDSLIDE if the election was held today.

    July 30, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. Biffington, Biff

    It didn't change the race

    because it didn't chage HIS race.

    it didn't change America's corporate media

    it didn't change Focks Knew incessant attacks

    it didn't change Joe Scarboroughs morning barrage

    July 30, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Lisa

    Well if Obama stop stalling and hurry up and pick Hillary as the VP he would win!

    I'm waiting on his decision, No Hillary No Vote!

    July 30, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. Biffington, Biff

    You know.. I remember this tactic from 2004.. the corporate media with John Kerry... "no bounce from his Convention".

    keep it close enough to keep the viewers watching

    keep it close enough to keep the radio listeners listening

    keep it close enough to fire up a depressed republic party base

    keep it close enough to STEAL.

    YEAH.... i remember this movie

    July 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. old politics

    The media is wearing people out with the every day polling.

    July 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. MD in GA

    That's not what the trip was for anyway. Senator Obama's trip accomplished exactly what it was supposed to. Gave him a chance to see first hand what was happening in Iraq, an opportunitiy to talk with the commanders and the chance to sit down with foreign leaders that he will likely be working with come January.

    It also shut the McCain camp up about him going to Iraq. Bet they won't dare him to do much else...

    July 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. Will in Richmond, VA

    We going to talk about all McCain's gaffes yet? He doesn't seem "ready to lead" to me.

    No matter. When the debates start, we'll see his true colors shining through.

    Obama in a blowout.

    July 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. Jack Savedge

    Now that Senator Obama has return from his "vacation" he can pick up his campaign and start dealing with the problems here in the old United States. I am waiting to see what he is going to do to help with the loss of manufacturing jobs here in Ohio, the recession that the Republicans refuse to acknowledge, the 20% loss of value in my 401(k) plan and other issues which affect us here at home. If he isn't interested in working on the problems here at home, he can step aside and let Senator Clinton pick up the Democratic banner. After all, she received more votes than he did.

    July 30, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. Goldstein

    when they announce that Mr McCain has early symptoms of alzheimer's it will change then. He is not flip flopping,He has a medical condition. we cannot have him making decisions with symptoms like that..


    July 30, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. Voter

    I LOVE the ad comparing Obama to Brittany Spears, etc!!!

    Selling yourself on a world scale HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR ACTUAL EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS!!!! A triumph of the ad agencies.

    Obama's oil solution will take a DECADE. We Americans want some drilling NOW! Drill now and proceed to get efficient sources of energy for the future. Just say NO to Obama!!!

    Obama is a FAKE! He will say ANYTHING! His baloney will spend more money than any president in history.

    Obama cannot bring anyone together to do anything. Lugar dragged him to agreeing to a very MINOR bill – that's it!!
    Do not vote for this self serving racist who will pick your pocket at the first opportunity!

    July 30, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. Obamasdaft

    A whirl wind Disney tour of socialist Europe will never help Obama's foriegn policy creditials. Talk about schemes...

    July 30, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. DD, New York

    I don't want a rock star for president, nor do I want a new messiah as president!!!!

    July 30, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. Bobby, Triangle, VA

    CNN your polls is absolutely false!!!!! There is no way McCain is close to Obama in the polls. No matter what BS you guys try to pull, come November you'll know the truth!!!

    July 30, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Sherry, Atlanta

    Trip was not intended to change Race. Senator Obama made the Tour, in order to establish a "Working Relationship" with the Powers That Be. SMART MOVE on his part.

    July 30, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. NY State of mind

    One point higher is a difference CNN= You people there are trying to make this a race. If McCain wins because of the news stunts i hope it hits home hard over the next 4 years. Be careful what you try to imply, it may actually happen!

    Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. Marilyn

    Of course it didn't change things. The trip was just a photo-op. Besides, Europeans can't vote in our elections, so who cares what they think about the candidates!!

    July 30, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  19. Susan

    McBush can continue to try to bushwhack Obama, but it will not work. Why isn't CNN posting or talking about he made up editorial by Dana Millbank ? here was a blatant lie to people, and CNN and the rest of the MSM let McBush slide again! I know this won't be posted because CCNN is so far over the top for McBush it is laughable! Where is balanced journalism?

    July 30, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. Not An Idiot

    So Obama's Still Ahead Then??

    July 30, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. Gary in VA

    Wait until Nov. that final poll will determine it the trip had an impact. Obama 08. I can't wait. I am throwing a big party.

    July 30, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  22. Brennan - Seattle, WA

    Let's see whether it helped or hurt on Nov. 4

    July 30, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. KJ, GA

    Polls don't really represant anything significant its closer to november. Besides, Obama's supporters weren't surprised by success trip and many against Obama will probably be against him no matter what...they are looking for a reason to hate.

    July 30, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. Freida, NYC

    Americans, please vote with your heads and not with your hearts. I strongly believe that Obama is a Socialist and a Muslim. It is crystal clear, he wants to increase taxes to almost 40% for family income over $250,000.00, he doesn't celebrate Xmas, he is loved by all the Socialist European nations (because he shares the same views and values). Americans, please wake up and say no to Obama. Trust me, I do want a real Democrat in the White House, I just don't think Obama is the right one.

    And, one more thing; I think we should have another primary and select two new presidential candidates. I really do not feel comfortable with either Obama or McCain.

    Hillary 2008

    July 30, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. Deb, Allentown, PA

    How is this possible? Ummm Vanna, 44-45% of the US would like to buy a CLUE.

    We need a change if we're going to improve our fate. I was a McCain supporter in 2000, but in the last year, the man has moved so far to the right that I'm surprised he doesn't have whiplash. Obama's not perfect, but he represents the best hope that we have.

    I do wish he'd hold some town hall meetings, sooner rather than later, if for no other reason than to shut up the McCain supporters who call him arrogant.

    You undecided voters who are reading the blogs....please do not fall victim to the GOP's politics of fear.

    July 30, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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