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. Obama Supporter from FL

    Poll translation: Obama is "riskier" because a higher percentage of people think Obama, rather than McCain, is (a) a secret Muslim Manchurian candidate or (b) the AntiChrist, primarily due to viral emails forwarded to you by relatives who (if you were me) you thought had more sense.

    It's pretty funny that all that trash only makes him 3% points riskier than McCain!!

    August 6, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. Adam

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

    August 6, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. Chuck

    A blogger commenting on the story above this one and that has been closed to comments asks "why Obama is only ahead by 2 points in the Gallup Poll". Obviously a McCain supporter and if so should the question not be, "Why is McCain not ahead of Obama by 2 points in the Gallup poll?"

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

    To Reality King:

    Liberal is not a bad word, no matter how nasty you try to say it.
    Look it up in the dictionary!!
    Oh gee, that might be too "intellectual" for you.....

    August 6, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. LAURA

    I want to see the polls after the republican convention-We can see
    Cheney, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby,Rumsfeld, Abramoff, and Gonzales
    all together with thier corrupted history,all together again.That should move the polls a bit.

    August 6, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Peter

    Nobama!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 6, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. janie gutierrez

    They may both be risky but i would rather take the risk with someone who will defend his country, its people and what it stands for than someone who is playing in his first Hollywood movie which by the way is a FLOP!!!!!

    August 6, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. seth

    Just what AMERICA needs a Socialist,and a Liberal Republican running for President.This is one BIG JOKE!!!
    America,needs a Third Party,oh soooooooooooo badly!!
    GOD BLESS AMERICA!!
    Iam voting for WASHINGTON/JEFFERSON for President!!

    August 6, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. Praetorian,Ft. Myers

    They are both old news–because the two they represent will continue with near business as usual.

    No change in size, cost, intrusion of government–and continued greed and corruption.

    Libertarians 2008
    Meaningful change beneficial to us all with no special interests. Let's put the money and the power back in our wallets and hands.

    August 6, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. obama is the most dangerous man alive

    obama is the candidate of "change your mind"...."say whatever it takes" ..........."tell them what they want to hear"........."no,no..I didn't say that..I said" (BS,yes you did say it.Do you think people are stupid and don't remember what you said). Please America, don't give our country to this dangerous man. He is a liar. He is a liar. He is a liar.I don't think the damage he can do to this country can ever be fixed. Please don't vote for him and don't allow the DNc to cheat the Ameriucan people.

    August 6, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. Still for Hill but now ONLY for Hill

    The Fuhrer and the village idiot.

    I voted for Hillary.

    Too bad hatred guided the hand of the Obamabots and sacrificed the party and the election.

    August 6, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. smile

    to all of you NUMBSKULL repugnants

    P U My As

    August 6, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. Tjaye in LA

    I have NEVER once been polled and I've been voting since 1984. I don't know ANYONE else who has been polled either. Who are they asking these silly questions?

    August 6, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. annie

    We are all sick of the arrogant, egotistical arrowhead obama! No qualifications, No experience and does his telepromters speeches to coordinate with which ever group he is speaking to. Now he is stealing all of Sen. Clinton's plans! The dnc certainly SELECTED the wrong condidate! Hope the superdelegates wake-up by convention time!

    August 6, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. OBAMA MAMA

    The only risky choice is another 4 years of Republicans in the White House. GO OBAMA.

    August 6, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  16. Neutral

    McCAIN = RISKY

    OBAMA = DISASTER

    PICK YOUR CHOICE!!!!

    August 6, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  17. Hillary power

    The self-proclaimed Messiah and the tired old patriot.

    I voted for the vibrant, policy wonk who had all the qualifications to be a GREAT leader and had proven it time and again.

    Intra-party swiftboating trashed the dream and lost the election.

    GOOD WORK YA'LL

    August 6, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  18. SANDRA

    I THINK MCCAIN IS FAR MORE RISKY THAN OBAMA .THIS GUY IS NOT NORMAL HE IS A NUT CASE WHO LIVES IN THE PAST. HE THINKS HE KNOWS HOW TO WIN WARS WHAT WAR DID HE WIN . AND WHY WOULD HE WANT TO WIN WARS WHEN NO BODY I KNOW WANT TO FIGHT A STUPID WAR HE A WARMONGER .I AFRAID OF HIM AND SO ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE . HE WILL SEND ALL OF OUR SON AND GRANDSONS TO DIED IN SENSELESS WARS. HE IS SO NEGATIVE AND JEALOUS OF OBAMA AS WELL HE SHOULD BE . I AM A WOMAN OF 56 I KNOW A CRAZY OLD MAN WHEN I SEE ONE TRUST ME THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE. OUR COUNTRY NEEDS FRESH IDEAS AND HOPE HE IS TAKE LEARNS FROM THAT RACIST AND HATER HANITY ,PAT, JOE OF MSNBC NOT TO MENTION THAT CRIMINAL KARL ROVE. THAT SILVER HEAD GUY ON THIS CHANNEL IS REALLY BIAS AGAINST OBAMA HE HAS SAID SOMETHING THAT I TAKE TO HEART AND THAT CAMPBELL BROWN IS DOING A JOB ON BARACK SHE IS ALWAYS TAKING UP FOR MCCAIN . THIS IS WHAT GETS ME JUST TELL THE NEWS WE DON'T NEED TO KNOW WHAT YOU GUYS THINK WE ARE NOT STUPID. JUST TELL THE NEWS AND BE QUIET.

    August 6, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. Neutral

    OBAMBI IS AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN.

    The sad part, fatalities are his KOOLAID DRINKERS!

    August 6, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. Obama is the man

    Obama wasted no energy during his campaign- the bandwagon ran entirely on HOT AIR.

    August 6, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. Big Fee

    The same people who believe in McCain believe The Jerry Springer show is a reality show, and think the economy will heal on its own.

    August 6, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Concerned in Alabama

    Well, lets see, now. Was the poll of the 914 registered voters white? Does anyone really know if they talked to a variety of races?

    Okay, I will bet my bottom dollar (and I mean dollar) that the 914 registered voters were white who are afraid to put stock in a black president. How aweful.

    Only in America!

    Let's try those same interviews with 914 black registered voters and I bet my last dollar (and I mean LAST dollar) that the polls will show very different results.

    So, in theory, DON'T PUT YOUR TRUST IN POLLS....POLLS DON'T SPEAK FOR EVERYONE........JUST THE ONES THAT ARE CHOSEN FOR THE INTERVIEWS.

    Oh, and I want my dollar from all of you!

    August 6, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. Republicans for Obama

    Obama represents a risk because he represents changing things up.
    McCain is a risk because he wants to keep things the same.
    Been there and done that risk. On with the new.
    Life is risk. Deal with it. Please.
    Obama 08

    August 6, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  24. Steve

    Can we get a poll of which candidate Americans think has the prettiest eyes next? Or maybe one about which candidate's shoes are cooler?

    August 6, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. JohnS

    Poll poll poll.

    Were Bush/Cheney risky?
    Sure the polls said that they were our liberators.
    McCain agreed to 100%

    Today we know that they (Bush/Cheney) are the american nightmare.
    McCain will just continue with the down spiral with the same old divisive politics.

    Let's turn the page.

    So, please let'us look to an optimistic future with OBAMA as our next President.

    August 6, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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