August 6th, 2008
03:50 PM ET
11 years ago

Poll: Obama, McCain both risky options

A new poll takes a look at which candidate is riskier.

A new poll takes a look at which candidate is riskier.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - More than half of registered voters say electing Barack Obama is slightly riskier than choosing John McCain, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. Poll released Wednesday.

In the poll, conducted July 27-29, 57 percent say Obama would be a risky choice, while 54 percent say the same of McCain.

When asked whether Obama would be a “very risky” choice, 31 percent agreed - while only 21 percent said the same of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

But when asked which candidate is “somewhat risky,” 33 percent chose McCain; 26 percent said Obama would be.

The poll is based on interviews with 914 registered voters, conducted by telephone on July 27-29. The margin of error for both questions is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Though slightly more registered voters find Obama a riskier choice, the race continues to remain tight.

A CNN “Poll of Polls” released Tuesday shows just five points separate the two candidates - Obama's 48 percent to McCain's 43 percent, with 9 percent undecided.

While “risk” is not defined by a single issue, one issue in particular may help Obama ease fears over the course of the campaign season.

In a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Wednesday morning, 48 percent of those surveyed said McCain and Obama’s economic policy would be the most important issue when deciding who to vote for this fall.

But when it comes to deciding who is the better choice to fix the economy, Obama is their pick by a 54-43 percent margin.

That poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The CNN "Poll of Polls" consists of four surveys: CNN/Opinion Research Corporation (July 27-29), AP-IPSOS (July 31-August 4), USA Today/Gallup (July 25-27), and Gallup tracking (August 2-4). The Poll of Polls does not have a sampling error.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (208 Responses)
  1. IndependentTogether

    Risky??? I wonder if the fact that there is a Black man running for president has anything to do with this ridiculous question? Has this question been asked in previous presidential elections?

    August 6, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. pa

    obama will get all mexican votes and muslim because he is a
    MUSLIM are he would have keep his name from birth

    August 6, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. Freida, NYC

    With need a re-vote of the primary, and choose two new candidates. I believe they are both risky.

    August 6, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. Old McSame

    If you want your love ones to die in war for nothing VOTE McSame. Can anyone tell me when we started to care so much about Iraq and its people that we are willing to die for them?
    It you and your love ones want to at least try to live in peace with the rest of the world VOTE Obama. Let the people of Iraq grow up and fight for themselves.
    Obama08A Dream

    August 6, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. anonymous

    Vote McCain at least since President Bush has been in office we have not had another 911. He meant business when he said go to war. After all the people in the armed forces know that when they go in the military there is a big chance. So don't get mad at President Bush. War is not pleasant an no one ever said it was, but all these people that have given their lives for this country will never be forgotten. We are just another step in showing people we are a strong Nation and will do what ever steps we must to protect our country and its people. Thank You American Hero's You must have been democrats and republicans and Independents.

    August 6, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  6. Rob - WA

    Obama will only win if the youth vote wakes up from the thumbscrew control of the Baby Boomers. Gues what Gen-X'ers and younger voters – there are more Boomers than there are of us. Those Boomers would rather sink the entire nation like the titanic than turn control over to a younger set. Make sure you VOTE or you will be subject to more of the "sun rises and sets on us" generations BS.

    August 6, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. How does CNN determine who gets posted?

    This is nuts!!! First you ask someone if the candidate is risky, then turn around and ask if they're somewhat risky!?!?

    Please!!!!! No more polls!!!!!!

    August 6, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. Silence Dogood

    Obama is WAY riskier. He said he will Change politics in washingtion both democratic and republican (original message). I went to his web site and it is cookie cutter democrat. Has anyone heard what the chnage is yet? He is identical to most democrats.

    An Empty-Suit will have his strings pulled by someone. For Bush it was Cheney. Who will it be for Empty Suit?

    That is the risk.

    August 6, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. Adam

    VOTE – BARACK 08AMA – 2008 Do Not Vote 4 mcsame as Bush

    August 6, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Brian

    Risky?????????? Electing Obama is like a family of chickens casting a vote for Colonel Sanders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 6, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. EJV

    Let's write in Elmer Fudd,, he's better than both the current canidates put together.

    August 6, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. Peter

    In response to America tired of Obama:

    I'm an Obama supporter, and when he blows his nose and it makes the Ticker, you know it's a little rediculous. Mean while, McCain says his wife could enter a contest where women are scantily clad at a bike rally, and gets no coverage for his gaffe. Had this been Obama, he'd immediately be labeled a misogynist and it would be top news from every major media outlet. The bias goes both ways as helpful and hindering, because the only thing the media cares about is who is more interesting, and will generate the most revenue for them. McCain could use more coverage so people can see how poor of a choice he really is.

