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. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    I think that the pollsters are mising the full thrust of Obama's overseas trip. I do not for a second believe that Barack or his campaign felt that one trip would suddenly make him out to be a foriegn affairs expert. What the trip did show was that he could hold his own with these foriegn leaders. If he failed in this regard, we would have seen a drop in the polls. As he has succeeded in this regard, the numbers will not change but it will allow him to work on other misconceptions.

    July 30, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. Sane John

    "Poll shows Obama's trip didn't change race"

    He's still black?

    July 30, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. H-ROD


    July 30, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. Dave

    51 to 44 percent lead for Obama?
    Meaningless unless one knows the Electoral College result of that lead. It's a simple popularity poll otherwise with no correlation to the election.

    July 30, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. Montana is Obama Country


    McCain... Leave BRITNEY ALONE....!!


    July 30, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. James

    I have never been polled.

    No one I know of has ever been polled.

    Where do these polls come from? Japan?

    July 30, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. fafa

    CNN is getting annoningly conservative. Are you afraid being tagged in love with senator Obama. Senator Obama negative media reporting over the last 6 weeks has been 75% compared to about John McCain 50%
    So please I look at you guys for fair and balnced reporting but can I still trust you. Some ( yeah conservative fellow of mine) hinted CNN stands these days for Conservative Network News. Could that be true?

    July 30, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Obama Supporter from FL

    And in other news, polls are meaningless because half of America probably isn't even aware of who the candidates are, and won't be until November. If ever.

    July 30, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. clark

    It's amazing to me, more than 40 years ago we elected a man with considerably less experience than Obama and who didn't have even a fraction of the understanding of politics that Obama has.
    Yet we HEAR an articulate man speaking the truth concerning our life and the world we live in today, we HEAR the things we know need to be said, and we HEAR a message that resonates with hope and optimism and his polling numbers remain low and close to his rival.

    People there is only one real answer to what we're SEEING. Unfortunately we aren't that much better educated than we were in the 60's, if not less educated now. We SEE a black man, we FEEL the hostility that still remains in all of us an we react accordingly.

    If these same messages were being said by a white, charismatic and engaging individual (like a JFK), McCain would be a distant 2nd.

    The truth hurts people, but not like it's to hurt in after 4 years of the McCainster!

    July 30, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Terry

    Not everything Barack does can be measured in a poll. He did an excellent job during his overseas trip and having 200,000 people attend his speech says alot about his appeal outside of the country.

    July 30, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Kevin,FL

    HAHA Mr Over Confident, Obama's going to lose despite what the mood of the country is

    July 30, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. mwm

    7-pt. lead?i'd say that's quite remarkable for a black man ,in a white man's world.i'm native american/caucasion,by the way.

    July 30, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. Robert

    Obama is full of lies, and I think it amusing when a legion of Obama supporters grovel and insult on this ticker, instead of actually having an open mind on issues. Anyways, I have hope...that Obama loses.

    July 30, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. Rick

    Who's "moderating" the comments today, CNN? I think "editing" would be a better word. Anything that isn't supportive of Obama ends up on the cutting room floor. You people are a joke.

    July 30, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    *** UPDATE *** Obama just responded outside of Bell's Restaurant in Lebanon, MO: "You know, I don’t pay attention to John McCain’s ads, although I do notice he doesn’t seem to have anything to say very positive about himself. He seems to only be talking about me... You need to ask John McCain what he’s for and not just what he’s against."

    July 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Vig

    Obama is about Obama. Behind his smiley face is a power-driven individual who really had the "audacity" to present himself on the world stage AS IF already elected. We are about to get rid of one peacock in the White House, we don't need another one. Dump Mr. Arrogance.

    July 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Michigan Voter

    Obama took a risk, walked a tightrope in an area (foreign policy) where he was deemed 'weak' and did a perfect job. America yawns through the poll results. We don't get that how we relate to the rest of the world affects our jobs, economy, quality of life, etc.

    As usual, we will get what we deserve in November. We can take a risk and try something new, or stay the course of tired, bankrupt 20th century ideas. It's your choice, people.

    Obama '08

    July 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. Obama 08

    Polls will sway back and forth for the next few months. The only thing we know is that Obama is ahead, but not by much.

    I am so tired of McCain's tactics. Please America. Do not reward him for being desperate.

    July 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. Brandon Hillary PUMA 4Mc

    Cnn please report the whole story including the gallup poll with Mc Cain up 49/45 that newsweek your biased competiton covered after his infamous european love fest.
    People found it presumptuos and it did nothing to prove that he is qualified or presidential. It fed this idolism and last time I check Americans were voting for president not socialist europeans.

    "Not this Time"
    Mc 08/ Hillary 2012

    July 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. BJGT

    We cannot have a US president whose only qualification is being a POW.

    July 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. Elariia

    First, Obama's international trip was superb. Despite the MSM and McCain's charges of arrogrance, the young senator handled himself admirably and is to be commended.

    Secondly, the poll can be interpreted in a different way. Obama's lead on McCain increased from 5 to 7 points. And while 52 percent of voters think McCain would do a better job on foreign affairs, 48 percent of voters think Obama would do better, a statistical tie.

    As usual, McCain's base (the MSM) slant the poll toward him.

    (P.S. Why are my posts always awaiting moderation?)

    July 30, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. The McCryptKeeper

    OF COURSE the trip was appropriate for Obama! McSame was suggesting Obama take such a trip awhile back!!

    July 30, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. Greg-Mpls


    July 30, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. KE

    Senator Barack Obama granted himself hero status without an actual accomplishment. He is allegeable because he owns the hope and change message for the whole world. So how he can meet with real heroes without the camera or publicity to make him look better? What Obama does or say nowadays appear to be calculative and tactical. What’s lacking? It’s sincerity.

    Senator Barack Obama CAN start playing everything right, but he cannot replace our “distrust” in him. More exposé is what we want, not only about Senator Obama but the whole Democratic Party. The message of the liberals sounding more like for the elitists only, it’s a Members Only Club and, the voters, oh yes the voters, who are they? yes, those clinging people… those can’t get over people…

    July 30, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. gina simpson

    I just love all of these "Polls". Maybe you should do some polling in Racine, Wi .....which is where I am from.

    ALOT of my friends and people I work with have said that watching Obama and the meticulous way that he handled himself, watching how he was not only excepted.....but also loved in the Countries that he visited , and the way that he was recieved by these countries Leaders .....impressed them so much and gave them some outlook on how an Obama Presidency would be veiwed by the rest of the World (as oppossed to the Bush Presidency) that they are now more then comfortable with voting for Obama.

    July 30, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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