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. Nova from NV

    Obama's trip is all about publicity and bolstering his foreign policy credentials (or lack of it). Does this man have a "Realistic" plan to solve our economic problems or energy problems? Solar and wind will not solve the energy needs of America because it is still costly and not enough. Does Obama's campaign plane run on Solar?

    July 30, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  2. Ryuken

    I'm not voting for Senator Obama if he doesn't ask Hillary to be his VP. I don't care how many trips overseas he takes or how many people he unites!

    July 30, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. Supporter 08

    Obama 08!!

    MMN-hollarious statement

    July 30, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  4. Bruce

    Liberals everywhere are crudding in their drawers at the prospect that the best candidate they've had in 40 years may yet lose this election.

    Attention Quebec and Europe: get ready for a steady stream of American liberals invading your country in about December 2008...

    July 30, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. arbite

    The media, always timid about doing their jobs, is typically reporting McCain's charges and the fact that the public doesn't buy them without the crucial piece of information– they are false.

    McCain decided in his own head why Obama does and doesn't do anything, and then runs ads to that effect. Unless McCain can start bending spoons with his mind, his wild charges only demean the man.

    July 30, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. JF

    Does anyone else have problems with the logic here, in which a 7 point lead is supposed to be "virtually unchanged" from a 5 point lead–hmm–which "tells the same story" as a 3 point lead which is, by my count, 4 points less than 7? Put it this way: would you rather be leading by 7 or 3 if you were running for office? Or be behind by 3–which the story calls "striking distance"–or 7?

    How about this way of looking at it: Barack Obama increased his lead slightly, but noticeably, in the wake of his successful European trip. The 7 point margin more than twice the lead than the CNN poll of polls has been showing, and may be accounted for by...

    There, that doesn't feel so bad, does it?

    July 30, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. pumpkin

    Lets take a poll:

    Who is tired of polls?

    *raises hand*

    July 30, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. Brian

    There Polls....come on...don't beleive the hype...Obama's on top!

    July 30, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. ProudToBeDemocrat

    when Mccain poits one finger at obam, three finngers are pointing at him that will translate obama will win the presidential election 3 to 1 end of story.

    July 30, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. Whats left in your wallet?

    Obama in a LANDSLIDE. Republicans want to make sure they get all but the lint from your pockets before they are out on their ears.They may never raise taxes but will always make sure they get three times as much from us in other ways.Its time to put regulations back on the oil companies and the speculators.

    July 30, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. karen-phoenix

    Obama is our only honest hope for a future for America. NO MORE WARS for oil. Peace is patriotic and that is what the rest of the world knows. We just have to catch up with Europe's intelect. Obama is ahead and he is doing it honestly and truthfully and that is what we want. NO MORE HATE ADS. The republicans have nothing left and I just turn off the TV or switch the channel so all you TV stations out there do not accept TV ads from the republican party because they make most of us just change the channel. Go Obama.

    July 30, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  12. Voter

    Americans are pretty nervous about little Barry. And who wouldn't be? He's comparing himself to the Almighty. So full of himself, I can't stand to look at him or listen to him.

    A celebrity president, a la Jesse Ventura, Arnold S., etc. And Obama isn't any smarter than either of these two clowns. But his packagers are – they are creating a Supreme Being who will change everything!

    All problems will be solved. All the money you want will fall out of the sky. The lions will lie down with the lambs.

    I just can't wait for the morning after when everyone wakes up and sees the result.

    As Pogo said, "I have seen the enemy, and he is us."

    July 30, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  13. John

    McCain doesn't know it but......
    Yes, Obama has already won this race!!!!!!!

    Hillary didn't realize when she was beat either, and she is still in debt over it!

    First Hillary, then McCain!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |


    July 30, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. Rob Johnson

    The major danger for Obama was that he would do something wrong, not look Presidential, and his numbers would go DOWN significantly.

    With McCain (and Hillary, for that matter) making such a big deal about his lack of experience, he needed to prove that he could pull off this trip without looking like a "rookie" who was in over his head.

    To quote Bush, Mission Accomplished.

    July 30, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  16. FactCheck

    McCain's newest attack ad: "Obama is responsible for feeding Bonds steroids, the pollution in Beijing and (in white makeup) causing all that ruckus in The Dark Knight".

    July 30, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  17. Paul Jones

    Obama's World Tour doesnt mean he is ready to lead...I am just waiting for the rest of the people in this country to wake up....

    July 30, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  18. Kelby from Houston, TX

    Polls show a limited selected number of people who answer stupid questions. You know who should be polled? The regulars on CNN Poltical ticker! You guys posted a story earlier that said the "majority of America wants offshore drilling. That was hilarious seeing as the vast majortiy of EVERYBODY who posted a response to the story was ADAMANTLY AGAINST OFF SHORE DRILLING, including myself from TEXAS. The bottom line of this post is YOUR POLLS ARE CRAPPY and they have been crappy since FOX stole the election for BUSH. I remember when one could rely on exit polling. How about a story on the general consensus of people who give full comments on stories instead of these stupid polls


    July 30, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  19. Mary

    McCain is as dillusional as Hillary Clinton!!
    Neither realizes when they are beat!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  20. Biffington, Biff

    C'mon CNN.... my post has been awaiting moderation a full 23 minutes before the first post you have up here...

    _ __ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    July 30th, 2008 4:17 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    It didn't change the race

    because it didn't chage HIS race.

    it didn't change America's corporate media

    it didn't change Focks Knew incessant attacks

    it didn't change Joe Scarboroughs morning barrage

    July 30, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. Jos/TN

    it does show a better chance of America regaining its prominence in the world again,

    July 30, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Larisa, Chicago IL

    Is this the same candidate that promised to lead positive campaign? All we hear from McCain camp is blaming Obama for everything – doesn't matter if it's policy or appearance. Nothing new here.

    July 30, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. Mark Decker

    So Obama moving from a 5 point lead to a 7 point lead means the race is "unchanged." Yet I've seen CNN trumpet one-point increases for McCain as him "gaining ground." There is no consistency here, other than CNN and other media outlets consistently trying to make this race seem "close" when in fact Obama enjoys a steady and comfortable polling lead.

    July 30, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. Pascal

    Obama may not be winning outright in the polls on National security issues but his trip has made it harder for the GOP to attack him on foreign policy. Since that is the only weapon they had, it may force the debate towards the economy and Obama will will that one.

    July 30, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. Tom

    McCain seems to be running the same Race that Hillary ran.

    It didn't work for her either!!!!

    July 30, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18