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. John, Catholic

    Where are they conducting these polls? In GOP heaven?? Honestly how is it possible that a person who draws thousands to come and see him speak is slightly ahead of someone who could not get a thousand people to see him speak if he paid them.

    Even in the primaries the amount of democrates that turned out per state was nearly double that of republicans. Yet you are going to tell me that they are that close.

    There is no way you are going to convince me of the 18 million Hillary supporters for McCain. 18 million my left butt cheek!!! I would be impressed if she actually had half that since we know a lot of those people were republicans voting to sabotage the democratic primary. What proof do I have you ask? How does a 25 million dollar debt which has gone up from 22 million sound. Donations made to Hillary's debt cannot be given to Obama as that is illegal. So all those people saying they would donate but they do not want their money going to Obama are full of it and were not going to donate to begin with. So either all of Hillary's 18 million were already McCain supporters (which would explain the current closeness in the polls) or/and they are not getting a proper standard random sample for their polls.

    Either way I cannot believe the people want to continue tax breaks for the rich, unaffordable healthcare for most and crappy for the few who can barely afford it, and let us not forget our wonderful wars. Honestly people do you like being broke, sick, and having loved ones die?? I cannot believe the crap the Repubs say about McCain for less taxes, McCain for less spending. You think wars a waged with monopoly money?? How do you plan to get money for a war without taxing for it?? Lest we forget the size of government has grown more during the Bush Administration than at any other time. Looks like the Repubs are for Big Government."

    As CNN probably will not post this I am sad to say my words fall on deaf ears due to ever so active moderators. Have a nice day if you can afford it 8O)

    July 30, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  2. sherry for Obama

    People are getting tired of listening to McCains whining.....I know I am.
    Obama will come out the winner when all's said and done

    Glory be to God when Obama is in the White House come January 09

    July 30, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. Super delegate NJ

    Stupid democrats... if you want to know what will happen in Nov 08, talk to your neighbors. First of all the party (Democratic) is not united and they think that they will beat a united front?? Let Obam name his VP and you will see how fast the Democratic Party is disintegrating. You can fill up three arenas in Denver for your convention but Obamas ceiling remains. Does not matter what deal the DNC and the world struck but all we know is that we the American people will vote.

    July 30, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  4. Nicole In NE

    I really wish McCain would've stuck with his previosu comments about running a respectful campaign, I was looking forward to seeing something different this election. Feels like 4 years ago to me. It's too bad the RNC and the McCain campaign has to act this way.

    I gravitate towards positive.

    Obama 08'

    July 30, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  5. Ardnuas

    The media CRITIZICE Obama ALL DAY EVERY DAY FOR EVERYTHING..... to help McBush win. I have lost ALL respect for the media........ ALL

    July 30, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  6. McCain/Hillary 08

    You can take McCain Supportors!
    Add some Hillary Supportors!
    Add some Guiliani Supportors!
    Add some Romney Supportors!
    Add some Huckabee Supportors!
    Add some Nuts!!!

    Then you STILL HAVE NOTHING!!!!!

    Obama 08
    Obama 12

    McSame NEVER!
    Hillary NEVER!

    July 30, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. dan

    we are more concerned with our own. ( my kids my neighbors kids) than what any eu nation says. after all they hate us until they need us.

    July 30, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. Charley

    Sen Obama should be pulling away from McCain – even at this stage of the race. But Sen. Obama did not win in New Hampshire as everyone said he would. He did not close in on California as everyone said he was. He limped across the finish line after being trounced in Ohio, Pennsyvania, Kentucky, West Virginia and yet his supporters continue to call those who do not "like' him racist hillbillies. Instead of recognizing that we are millions of lifelong Democrats with left leaning ideals that remain disgusted by the dorm room blogging elites who believe in saviors. It is typically naivee to think a country that somehow put the truly dreadful George W. Bush in the White House twice has suddenly shifted beyond the narrow electorial divide. There will be no landslide for Sen. Obama – he needs Hillary for that but instead with a few reluctant votes like my own he may just ekkk out a win I have voted for black candidates all my life but the truth is Sen. Obama is a turn-off to many people I know – I can not put my finger on what it is – but we have not and will not be thrilled but as said we must not let the Republicans win.

    July 30, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  9. John


    July 30, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    You can't put perfume on a pig.

