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. Denise Groves

    he said it wouldn't. the media paid more attention to it

    July 30, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  2. Latina for obama(NJ)

    Thats right Brian from pittsburg.

    OBAMA 08

    July 30, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. Donna Canadian

    Obama's trip should have changed the race!! Flitting around the world acting like you already are president , like you deserve it, and like it is in the bag,that kind of thinking cost Hillary the nomination. So it should cost Obama the presidency.
    I thought you Americans would have learned something about voting in an arrogant A.H. Guess you didn't.

    July 30, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. EJO

    The networks ought to be ashamed of themselves. Somehow these polls always seem to paint a picture of gloom and doom for Obama. How about some reposnible coverage for once. With all of the Gaffs and just plain wacky comments that have come from McCain himself there is no way this can be a close race.

    July 30, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. Sick of Republican Tactics!

    Hellooooo! Would somebody please tell me exactly what qualified McSame to be an expert on foreign policy???? Being captured during a failed war (Vietnam) and enduring mistreatment (not having a choice in the matter), and having the same, poor judgement to enter the U.S. into an unnecessary war with Iraq, instead of Afganistan, does not qualify anyone to be president.

    Being a (very old) ex-prisoner of war does not give anyone the qualification, nor good judgement, to be president! If anything, they may have possible mental problems!

    July 30, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  6. Another Republican voting for Obama

    Experience is only as good as it's possessor

    Incompetent people have so called "experience"
    Idiots have so called "experience"
    Criminals have so called "experience"
    Liars have so called "experience"
    Cheaters have so called "experience"

    Experience is only as good as it's possessor

    July 30, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  7. Patrick M

    I don't trust these polls.

    July 30, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. jimntat

    Well, Lisa, my dear. If it IS Hillary, no vote from me, so I guess that evens it out!

    July 30, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  9. wiser

    Senator Obama has only celebrity to offer America. What has he done? What are his accomplishments?

    Americans will not be fooled by an adoring press. We will not support someone with so little experience. The press can keep pushing Senator Obama on us but the voters will not elect him. We are not electing an American Idol. We are electing a president, which is more than a popularity contest.

    We will choose experience, judgment, and a genuine war hero over a zero every time!

    Democrats for McCain!

    July 30, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  10. A Voter for Intelligence/Honesty in Govt

    He was up 5 in June and now he is up 7 and it didn't change.? Silly as these polls are, how many percents do Presidents usually win by??

    New polls have Obama up 9 in both Wasgiungton and Pennsylvania!!

    July 30, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  11. Chut Pata

    Good! He was afraid that his poularity will dip during this time because he is away talking about internation matters rather than being home and talk about domestic problems like gas, housing, and jobs.

    Good news for Obama.

    July 30, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  12. Tara

    It didn't change the race because that was not his INTENTION. He went to learn and meet with leaders from the world, not to gain votes. He's already won the hearts and votes of millions of voters!

    July 30, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. Another Republican voting for Obama

    The Republican Party under the rule of George Bush and Dick Cheney will say anything to get the American people to believe that opening enviromentally sensitive land will bring down gas prices.

    The real plan is to get as much land freed up for the big oil companies before George Bush and Dick Cheney leave office.

    So what the latest polls are saying is that we have a bunch of naive Americans willing to believe the lies coming from the Republican party. Haven't they fooled us enough? How much more of beating can we take?

    July 30, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. Once a Obama Supporter

    People have noticed that Obama says ‘Yes, we can’ but all his policies towards energy independence lead to ‘No, we can’t’.
    1) No new nuclear energy
    2) No coal mining (even when US coal reserves are more than oil reserves in any part of the world, please look at statistics)
    3) No lower taxes
    4) He hasn’t said of any solution to raise the value of dollar.

    So basically Obama;s ‘Yes we can’ = No, we can’t’

    Young people who are following him as a Pied Pier need to know this. He is not the president for us when the country is in recession. He may be good but he needs more experince.

    July 30, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  15. doob

    I did my own little poll and Obama was ahead by 100. This McSame guy is one scary dude.

    July 30, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |

    According to the poll, Obama's lead over McCain inreased from 5 to 7 points, yet this CNN headline states that Obama's lead remains unchanged. CNN has recently been releasing polls that show McCain to be better off than he actually is. To get a true reflection of where this race ACTUALLY stands, I encourage everyone to check out fivethirtyeight.com or electoral-vote.com.CNN is starting to look a whole lot like FAUX NEWS! OBAMA 2008 and 2012!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. ran

    who are these people who get polled.i have never been polled. put the # of people polled and where they are from and not say most of americans. be objective cnn if you can

    July 30, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  18. Reality Check


    You can say whatever you want. Hillary will never never be on the ticket.

    I reject that to ever happen.


    July 30, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  19. Democrats for the white house

    Because some americans refused to admit McCain really has no more FP experience than Obama. Now McCain knows how to catch Bin-Laden, well Johnny america sure could have used your expertise on his capture about 7 years ago. He knows how to win wars well Johnny the vietnam was was a no winner,because america entered it for the same reason we entered Iraq for an unwinable money making situation!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  20. Charles

    The media needs to learn to stop playing with the numbers. They talk about a 51-44 lead as if it's insignificant. A 51-44 victory in November would translate into roughly a 275 electoral vote victory. Seven points sounds more dramatic, but the race is won by the electoral college, and that poll shows Obama with a commanding lead.

    July 30, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  21. Kirk Cunningham

    This write-up of the CNN survey is REDICULOUS...if you read the entire survey, Obama wins on the economy, taxes, jobs, healthcare and gas prices...and these aren't even mentioned in the article!!!

    July 30, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  22. Phil

    Dream on Lisa, it ain't gonna happen, and frankly Obama don't need your vote, as if you really mattered, you my dear is a loud mouth full of nothing but hot stale air.

    July 30, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  23. OBAMA Supporter all the way

    I don't agree. It has changed how people see him for the better.

    They need to ask why McCain can't draw a crowd of people. Who wants a president no one wants to listen to and who doesn't listen to us?

    July 30, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  24. Kirk Cunningham

    PS: the headline of this article implies "no change" in the race. in fact, ther was a 2 percentage point increase in Obama's lead...more than Bush beat Kerry by in 2004. The headline should read "small improvement" in the race to be more accurate. Sloppy reporting CNN.

    July 30, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  25. Chris from NY

    The media is bent on manupulating the polls to make it seem like Obama is not doing well. But we his supporters know he is doing much better than the media will like to admit. We will keep doing what we're doing while the media continues to do what it needs to do to get ratings. November will show them what we already know. I remeber what happened in the North Carolina primaries. Pundits and their polls predicted Obama may win NC by a small margin or even lose it to Hillary. They were in for a rude awakening and suprise of their lives. It will happen again in November.

    July 30, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
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