    But thanks for stating the obvious, once again CNN. The Ticker reminds me of TMZ more and more each day. Good job.

    August 6, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. McCain:SmallWeakCowardlyMan OffersMoreOfTheSame TearsOthersDownToBuildHimselfUp

    Risky is depending on CNN for factual news and propaganda-free reporting from real journalists and reporters who actually research their work before announcing on air or putting in print.

    August 6, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. comes november NOBAMA

    The DNC broke this Humpty Dumpty and can’t put it back together…
    There are too many of us that are so unhappy on the shenanigans that went on by the DNC in picking BO that we will NOT support him under any circumstances. I will NOT vote for someone that was in my view picked by the party leaders and not by the voters.

    Is so funny bur Howard Dean and the DNC mess this one royally and they envisioned that we will all be all singing KUMBAYA by now.

    TO THE DNC: NEVER TAKE AWAY THE VOTES; NEVER!!! Now call me an idiot, call me any name in the book but I will for the first time in my life vote republican.

    I just do not trust Obama

    August 6, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. cevans, tx

    Marilyn,

    You voted for Bush both times didn't you?The worst President ever, and McCain rides on the same wagon. So, how in the world could you really believe what you said? You added a little something to your kool aid obviously...

    OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT ALL OF THE WAY!!!

    August 6, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. Independent

    America is at a serious cross road in history.

    If McCain wins, the country will continue its march to hell. Race relations will get worse, economy will get worse, China and India will emerge as superpowers with more money and influence.

    If Obama wins, the country will come together as one. People will get excited about the future, other countries will begin to respect America again, America's respect in the world restored, race relations in the country will impove, new energy jobs will be created, American schools will start competing with China and India.

    Choose America; and then live or die with the result of your decision.

    August 6, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. King

    What is more risky than 4 more years of Bush admin., bad government, lies, unnecessary war, GOP scandals, bad economy, BIG OIL billions in profits, voting against Vets' benefits etc. I will take my chance with Obama.

    August 6, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. Hypocrits for Obama

    We did not fall for Obama's strategy:

    BE the democrat left standing and Millions who do NOT support you (for valid reasons) will then be forced to vote for you by default.

    After all- no democrat would vote for a republican in this climate of being fed up with the status quo.

    Speaks volumes for what a lousy candidate Obama is- the uniter actually LOST democrats who never before broke from the party line.

    WAY to go- all you haters for Obama. Your own vitriolic hateful vile, filthy name-calling vulgar debasements and ridicule of fellow democrats DID YOU IN.

    Cut off your own nose to spite your face.

    Shot YOURselves in the foot.

    August 6, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. Jason

    Here is my poll

    Who is more likely to go to war with Iran?

    McCain more likely- 99%
    Obama more likely- 1%

    More likely to bankrupt the US?

    Obama more likely 0%
    McCain more likely 0%
    Both sure to do it 100%

    Impose communism?

    Obama more likely 99%
    McCain more likely 1%

    Look good in photo ops?

    Obama more likely 99%
    McCain more likely 1%

    Scare the religious right?

    Obama more likely 99%
    McCain more likely 1%

    This is based off a survey of 5 rational adults, 2 republicans, and several domesticated animals.

    August 6, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. Erik

    Give me a fresh new voice in the White House over a cranky, snide old gnome any day.

    August 6, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. Jesse, Southern California

    well, one thing is for certain- if Obama is to win, he needs Hillary and he needs to bite his conceited upper lip, smile and dial!!!

    August 6, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. Dems are stuck in the fix they rigged

    What goes around comes around.

    Obama's racebaited chickens of intra-party hate to drum up votes are coming home to roost.

    August 6, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. D

    After what the repugs did over the last 8 years, who wants another?

    August 6, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    anyone is a risky choice, thats why you look at their policy positions, which are in great detail on both candidates websites. there are no garuntees.

    although I'm sure people on both sides will go balistic about the "other guy". and start refering to the candidates as "McShame" and "NoBama".

    It also depends on what you call risky. I think McCains policies are just plain bad, while Obamas look great(if implamented).......so the end result is risk either way........but at least we have a chance if Obama is elected.

    August 6, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. Beto, Seattle

    I don't believe McCain is risky at all, but a rock-solid choice. But Obama is risky, shaky, dangerous, and a gamble.

    August 6, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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