July 30th, 2008
04:13 PM ET
6 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. mabel floyd

    mcBush is so jealous he can not stand it. he says he would like to speak to the german people also, but do it as pres. oh–my dear man-fat chance. for one thing few people would come out to hear you speak–they already know you are more of the bush fiasco -

    July 30, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. Intelligence is ruling the world and ignorance is bearing the burden

    So what if his visit didn't change the poles? Hopefully Obama's visit changes the world perception of us. The current administration is hell bent on imperialism. In fact why aren’t we impeaching this president? This guy has taken the constitution and thrown it out the window.

    If he is not impeached we will pay dearly for this down the road. Bush has set a precedent that other presidents can use at any time. Putting all the spin to the side I always thought that our government’s main purpose is to protect it’s citizens while upholding the constitution.

    Our freedoms have now been diminished and democracy has been trashed. Unless we elect a president that can restore our reputation and our rule of law here and abroad we have a bleek future ahead.

    Elect Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. Mat-Raleigh NC

    I don't understand why half this article is negative towards Senator Obama. He has a 7 point lead and has broken 50% support.. With those kinds of numbers the election would literally be a landslide. It seems CNN is intent on driving the narrative that the race is neck and neck when places like Pollster.com have Barack Obama already clinching the magic 270 electoral votes without counting toss up states!

    July 30, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. KP

    Not a lot of response from the Obamites on this one, eh? Ha.

    July 30, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  5. Belle2

    Obama has already fooled all the people he can fool. Now it just depends who the rest of us believe to be worst candidate-McCain or Obama.

    July 30, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  6. Jeff Hollett

    The seeds have been planted. Lasting impression will be more evident than first impression.

    July 30, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. Mike

    Amazing Just goes to show that the country is about eqaully divided along political lines with their minds already made up. Anyone who can watch McWar smile and sing , bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran, and still regard him as the stronger candidate on foriegn affairs. Those people have drank the Bush Koolaid and nothing can reach them. It would be amusing,if the future of our country was not at risk.

    July 30, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. Proud American

    Give it time. America will come around. We dont like to rush into things.
    Obama '08

    July 30, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  9. Steve

    It's still a long, long way to Election Day. McCain has proven time and time again that he's only vaguely aware of what's going on outside the US, except maybe in Iraq, where his solution is to bomb, bomb, bomb for 100 years (typical fighter-pilot mentality). McCain certainly has entertainment value, and keeps me and many others laughing. If America votes him in to office (not likely), America gets what it asked for. It won't be good. For those that think McCain has a better grip on foreign relations/policy than Obama, just remember that McCain thinks like Bush. Bush has basically taken the US from a respected world power, to a bully-state, that is feared, mocked, and mistrusted by most other countries, enemy and ally alike. If this seems reasonable, then vote for McCain. Then pack your kid's clothes for boot camp. There will be war after war after war.

    Polls as close as the ones CNN has been quoting really don't amount to a hill of beans. The REAL poll will come when the curtains in the voting booths close. I'm betting the entire budget that PUMA has to spend (well, OK that might only be $20.00 or so) on Obama.

    July 30, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. Russell

    What's up with CNN's negative spin on this story?

    A month ago a poll shows Obama is up by 5 points.

    Obama goes to Europe and gets tons of press.

    In a poll taken in the days after he returns he's up by 7 points.

    How is this bad news for Obama?

    July 30, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  11. Michele, Oregon

    Why would anyone have more confidence in McCain's foreign policy credentials? They need to ask more specific questions, because the only thing we know about McCain's foreign policy is based on the strategies of war. Maybe they need to ask the population who they are more confident in to divert war by diplomacy and good policy? Who do they believe will elevate America's perception in the world?

    I blame the media for their subtle leading questions that do not get to the heart of the matter. They pose the question to imply that foreign policy is equal to war because that is all we have known for so many years. And McCain knows how to win wars????? Another unsubstantiated claim/lie by McCain.

    Ask more specific questions that give a little credit to the intelligence to the American people and you will see confidence levels rise for Obama and jumps in the polls.

