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. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    I think Obama "sealed the deal" with that trip abroad. He demonstrated that he can not only stand on the world stage effectively, he can open doors that have been closed to us for quite some time now. The polls don't reflect the huge wave of first time voters that will enthusiastically cast their votes for Obama in November. It's going to be "landslide" city.

    July 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. vamon

    A new poll showing Obama over 50% for the first time and what is Cnn's headline? Obama's trip didnt change anything. Cnn is stuck on negativity when it comes to Obama.

    July 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. Ray Lopez

    ALl that money ated, had he visited the troops I bet that would have won more hearts over. It's all still up in the air until I see some debating then we will really see were these to Gentlement stand on the real issues affecting us Americans, not the Germans, Israelis or the French

    July 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. Ayse - London England

    I think that the Obama world trip made him a strong candidate for EU President.

    July 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. alicia

    Now imagine if Obama had lost a point or two... CNN would say "why does Obama have (insert ethnic group) problem".. Gosh polls mean nothing now.. I will care about polls after the conventions.. The only poll I care about is why is the cost of food so high..

    July 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. It will help Obama

    Just wait. Obama's waiting. This will help Obama, when we get closer to the election. That's when video images will show American voters that Obama has a positive and powerful stature on the world stage.

    July 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. R.I.F.

    I've never seen a narrative of a poll where someone is leading by 7 points be so negative to the frontrunner. The media is so critical of Obama. If Obama wins the election by 7 points then it would be an absolute blowout. Most general elections are won by 3 to 4 points. Also, his lead GREW from 5 to 7 points. How is this not a change?

    July 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  8. Gerald in Georgia

    PLEASE!!!! Has there ever been any candidate under the mirco scope
    of the media like Senator Obama. All you hear from the so-caled liberal media is "why can't he close the deal? " Who is he" , Why is he wearing that neck-tie?", where is he flag pin?", "who is his wife?", "Is he Black enough?", "Is he one of us?" (code word for safe for white poeple to trust) " Is he presidential?" "Is he too presidential?" "is he arrogant?" "what is he doing in th gym and not visiting sounded troops?" The media doesn't love Obama, they just want to be the first to report any slip-ups sp that can run it over and over forever to increase ratings. John Mcain is 300 years old and yet the media stays clear of calling him an old man with a power fixation. How many times has this guy ran for president?? it is a sad day when America would rather have a president that they would like to have a beer with rather than a president with a fresh new vision for not only our country, but for our world. I tell you what America, keep on voting for your potential beer drinking buddies and one day when the drinking is done China owns every American Company located in America and Every Amercian owned country is located every where but America. India owns every service job once owned by hard working Americans and the rich politicians like Rove and Cheny and Mcain and Bush are laughing all the way to the Texas banks, maybe you'll wish you had thouth twice about voting with your prejudices and voting with your best intrest.

    Ok CNN do what you always do to my comments, hang it out there for moderation until you close this for comments. No ne ever get to read Comments that make real sense.

    July 30, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. don

    Where are they getting these numbers for the polls?? I've never been called by a pollster or anyone I know either. I quite sure the poll numbers doesn't represent the various ethnic and racial groups in america.

    July 30, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  10. seah5 Ohio

    Obama was visiting the world. He might have grabbed some world points, but had nothing to do with his campaign.

    Maybe he thought it would. Although it should not have.

    America is here, Americans were here.

    His Speech in Germany did not help him, I think it hurt more than it helped. Him refusing to visit the troops was horrible, No matter what stupid excuse he tried to use. He let those boys and girls down, and he should not of.

    His world tour was seen as a Rock Star tour, Him trying to win popularity with them not Americans.

    If he wants to impress America He needs to sit down, and answer Questions one to one with Americans. About his polices and the details and the how and what, and when and how they will work, all the facts. Not just rattle off scripted issues. That seems to be all he wants to do.

    July 30, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. concerned

    Obama showed his bold, arrogant and this election is mine again.
    I will give – he is a great speaker – but with no substance.

    People aren't stupid.

    We don't really have a good candidate on either side. My vote will go to McCain only because of his experience. All the things in this United States (gas, home foreclosures, taxes,) mean nothing if we are attacked again. You can give Bush credit for that one – we have been safe.

    Too little experience when it comes to Obama.