    July 30, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  11. Laura

    Why is it that whenever a new poll comes out showing Obama in the lead the headline is some sort of a negative for him? No matter what the poll shows, the headline on CNN and other news websites always focuses on one group he's struggling with, or one issue he's weak on, or some other way he's not doing as well as he should? Why does the headline never focus on the fact that he's winning?

    July 30, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  12. Randy

    It will lower his lead by the end of next week. As soon as people digest his marxist moves and relize he skidded visiting the troops because cameras were not allowed in. Also gave approval for his prayer to be published. The only change has been everyone of his positions.

    July 30, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. Obama is Unbeatable

    Hillary said she could beat Obama too, and look how that turned out for her lol.

    McBush doesn't stand a chance!!!!

    McCain should retire now, and give up before he ends up Bankrupt like Hillary!!!!

    July 30, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  14. Chris N.

    I have been undecided (I am a moderate Independent) so far, but when the mud-slinging starts – the candidate pushes me away.

    Obama's positive message is pulling me in closer and closer everyday. I was worried he was a little too liberal for my taste, but he has shown better character in this race then McCain has. McCain really is looking like Bush to me now and our country cannot afford anymore of it!

    How I miss the McCain of 2000!

    July 30, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. TheC

    Yep.... the race didn't change. Obama was leading before he went over and is still leading now that he is back. That McCain has chosen in July to already go all negative-all the time shows you that the McCain internal polls must show Obama with even bigger leads.

    July 30, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. mayahh

    It is easy to see from the TOPICS that there is some JEALOUSY going on pertaining to Senator OBAMA , jealousy is a mental uneasiness toward a rival, one that displays envy toward the success and goodfortune of others, Senator OBAMA shall rise up and no force can touch him,,, IT IS THE SUPERNATURAL FORCE, THAT LEADS HIM..

    July 30, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. REG in AZ

    I suspect that Barack Obama is an enigma right now, a promising one but none the less an unknown and even startling quantity. As people experience him, get to see his grasp of things, learn his true positions and understand the quality that is not only in his words but that the words truly represent his values and beliefs, then they will be able to relax and identify with him. In the mean time, McCain likely will be stagnated and if anything, just slip some. Change is what we need and what we want but change scares people and they have to become at ease with it.

    July 30, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. Angle

    I was told when I ran the first time that you never mention the compitition by name Let them pay for thier oun pomotion and name recognation. John , your doing a great job for Obama

    July 30, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. Trollmaster

    How can Americans possibly think McCain can handle Iraq better when he was one of the biggest supporters of this mistake of an invasion in the first place.

    "I'm John McCain, and if you elect me, I'll pull out the car I helped drive into a ditch"

    July 30, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  20. Frank

    The question is not whether people decide that Obama would be better at foreign affairs than McCain. It is whether they decide he will be good enough.

    The Obama number is static just below 50% because the genuine independents are waiting to see if he is plausible in the roles of commander-in-chief and chief diplomat. If they decide that he is, the general preference for a generic Democrat will be sufficient.

    In this sense, it isn't a commander-in-chief "test" so much as a "threshold." With issues of lower salience (in the face of overwhelming concern about the economy), that is all the more discerning people are willing to be.

    July 30, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  21. KE

    Senator Barack Obama is an internationalist first and an American second.

    July 30, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. Jeff in Illinois

    If 52% of Americans think McCain would do better than Obama on Iraq, then 52% of those polled need to start paying more attention to the world around them.

    John McCain doesn't even know the difference between Sunni and Shiite. He also believes that Pakistan borders Iraq. The man essentially knows nothing about Iraq.

    July 30, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. Obama/Sebelius

    Obama/Sebelius 08!!!!!!!!

    2 Democrats that beat Republican BUTT!!!!!!

    Unlike Hillary that just licks it!!!

    July 30, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  24. Mike Philly

    The media kept questioning whether the overseas trip will change the polls. And now that they know the answer, they are reporting that no, it didn't. During none of this important coverage, did they mention that **no one expected it to change the polls.**

    For the love of God, CNN, do something useful. How doing some polls in the close/battleground states so we can get a feel for the electoral college standings? 100 days out, **that** would be polling information we could chew on.

    July 30, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  25. James Hussein, SC

    Why does CNN support the Republican Party sooooo much?

    July 30, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
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