August 9th, 2008
10:09 AM ET
10 years ago

Poll of polls: Obama retains an edge

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Call it a numbers game. With 87 days to go until the presidential election, our latest CNN Poll of polls shows Barack Obama leading John McCain by five points, 46 percent to 41 percent, with thirteen percent of Americans undecided.

The Poll of polls released Wednesday found an indentical result.

The CNN Poll of Polls is an average of the latest national polls. Our newest edition consists of three surveys, a CBS poll taken from July 31 to August 5, an AP-IPSOS survey conducted from July 31 to August 4, and a Gallup tracking poll taken from August 5 to August 7. Because it’s an average of a number of surveys, our Poll of polls does not have a sampling error.

As we always caution, the presidential election is not a battle for the national vote - rather, it’s a state by state fight for electoral votes. While national polls are important, they are far from the only barometer in determining where the presidential contest stands right now.

soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    In my poll McCain is leading by 2 points and that is indeed encouraging.

    Who wants our president to be a Hussein?

    Let's get real.

    August 9, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. Darrell Burks

    Obama leads even farther in the state by state electoral college. Go Obama!!!!!

    August 9, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  3. Orlando

    I don't think so McCain is better and will prevail come November – God Bless America.

    August 9, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  4. Mary In AL

    WE need a President who is decent like Senator Obama!

    We do not need a man like mccain who committs adultery as a military officer and leaves his crippled wife for a younger woman who is a drug addict that got illegal perscriptions but didn't go to prison because of her money. Ugh!

    August 9, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. RyanD.

    Read Mark Nickolas' article "Popular Vote v. Electoral College (Why The Media Badly Needs A History Lesson)".

    It discusses these silly daily "National Tracking Polls" and explains the fact that a 5% advantage here ends in a landslide victory in the Electoral College, which is the only thing that matters.

    Obama 08'

    August 9, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. James From Chicago

    I cannot believe with all the media and press bais , Obama is only
    5 points ahead.

    He is going to loose, McCain will win.

    August 9, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. Richard

    McFlipFlop is flipping and flopping so much you'd think he was a fish. What CNN and others are not saying is that the margin of error is really around 7% and that the poll of polls uses questionable statitical techniques.

    August 9, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. bill for barack

    Obama's lead will only continue to grow.

    August 9, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  9. susie

    After the way the media was so hushed on Edward's activity, is there going to be anything coming out of Obama's closet? The only true news reporting in National Enquierer. The mainstream media is having such a love affair with the democrats they have forgotten about true reporting.

    August 9, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  10. Jim

    How is the underlying sample drawn for these various polls? Is it based on land line telephones? If so, given the very high incidence of [only] cell phone users, one might refresh one's memory about the 1936 Literary Digest (I think that's the name) poll that showed Alf Landon being very strong against FDR. It was a telephone poll, conducted at a time during the great depression when only the well to do or rich could afford telephone polls. And those telephone users were the ones who, not astonishingly, mostly voted Republican.

    I'm not among the media bashers. Yet I believe that most of the media types are aware of this possible sample problem. Yet, understandingly enough, the media will not highlight highlight it if for no other reason than it would diminish the media's product.

    I admit that the foregoing may be harsh. Harsh or not, I'm going to persist in that belief unless/until I hear a decent, at least plausible, rebuttal

    August 9, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. Charlotte

    Why is this so close? The odds were stacked against the GOP.
    Obama best watch out for his EGO, it might get him into big trouble. John Edwards knows about EGO. Obama acts as if he is, THE ONE. I cannot believe the DNC (Dumb Nuts Committee) and their choice for the nominee. I received a donation request from them, and I sent it back with a notation, No money/No vote. Main reason, Kennedy, Kerry, Dean, and Pelosi..I hope they can't pay for the football stadium Obama wants, so he can pat himself on the back. His Presidential Seal was the biggest turn off for this voter. I am beginning to believe he is the Anti-Christ, nothing else explains his popularity. I mean really, what on his resume, qualifies him for the job of POTUS?

    August 9, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  12. Jason

    "Because it’s an average of a number of surveys, our Poll of polls does not have a sampling error."

    While there is no "sampling" error, there is still error involved in this average. Why? Because the methodology of each poll varies, creating different bias in different datasets. Had CNN averaged several polls from the SAME pollster, then that would have no error as the random errors within the dataset would cancel out. However, the insinuation that averaging three different samples with different data points leads to an error-free poll is mathematically incorrect.

    And why wasn't the Rasmussen poll (Obama +1) included in this "poll of polls"?

    August 9, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. Donna in Texas - Follower of Christ - Proud Republican!

    McCain 08'

    Just wait...

    You will be amazed by the high turn out and margin by which McCain will win in November. Although so many are not crazy about the "Maverick," we would rather see him leading this country any day – than just one day of Obama!

    If you people want a socialist country – Take yourself and your socialist leader Obama to a socialist country and leave America. You people are destroying a Great Nation!!!

    August 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. Northshore

    I love that little note at the bottom reminding us that this is a state-by-state election. I'm guessing they meant us gentle readers not to read too much into the fact that Obama has maintained a significant lead of McSame over the entire summer. So let's look at Real Clear Politics count of state polls...At this point, Obama could lose Florida, Ohio, Virgina and Colorado and still win. Can some one please tell the media that this race is over? This race is not close and McCain, at this point, needs start doing some drastic to change this essential calculation. Maybe that explains the celebrity knocks...

    August 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. Ken, LA California

    Im Supprised the Old man is holding on, the guy dumped his wife for a rich Blonde, talk about christian conservatives voting for such a guy, what is wrong with America.

    August 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Veteran for Obama

    Again, these national polls are horrible to judge by. Obama would be blowing McCain away if you take away those southern states well known for being largely racist. Those southern states are the only thing keeping McCain int his thing and it's not because they like McCain. They just don't like Obama by huge numbers compared to the rest of the country.

    August 9, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. Emster

    Fabulous – I am so delighted to see that people are not falling for McCain's negative ads. I hope people are realizing that he has no platform to support. He's just running a baseless negative campaign with no substance. Obama has run a smart, positive campaign and the contrast is clear.

    August 9, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. Snerdboy says

    I laugh at you old man from town.

    August 9, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  19. POLL ME!!!

    A lead is a lead ......keep attacking McAttack ....Include me..... Poll Me

    August 9, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  20. Snerdboy says

    I laugh at the old man from town"John McCain".

    August 9, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. Elisabeth

    Not another man in the White house. It´s only a matter of time until the first "Obama girl" appears. WHERE IS HILLARY CLINTON?

    August 9, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. Michigan for Obama

    I think the debates will be an interesting contrast of the two candidates...the polls will really mean something after ...

    August 9, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  23. Donkey Party

    It's also far from accurate because a large amount of the Obama demograpic don't have land lines, and only use cell phones, like myself. So the polls mean squat, unless they are done in person.

    August 9, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. Scott

    THe poll of polls are Republican polls. More deception and illusions.

    August 9, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. John Suk

    Obama needs to do more to increase his lead over McBush or is it race at play here?

    August 9, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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