    July 30, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. marianna

    Obama trip didn't change the race? Of course not !

    He is still African-American 😉

    July 30, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. Ray Lopez

    All that money wasted, had he visited the troops I bet that would have won more hearts over. It's all still up in the air until I see some debating then we will really see were these two Gentlemen stand on the real issues affecting us Americans, not the Germans, Israelis or the French

    July 30, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. Debbie

    Good evening trolls,

    I've been on the Political fact check blog and guess what, those posting here, on BOTH sides are dead wrong 99% of the time.

    Gosh, you've got to love the educated voter!

    July 30, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. Doug, New Jersey

    The troops in Iraq all say that Obama was just looking for photo ops, nothing else. He didn't care about them at all, even ignoring them as they said hi and asked him questions. They felt that Obama was looking down on them as if they were worthless trash.

    It is no wonder he is the Dem nominee, he feels the same way about our brave men and women as most liberal Democrats do.

    The next time a hateful, dishonest lib talks about how McCain wants our troops to die and doesn't care about them, remember that his son has already faught in Iraq. He just doesn't talk about it because if he were a liberal Democrat it would be included in everyone of his speeches.

    One last thing, a majority of liberal Democrats have no issues with tourturing or killing right wing Americans, it has become that sick, just read what they type on the net, it is time to face the facts about the left in America.

    July 30, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. Joel in Corona

    How about the SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS as well as the SENATOR
    FROM ARIZONA spend less time abroad and more time closer to DC,
    where they can do the job they were originally elected to do. No sitting member of congress should be able to shirk their responsibility to run for another office.

    July 30, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. Rich Moore

    Wow. Obama crosses the 50% threshold and all you can do is spin how bad this poll is for him? 'Poll shows Obama's trip didn't change race'? Why don't you just say 'New poll is GREAT NEWS FOR MCCAIN?'

    July 30, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  18. mb--texas

    cnn trying to stir something up.Instead of reporting Obama is up
    51 to 44 sevn points difference they have to mix a lot of other stuff
    in to polls and then by the time they get through the poll number
    they hope that you forget that Obama is up seven points.

    July 30, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  19. Elrod

    This makes sense. The trip wasn't supposed make some major polling dent. It was supposed to provide Obama with images that he could use in advertising in the fall, and experiences he could cite in debates. He doesn't have to lead McCain in foreign policy and national security. He just can't get crushed in those categories. As long as he is "acceptable" to Independents and conservative Democrats as Commander in Chief (not better than McCain, just acceptable), then he can win on economic issues. The trip, at the very least, makes him look acceptable. He certainly didn't look like a buffoon overseas, or appear like he had no idea what he was doing. That's all that matters.

    July 30, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  20. Mark Ramsey MD Milwaukee WI

    Obama, there is a sure way to get those poll numbers up. Choose Hillary as your running mate. 1/2 of the democratic primary voters chose her. How can you talk about unity and not include her on the ticket? It makes no sense. Obama/Clinton '08!!!

    July 30, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  21. KE

    "If the Democrats can make clear our vision, which is not for larger government but is for a responsive, efficient, and honest government that is listening to the voices of the American people, if the American people can feel confident that the institutions here in Washington are working for them and not on behalf of special interests, then I think this can be an incredible election," he said.

    ...honest government that is listening to the voices of the American people? Then nominate Hillary, the American people has spoken already. I know nobody in the media can talk about it but every polls show Hillary a better candidate.

    July 30, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. McArsenic

    even Obama said he did not expect the trip to do anything in the polls..news here?

    July 30, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  23. BR

    Oh, how the kool-aid drinkers whine. It is tough when you back an empty suit. His trip summed that up. There is a reason all the marxist Euros support this guy. Here in the U.S. where we don't believe in that, support is not going to be the same. How tough it will be with another 4 years of a Republican Pres.

    July 30, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  24. James Hussein, SC

    Senator Obama did not take his trip to prop up the poles. He took the trip to visit the troops, the war situation on the two fronts, and meet some of our global leaders. If Senator Obama felt that taking these trips would make his ple numbers go up, then he would have gone sooner and more often.

    July 30, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Peter Thickwood

    I heard that McCain is putting together a new ad to blame Obama for the French Revolution. Is there any truth to that?

    July 30, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
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