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. Edwin K C


    What matters is that he has the respect of world leaders and this means Americans will be viewed positively and will not be subject to flag burning , street protests ....etc........which has been the case in the last 8 years of GWB Mediocrity and tough talk.

    4 years for Macbush will be a disaster to Ameican interest Everywhere.

    Obama/ Democrat for Life

    July 30, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. ReaganDem84

    tick tock tick tock

    BO should be ahead by 25+ points.


    I would suggest some oil for those squeaky hinges on the door that America is showing Dr. No, but he doesn't have any!!

    July 30, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. Joe Reg

    Fear or no fear the people will not follow the repubs this year.

    If you have good food we will buy it but if you have dog food, sorry not sellable. Republicans are going downhill.

    Obama 08/12.

    July 30, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. Bob

    It was great to see an American leader be thoughtful, gracious, and dignified on a world stage. Obama gave me a great sense of pride. The polls won't change until the debates, where McCain will appear unprepared, confused, disgruntled, and woefully old in comparison to Obama.

    July 30, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  5. Texas Voter

    Just so you all know, Jimmy Carter had a 30 point lead over his opponent at this stage of his presidential race.

    Talk is easy, action is hard. Americans will not be fooled by Obama's empty rhetoric.

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

    Smart Americans saw thru it. His Germany 200,000 campaign event was with free food and beer. They had two popular bands play before and after his speech. Just like the Oregon festival that had bands. Kerry drew 45,000 at the same Oregon festival in 2004. So I am not impressed. I wonder if that is how he is going to draw 75,000 at his Denver coronation. And then he snubbed the injured troops in Germany because he was not allowed a photo op.

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

    The polls are not changed because the whole trip was a publicity stunt and we see right thorough it.

    Unlike what self-centered Obama and his elitist camping thinks we the people are very smart and know a phony when we see one.

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

    Come on CNN! Reveal the methodology of the poll! Probably 42% Democrat, 20% Republicans, and 22% African Americans out of 600 people of neither only registered or only likely voters.

    Typical CNN poll feeding their flock of sheep.

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

    I've heard those polls were actually taken before Obama's trip.

    July 30, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  10. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Who cares about these polls ??? They tell us nothing.....other than the fact that you'all are polling people who do not listen to the news channels nor pick-up a newspaper....too much energy and mind skills. How's about conducting a weekly poll from CNN, MSMBC, FOX, USA TODAY< THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, NEW YORK AND LA TIMES, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, SPANISH NEWS AGENCIES AND STATIONS etc. THEN DO AN AVERAGE. STAY OFF THE PHONES......DEAL WITH THINKING MAJORITIES, AND TAKE SOME TIME DEVELOPING PERTINENT INFORMATION.

    July 30, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. Jeb

    MMN, how does your comment have anything remotely to do with this story?

    July 30, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. Jack

    Why would going to Europe and the Middle East changes your race? And why did we have to poll people to see if he is still black?

    July 30, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. Blueray98

    Of course the polls won't change. To use some now famous words:

    The democratic party threw us down the tubes and they don't think we'll turn and vote McCain?

    Well I've got news for you -


    July 30, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. Nicolas

    I am challenging the networks let the canidates know that this society is not foolish. Stop the negative ads and bring on the issues accompanied with policies. Therefore the above useless piece would not be taking up space on this webpage. Leave the above to FOX and the far far left media. Thank you

    July 30, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. Doug

    Is it only me, or is the labeling of Obama by the McCain campaign and main stream media as "arrogant" and "presumptious" just code words for "uppity"?

    July 30, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. Lesley

    Proof that Obama needs someone with military history and experience in national security issues to round out the ticket. Also proof that McCain's negative advertising is doing him little good. Americans thankfully are not falling for the smear tactics. The polls also show that the number one concern is the economy so the military thing is not at the top of people's lists. John McCain is not presidential material overall.

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

    McGranpa and GOP absolutely have nothing to throw at Obama. They're reaching for stuff that doesn't even pertain to the Presidential race. It's more back stabbing insults.

    Obama has not even made a insult or a negative comment about McGramps. Obama diplomacy is outstanding.

    July 30, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. Bill, Covington

    Obama and all it's followers is a frigging BORE

    July 30, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. wycliffe, NJ

    the trip was not ment for short term effect but long term. McCain will nolonger claim that obama never went to iraq, never met general patreus, .....Currently obama is offering specifics on the issues and seems alittle boring and that will change when the undergroung work is done.

    July 30, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. Burt in Texas

    Obama's fate is in his hands. Without Hillary, he may well lose. With Hillary it's a landslide. For me, an Obama ticket without Hill means a vote for McCain in 08, which is a vote for Hill in '12. At this moment, it's about who is most qualified – nothing else, for this Democrat.

    July 30, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |



    July 30, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. Necie in OKC

    The trip wasn't about gaining in the polls. Sen Obama gained more insight into our foreign relations (insight he can't via a phone call). I consider it a wise move and it only strengthens my belief that he is the right candidate to lead us.

    July 30, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. Phrank

    As recently as the beginning of the week, your "Poll of Polls" included only "Registered Voter Polls" Is that still the case? An examination of all national polls on Real Clear Politics shows except for a couple of days on the Gallup tracking poll no Registered voter poll has been above the 45% for McCain you had last time. So you must be including "likely voter" polls. If you want top look at a likely voter poll, why have you flushed the Research 2000 Poll down the memory hole with the rest of the Privatised Propaganda Ministry. You people are really pieces of work, sacrificing the remaining shreds of your tattered integrity to preserve the illusion that McCain is still in it. You really think that drivelling spewing old gaffer is good for the country? Actually, it's fine with me, because with his honest average of 40% he is below the floor for any Republlican should get running against an AA. You guys will not be able to push this dead horse over the finish line,

    July 30, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  24. BJ, Texas

    Why so shocked that it didn't make a difference in the polls. Who cares what the Euros think. It's the American people who will decide our next Pres not Europe. It just shows that we Americans don't care for anyone else's opinion. It's our choice (our vote) that matters not theirs.

    July 30, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    if you dnt vote john mccain than the soldiers who died will die in vain because mccain way or no way..mccains attempt to court soldeir votes..mccain defines the surge a success because of the level of security and increased american combatives in middle east toward terorism.. Yet it not a success because any country economy is not balanced nor is the new government taken its role to bringsing stabilty in the region...john mccain judgment in his support with a wreckelss administration and closeness of this war with administration should not be overlooked nor distracted from

    July 30, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
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