August 20th, 2008
09:23 AM ET
10 years ago

CNN poll of polls: Obama lead cut in half

A new CNN poll of polls shows Obama's lead is dwindling.

A new CNN poll of polls shows Obama's lead is dwindling.

(CNN) - In what could be an ominous sign for Barack Obama just days before he is formally named the Democratic presidential nominee, a new CNN poll of polls out Tuesday shows the Illinois senator's lead over John McCain has been cut in half in recent days.

According to CNN's average of several recent national surveys, Obama's lead is now a slim 3 points over the Arizona senator, 46-43 percent - half of his advantage in a CNN poll of polls one week ago, and down from a high of 8 points in mid-July.

Election Center: Check out CNN's electoral map

The latest poll results come amid increased attacks from McCain on Obama's readiness to be commander-in-chief and the re-emergence of national security worries among voters in the wake of the Georgia crisis.

“Over the last week, we’ve seen Sen. Obama’s lead in the poll of polls cut in half,” noted CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. “This change was likely driven by a renewed focus on foreign policy after Russia’s invasion of Georgia, as well as by Sen. McCain’s willingness to launch more aggressive attacks against Obama on issues such as off-shore drilling."

A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll out Tuesday evening was the latest national survey to indicate Obama's lead is dwindling, putting the Illinois senator ahead of McCain by only 2 points, well within the poll's margin of error. The CNN Poll of polls also includes new surveys from Quinnipiac and Gallup.

But the recent downturn in the polls for Obama may not last - the Democratic White House hopeful is headed for a week of what is likely to be overwhelmingly postive coverage as he names his running mate and officially accepts his party's presidential nomination.

"The big question now is whether Obama can successfully regain control of the campaign agenda as we head into the Democratic convention," Silverleib also said.

soundoff (612 Responses)
  1. Gsamlal

    It is to early in the race – Vote Obama Americans...

    August 20, 2008 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  2. ANGIE

    Thanks too mccain and his negetive lying ads Obama you have to start fighting back hard and start now no more mr nice guy!!!!

    August 20, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  3. unity

    Gallup – historically one of the lowest polls for Obama was used in this poll average heavily. I take this one with a big grain of salt with it being the end of summer transition time. Next week's polls should be much higher and more of a truer picture.

    August 20, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  4. Election Watcher

    Think of it this way; if the CEO of a troubled corporation were stepping down, should his replacement be a floor manager with a couple of years experience?

    August 20, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  5. Natasha

    Do you think we trust CNN and the polls of polls. W.A. you are really going to make this about you........ We are not worried, we know what will happen.

    August 20, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  6. Ace

    If anyone watched Obama on the Rick Warren special, and then McCain, this is understandable. Obama doesn't know what he stands for, and if he doesn't have a written speech, he sounds like this: "Well, I, ehh.. uhm.. errh... uhh... well... let me see..". No wonder Obama didn't want the town hall style debates that McCain wanted to have. McCain will whip him in the debates.

    August 20, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  7. Amy

    How many times many of you have to hear "Obama is not ready to be President of the USA" if he waited for few more years to get more experience it could happen but now it is very big RISK.
    Most African Americans have been driven by the race and not the reality.
    However this is all foult of DNC and their leadership pushing its way to get out of the race all good and qualified candidates, and now playing cards on "UNITY"- come on people.

    August 20, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  8. Turning the page

    McCheat knows Pentagon foreign policy. Obama understands the world. He knew the difference between Shia and Sunni before he went to Washington. McCheat still needs whisperers to differenciate the 2 sects.

    McCheat will have NO cone of leaks before the Presidential debates.

    Obama/Biden '08

    August 20, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  9. Kenneth F

    If polls meant squat Hillary would be in the race against Fred Thompson.

    August 20, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  10. ObamaRocks

    Stop it Wolf you are trying to creat news where there is no news. He is still leading even with your bogus poll.

    August 20, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  11. The US is full of retards

    Anyone who votes for John McCain is voting to ruin the United States of America. Stop being so retarded. For th love of god, don't you see that this is just like when people voted for George Bush's second term . If you are going to vote for John McCain, I would like to go to your house and punch you square in the face. Please email me your address and I will come over.

    August 20, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  12. BR

    Can't wait to read this comment section in a little bit. His kool-aid drinking minions will be claiming racism and lies. All that is happening is America is finally becoming un-brainwashed from the main stream media's love affair of the great Messiah

    August 20, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  13. Sofia

    Give this a break, we see him jump and go down. This is ridiculous, find some actual news.

    August 20, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  14. BJ, Texas

    Hey libs, that whooshing sound your hear. It's the hot air coming out of Nobama's balloon. Finally the American people are waking up and realizing what a fake this guy really is. He's anti-American, anit-military, an elitist, his pastor mentor is a hate monger, he has terrorist friends, he voted for killing babies if born alive after a botched abortion, what else can you say. To top it all off, Russia invades a soveign democratic country and what does he say about it, that both parties should sit down and talk. If a burglar breaks into your house in the middle of the night to steal your property and rape your wife or daughter are you going to offer him coffee and have a chat?