    July 30, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. CF Texas

    Too much fear and smear by the McBush campaign and by Mcshame himself, that's what affecting it. But we all know that Senator Obama had do make the trip just to show the world and the McBush that he could do the job and he is more capable than Mcshame. Look what happened in Germany and the rest of his trip. Soldiers were eager to meet him, and that's just the beginning of his campaign, imagined that. McBush had a campaign speech in Canada, and some other parts of the world and we did not here much about his welknown aroung the world. Look at Obama, first time he was perorming his foreign affairs, surprising the world. Obama for President!

    July 30, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. pam Eugene OR

    COME ON CNN!
    All I am trying to say is the American people are sick of McCain's tactics and they are backfiring on him.
    Please post and stop putting all my comments in moderation. Texas Trail Dog always gets thru with all his vile comments and you can't post this???
    What's up? You have to be really repugnant to get posted?

    July 30, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  14. Beverly, NYC

    Could it be because Obama's race hasn't changed. He's still black. If Edwards were the nominee and received the same positive embrace from European leader would anyone called him arrogrant, pompous etc. I think not.

    Or could you be polling the same elderly homebounds with landlines and no computer? All these people see is someone who looks like them and someone who doesn't.

    Whatever the percentage points quoted above he's still in front of McCain. The real poll is November 4th.

    July 30, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  15. Unshrub

    Eight years ago McCain was a nice guy, someone I wanted to win the White House, now he has become a pig in politics. He is the reason we need someone like Obama, someone new. McCain has become more personal against Obama than any other Presidential candidate in American history. I now despise the pig. He does not deserve to be treated with the respect one should give a Presidential candidate. And I despise those who support him. For the record, I have never voted for a democrat for President since voting for Richard Nixon, but I will this time, and I am going to give him lots of money. It is time for change and McCain is demonstrating he is not the one to do it.

    July 30, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  16. Jill in Chicago

    I am not voting for Obama, because his ego is too big to take a strong opponent and join forces to have the most exciting democratic ticket in US (not world) history. NY times article today is estimating that 3rd party candidates will garner 7% of the vote from disgruntled republicans and democrats -calling it a protest vote. Nader only had 2% in 2000. I am not sure about Perot in 1992, however, it is inevitable that history will repeat here. It amazes me to hear Obama fans saying it will be a landslide, it was not a landslide on super tuesday, and he did not win the primary by a landslide. Too funny, can't wait for November.

    No Intern Celebrities for President

    July 30, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  17. Eileen from Maine

    "The collective media made sure of that when they coordinated with the McCain campaign to see what the theme of his attack ad was going to be (presumptuous and arrogant) and then made sure that every story for a week had that theme running through it. And then the media runs a poll asking people if the trip gave them that perception that Obama was arrogant. Imagine, they did get that perception...so does that mean the stories were true or does it mean the media created the perception.

    And aren't you breaking campaign finance laws by running McCains fabricated attack ads over and over for free?

    July 30, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  18. Felly

    McSame is nothing but a cranky old man.

    July 30, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  19. Obama 08 - rocking it baby

    Too bad America Polls is not showing what the world knows.... that is Obama is the best canidate for America!

    July 30, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  20. Pam

    McCain's next ad will be one blaming Obama for WWII, the HIndenburg explosion and Hurrican Katrina.

    July 30, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  21. OHIO

    THE MEDIA SHOULD GET THERE FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE THEY REPORT NEWS.

    I AM PISSED OFF ABOUT HOW THE MEDIA REPORTED THE INCORRECT STATEMENT OF MR.OBAMA TODAY.

    IT WAS NOT AN OBAMA QUOTE MEDIA!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  22. Yay for Socialism!

    So what exactly did the pupil learn on his little field trip?

    July 30, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  23. Matt

    McCain= ATTACK ATTACK BOMB

    July 30, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. Barbara Campbell

    How many of the cell-phone-only folks were polled?

    July 30, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. Chris Kirkpatrick

    I'll be honest. Up until recently I had made up my mind for McCain. His war record and experience speak volumes. But we are voting for more than just a flashy resume, and McCain's recent actions helped reveal to me that despite his list of qualifications, his childish rantings about Obama's Middle East / Europe tour did a lot to spoil the image I had of him. On the flipside, Obama's trip showed me that he is willing to grow (his experience in these regions has been lacking) and that he would be willing to act diplomatically with those that have traditionally been our enemies. McCain, though, would simply continue with the status quo. In the race for the presidency, I have finally decided that Obama is going to cross the finish line (because McCain needs a walker!)

    July 30, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
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