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. ex-Republican for Obama

    Obama did a great job on the tour. He works harder in one week than Bush did the past 7-1/2 years. He needs to take a break and get some rest. Can't say the same about McWar – he takes a break every weekend.
    Gee, I wonder who would work harder as president?

    July 30, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. Linda

    I think Obama's trip actually hurt him. With all the attention his poll numbers should be soaring. I think what the american people saw was an arrogant man more interested in courting world opinion than national opinion. It is one thing to be a "presumptive democratic nominee", Mr. Obama acted like a "presumptive President" and like Bush or not it is offensive to have someone take an office to which he has not been elected.

    July 30, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. Matt-NE

    Most of America is beginning to realize that Obama is less substance than McCain.

    Obama can talk and talk with vague generalities, but has no convictions and stands for nothing.

    America is too smart to send Obama to the White House.

    July 30, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. 68 year old

    We would all be better off if he would have stayed over there with the goofy europeans !

    July 30, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Doesn't like Kool-aid

    I received an email from a buddy of mine who is in Afghanistan. He said that Sen. Obama's visit was a complete joke. He wouldn't shake the hands of the soldiers. He just went in to shoot hoops and get his picture taken with a few troops. 9 countries in 8 days and he know's what's going on? Seriously folks, quit following an "idea." I agree we need change, but change for the better and this guy is not the answer. He did his overseas tour for publicity and that is it. It was not a fact finding mission at all.
    He says he needs to earn the trust of us in the military, but he went the wrong way about it during his publicity tour.

    July 30, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. Mike, TX

    On the contrary, I am now voting for Obama as the next Prime Minister of France.

    July 30, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. Doesn't like Kool-aid

    MMN-Milwaukee WI July 30th, 2008 4:40 pm ET

    I think McCain is putting together a new ad to blame Obama for Alaska GOP Senator Ted Stevens’s legal woes.

    If you spit into the wind, it will blow back on your face McCain
    I hope Sen. Stevens gets the book thrown at him. But it does sound and smell alot like Obama's deal with Rezko...
    They are all crooked, regardless of Party. The only one's who are not are the one's who haven't been caught.

    July 30, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. KiloWhiskey

    I'd like to see Obama do more campaigning overseas: Italy, Africa, India, Poland.....he can stay over they and try and get those people to love him for the next 4 years as far as I'm concerned.

    July 30, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. Independent Voter in Florida

    Disgusting... Hillary got herself in this bind and it is irresponsible for anyone to help her get out. Billary backers: Are you serious? Would you really stand for this if Obama lost and ask you for relief? Of course not, it's ridiculous...

    Obama/AnyoneButClinton 08'

    July 30, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  10. Michelle

    Well, well, Barack Obama–I guess voters can see that a week of
    photo ops doesn't mean much.

    July 30, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. Erin in Edmonds WA

    98 days is enough time for Obama to get his message out, and with McCain constantly going negative–Obama's numbers will improve. The altered electoral map shows that Obama would be president if the election were held today. It is summertime, wait until the college kids get back from break and do their part. Old McFart-in-a-windstorm's edge will deminish.

    July 30, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. Cynthia

    The numbers may did not change much in the polls but it sure did bring out the dishonorable side of Senator McCain. It lets everyone know that the McCain camp is very worried.

    July 30, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Kevin

    summer polls mean crap. Lets talk about something important like an actual problem that needs solving. C'mon CNN. If I wanna read about polls and bounce and I'll check out Chuck Todd on MSNBC. Report some real news

    July 30, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. Obama 08/12

    Your Opinions /Polls stink with bias funny thing no one has ever said they were asked another figment of your imagination which you don't have.
    Go get a Day Job or
    Go to the beach and stick your head in the sand the Sea Life will realize they just located another empty shell they can crawl in .

    July 30, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. Former Republican

    who cares? stop polling people everyday!!!!
    it's inaccurate and starts asking the candidates real questions.
    I sometimes believe these pundits really do this b/c of Job Security
    Stop polling everyday, it's not going to change unless you get your eyes off of it!

    July 30, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. Ohio

    A majority of Americans can not find Iraq on a map. It doesn't surprise me that a majority of Americans think Senator McCain would do better.

    July 30, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. Tony Z- MD

    This is good news because it will get better. The more McCain criticizes- the less we will listen. Expect to see Obama pick up steam in September.

    July 30, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. California Gold

    The reason McCain's criticism of Obama's trip haven't stuck is because McCain has worked hard to earn a reputation as a grumpy old man whose nastiness works to the benefit of his opponent.

    Keep it up John.

    July 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. David, Silver Spring, MD

    More than anything, the poll results show the folly of polls. Did the pollsters ask if the respondents even knew that Obama had gone on an overseas trip?

    Stories on the nightly news can't change opinions of people who don't watch the nightly news.

    July 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Jake

    Don't tell Obama this, he has already had his name embossed on the presidential stationery. Michelle is at Tiffany's ordering the china right now......

    July 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. Carl29

    I really think that McCain's new found negativity is going to turn off a lot of Ind. and Dem. who thought highly of him precisely for his "clean" brand of politics. Look at McCain's negatives because they are going to rise like yeast!!!

    July 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. Noah

    Put Hillary Clinton on that ticket and see Obama's numbers and fundraising sky rocket. I, as one democrat, will not support Obama unless he shows real unity and makes the offer to Hillary to be his veep. Call me names, whatever. I like Obama, but he needs Hillary's experiance to back him up.

    July 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  23. Matt: honestly

    Polls do not show the true status of anything. How many people do you know now that do not have home phones? Polls are not conducted on cell phones, and many people thirty and under do not own a home phone anymore.

    July 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  24. Tim

    Even if McCain wins, he'll have to contend with a predominantly Democratic Congress. We'll have 4 years of stalemate because they are not at all going to let a Republican president have the same level of unchecked, unlimited power as the Republican Congress did. The Dems do not yet hold sufficient majority to overwhelm Republican influence, but that is likely to change in Nov.

    July 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. Allan

    What poll? Look poll at news.aol.com 63% McCain 33% Obama. During his bla bla bla in Germany I did not see American Flag around his stage. No obama.No obama. No obama.

    July 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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