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. Olivia

    It took an awful lot of jet fuel paid for by the taxpayers and his supporters to get there and back.......not to mention the cost of refurbishing of the 747 with it's special O logo for Obama.
    Wow! Not fair......that should have been worth at least a little teeny bump at home.

    July 30, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  2. Dew5050


    Cut the crap. Obama did not go overseas to improve his standing with the unreliable polls. He achieved his goal, which was to show he could relate well with foreign leaders and that he has their confidence.

    The last time I checked, mccain also went overseas too and nobody is talking about his trip's impact on the polls. Or do you want to tell me that polls are meant just for obama?

    I know you won't publish this, but you must read it before you decide not to publish it. And that is my goal. Read it!

    One last thing, out of all the major networks, cnn is the worst! Bravo, continue racing to the bottom. Very soon, the weather channel will overtake you!

    July 30, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. Yemi

    It went from a 5 point lead to a 7 point lead, and you believe nothing changed???

    U guys are low

    July 30, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  4. McBride, SLC, UT

    Bottom line is Obama is ahead. Oh the media will try to distract from that anyway they can. Why are they not asking why McCain is not up after his trip abroad? Where is McCain's flag pin?????? Come on Media. Start talking about how the candidates stand on the issues and how this will affect Americans! Oh no. That would be too responsible.

    July 30, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  5. benvictor

    Great, now what will he do next? Methinks the cameras and reporters were suckered once (shame on Obama) but will not be suckered twice (if so, shame on them). This cannot be good news, especially since everybody seems to run from him when approached to be his VP. As a Hillary Democrat, I am still disgusted with this whole outfit over their treatment of Hillary.

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

    A 7 point lead (51-44) is "unchanged" from a 5 point lead from last month? What is CNN's margin of error? Ten points?

    And how does CNN come to the conclusion that the trip overseas made no difference if over 70% of those polled thought it was appropriate?

    July 30, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  7. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Obama called it when he returned. But, while overseas, McBush did nothing to help himself either. Instead of playing up his credentials, he was like a dog tied up in the hot sun......growling and angry. He is running scared, and attacking Obama is his way of fighting back. It's childish and I think that little Johnnie McBush should be put in timeout and sit in the corner until he learns how to play well with others.

    July 30, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. New Voter for McCain

    Well he makes this big deal out of a trip to Iraq to see what is happening off of ragging from McCain. So he goes over there like he is the president already and panders to the people.
    Too bad he forgot, oops, dissed our wounded troops. What a guy. All talk and no action. All pandering, all arrogance.
    I just HOPE he goes away and real soon.
    He is dropping in the polls and he will continue.
    MCCain 08

    July 30, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. Mommyof2

    Um, actually, when you look at the electoral vote, it's not a close race at all. Almost every state will turn blue for Obama in November - including my OWN, Ohio!

    July 30, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  10. laura, CA

    As a Dem, former Clinton supporter, it makes me sad and regretful that Obama is our presumptive nominee...Now, it is clear that his appeal has peaked. Unfortunetly, that means he won't increase support, but could lose it. He never appealed to me and when Clinton dropped out, it was clear that I wasn't the only one unhappy with the new choice (ie Obama's numbers weren't boosted).
    With this new lack of a boost, Obama isn't reaching those that do not support him and seeing as how he has inundated the media with his face, speeches and rhetoric...what else can he do?


    July 30, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  11. Aaron Hussein

    How do more people feel McCain would be better w/ the war in Iraq? I jsut don't get it. It was a war that never should have happened that McCain supported. Obama was right about moving forces over to Afghanistan. Obama was right about taking with Iran. Obama has been right again and again and again and again, ok you get the idea. McCain has been wrong. What are people smoking?

    July 30, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. Terri, Independent Thinker from Texas

    A better question would be "Did John McCain's trip abroad change the race?" Let's not forget the McCain went on a trip first then all but dared Obama to do the same. Once he did, McCain and camp starts whining about Obama receiving too much coverage. Geesh!!! Make up your minds.

    Better yet, I recall seeing an article in which Obama himself felt that he'd drop in the polls during his visit abroad. Seems McCain's camp is whining for nothing.

    July 30, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  13. Not An Idiot

    July 30th, 2008 4:17 pm ET

    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.
    Right on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    if you all notice most of the press coverage obama gets are negative .. Mc Cain ... most he gets are neutral

    July 30, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  14. California Voter

    Why should his trip abroad change the race? You have to be an American citizen to vote for a President. And, thankfully, most Americans are not fooled into believing that Obama's trip abroad was anything more than great photo ops.

    By the way, not everyone was impressed by his speech in Berlin among the crowd attending.

    July 30, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. Andy

    Yeah, it was a great week for McCain. He had those impressive appearances at the supermarket reading from cue cards, and the interview with Katie Couric where he arrogantly insisted that Obama didn't know the recent history of Iraq. But - woops! - it was McCain who was wrong. Good for him CBS News edited out his mistake so his poll numbers wouldn't drop too far. After all, the most important thing is not to select the most qualified candidate, it's to generate the most advertising revenue.

    July 30, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  16. Brian

    It did because I was undecided and now I think Obama has my vote!

    July 30, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  17. Ridgeway

    Obama supporters. Perfect example of what happens when stupid people get together in large groups.

    July 30, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  18. Canadian black man for Obama.

    Once a man twice a child>This is Senator McCain second childish behavour. McCain is now behaving like a child with his ad attacks.

    To compare a fello senator popularity as a celeb without real contrast with the celebrities in question, is very childish.

    When will McCainflip flop goind to learn?

    July 30, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  19. Lou R

    I have come to believe that many persons do not see the leadership qualities of Obama being recognized in the polls. Its appearing people accept the reac/attackt form rather then an organized approach to addressing issues. Obama has shown bold leadership, a kind that is unfamiliar to many people. Unfortunate.

    July 30, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  20. Dave, Illinois

    The adults are waking up and realizing that Obama is a grifter.

    July 30, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  21. therealist

    Another historical bad omen for Obama..

    July 30, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  22. RyanD.


    Who cares?

    We're fired up and ready to go!

    Obama 08'

    July 30, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. Jon

    Looking forward to 8 years of Obama.

    July 30, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. EDW

    1. McCain supported the drilling moratorium; now he’s against it.
    2. McCain strongly opposes a windfall-tax on oil company profits. Three weeks earlier, he was perfectly comfortable with the idea.
    3. McCain thought Bush’s warrantless-wiretap program circumvented the law; now he believes the opposite.
    4. McCain defended “privatizing” Social Security. Now he says he’s against privatization (though he actually still supports it.)

    July 30, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  25. joe kiloz

    OK, lets get this right: Obama is against war, except he wants more brigades in Afghanistan to fight an enemy that is not present in Iraq. He tells us he will negotiate with our enemies. Why didn't he meet with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan ?
    Then he says he will convice Europe to pony up their bodies. Did anyone get the impression that Sarkozy, Merkel, et al are going to give him a soul ?
    Why didn't he go to Iran ?
    I don't know that I trust Mr. Obama at all in defending all of us. His utterances are not backed with any meat that shows a crisp plan for victory.

    July 30, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
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