    August 20, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  15. Luke

    If Clinton is picked as the top VP chioce, I just want to let all the PUMA and Hillary supporter know that I would welcome them with open arms. I've been an Obama supporter from the begining and thought they had a rough primary, and I've actually resented Clinton up til now. but hopefully we really can put everything behind us and unite. Clinton supporters have done amazing things with their 18 million supporters, and I know that combining powers with the Obama supporters anything is possible.


    August 20, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  16. Frank, Atlanta, GA

    So, the Media will continue to make it look like this is a close race.

    Infact, the only way that John McCcain can become the next president of the United States of America is if the "DIEBOLD" voting machines function like they did in Florida and Ohio in the last two presidential elections !!

    John Mc Can't won't become president unless the Neo-Conservative Corparatists and the "Scare and Unbalanced" Media steal it !!

    The Media seemms to have decided to suport the old fart that got shot down 3 times in Vietnam (failure- not war hero) and spent most of the war as a "privilaged" POW , divorced his wife to marry a schemish (but wealthy) Heiress, laundered tax-payer money in the Keating Five/Saving & loan Scandal, supports unjustified and privatized warfare over much needed domestic welfare AND wants to continue much of the failed foreign and domestic policies of the Bush / Cheney disaster politics Agenda.

    God help us ALL.....................

    In spite of it all....I'll still vote for Barack Obama this November, because it's the right thing to do !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 20, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  17. JohnBoy

    If Obama does not like this poll, just wait until November, he really won't like that one.

    Vote for the only American running for president.

    McCain 08

    August 20, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  18. DMC, USA

    Even without a "purple turban", I could see this was going to happen... So much for the Obama campers. Let's see you all get out and steer this ship back. Senator Obama was/is not my choice. However, I certainly don't want McCain as my president.

    I find it interesting how vocal the Obama campers were prior to the primary with Senator Clinton. If you want him to win you people better start raising your voices, again. You wanted him, you got take care of him.

    August 20, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  19. Wandering Lust

    How can we possibly do worse than the idiot we endured for 8 yrs..America is in desparate need of rescue. Anyone who can
    remain lucid through a Bugs Bunny cartoon realizes John Wayne McCain
    CANNOT do it. Teleprompters won't save us now McCain.
    Obama 08 & 12

    August 20, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  20. RealVoter

    Polls are meaning less. Elections do matter. Who we elect represents us to outside world. We have elected Bush twice as an image of ourselves to outside which is grossly ignorant, loose English, childish behavior, arrogant, stubborn, corrupt, war monger, highly unskilled and grossly incompetent. Are we going to do same thing again?

    August 20, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |

    cnn, why not focus on the stupid nature of empty suit McCain. These polls by the way mean nothing. Obama will win by a landslide. It is written in the star.

    August 20, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  22. Lee, New York City

    The problem is that people are now learning more about Obama and they don't like what they see. He cannot speak well without a teleprompter or script in front of him.

    He is for partial-birth abortion, will promote programs that will make American's taxes skyrocket (universal health care, big government entitlement programs, etc), and is a SOCIALIST. People are seeing that he has made friends with people who are very questionable (Rev. Wright, former Undergrouwd Weathermen, etc) and this makes them wonder about his judgement.

    On top of all this, he is INEXPERIENCED. This article states that he is heading into a period of "positive news coverage" with the convention, however that is ALL HE HAS RECEIVED FROM THE PRESS since he came on the scene. People just don't see in him qualities that would make a good President.

    August 20, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |

    cnn, why not focus on the stupid nature of empty suit McCain's thoughtless comments. These polls by the way mean nothing. Obama will win by a landslide. It is written in the stars.

    August 20, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  24. Gaylord

    Actually, I don't think the poll has a whole lot to do with McCain's attack ads. I think it has more to do with his flip-flopping antics and his failure to beat out McCain in the Rick Warren debate. I'm pro-Obama and I think we can all acknowledge that he's a smart guy. But, he needs to stop showing us how smart he is and go on the offensive with McCain or he's gonna lose. He needs smart, quick answers instead of his long, over-analyzed answers. I'm also anti-Clinton, but at this point, I think he has to suck it up and pick her as VP. He needs someone to do his dirty work. He needs an attack dog.

    August 20, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  25. Ragshaw Urquhart

    The Messiah should worry, In the national election there are no caucus votes where his shouting supporters can intimidate the voters. Also there are no superdelegates in the general election to goft him the presidency which he did not win. Barak Hussein Obama go back to community organising in Chicago in 2009

    August 20, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
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