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. PUMA tuPAC

    see... the PUMAs are working overtime to get McCain elected and get our kids in the desert to fight as soon as possible.

    we are bitter over hillary....and McCain is the only choice

    we would never vote for no uppity OBAMA

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

    Going negative actually does work.... I guess but who are they polling... I haven't received a call.. My Mother, My Grandmother...... so who and where are they polling?

    August 20, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  3. John Starnes

    It absolutely boggles the mind that this race could be close, with McCain having SO adeptly demonstrated that he is as inept, shallow and clueless as Bush, for whom he has voted 95% of the time the last 8 catastrophic years. But since 52 million Americans ignored the cold reality staring them in the face and voted for a SECOND term for Bush, I guess I should not be surprised that they could be buffaloed by McCain's "straight talk" and "having been a POW makes me qualified to lead America" mantra. The sad thing is, the rest of us plus the world have to pay the price for their choosing to remain uninformed.

    August 20, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  4. Art

    I noticed when McCaine was asked about his position on abortion, Rick Warren didn't ask hit "what about in a case of rape, incest or where the pregnancy could result in death for the mother and baby". It was so obvious to see Obama was set up. I smell Karl Rove. As for the developments in Georgia, that's what happens when you continue to refer to your country as the last superpower. They're sitting on just as many nukes as we are, and I think that constitutes them to be a superpower. Is it a conicidence in the 60s when they invaded their neighbors we were tied up in Vietnam and today being tied up in Iraq has led to the same thing.
    If McCaine wins he will finish what Bush has started, the total destruction of this country!

    August 20, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  5. Tony

    On MSNBC and front pages today! -–

    McCain takes 5-point lead over Obama
    Poll: Republican seen as a stronger manager of the economy!

    America, you are pathetic! Just never learn!

    August 20, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  6. Gail

    Just remember this folks – if McCain wins, DRAFT DRAFT DRAFT. Do you know any 18 year old kids? How about 15 years olds? Any 13, 14 year old kids? Well they'll all be drafted eventually and probably die in some foreign war McCain JUST HAS TO HAVE

    August 20, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  7. ex democrat

    Hey Hussein, say bye bye!

    August 20, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  8. ty

    of course his lead is cut in half u cover this guy all the time(LIke what he eatin for breakfast).. and then he get the most criticism bc of the coverage.. The public is tired of hearing about the Guy .. Like stalk about John Mccain the War Hero and all His gaffes and affairs and how he made jokes about raping women..(BUT I forgot we cant say that about (WAR heros).. The american people are so dumb they dont do they own home work they let people like cnn make there mind up and fox News who all have an agenda Lets not be neive here.. people DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK.

    August 20, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  9. Phil in KC

    He will get a bounce after he names his VP (despite howls of protest from the Clinton camp) and after the convention. Of course, the question is, will he get a bigger bounce than McCain?
    I also have to question the accuracy of the polls in this day and age. Since Obama has a fairly large youth following and that demographic has largely abandoned land lines in favor of cell phones as their lone phone line, I suspect they're not being polled.
    This is going to be an interesting election.

    August 20, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  10. Jose Vazquez

    As the nation gets to know the extreme liberal positions of Senator Obama his lead has and will continue to shrink. The fact is he is on the wrong side of several important economic and social issues. On the economic side his welath redistribution plan is un-american. Since when do we take money from people that save work hard and decide that they have enough? Also the fact that he is agianst Drilling for oil, and nuclear energy is hard to accept. We are sending $700 Billion a year to foreign countries and we coudl keep a significant portion of that money right here in the good old USA. Also the infrastructure needed to Dirll for our oil and to buid nuclear facilities will create 100,000's of great payingjobs on a short and long term basis. Lastly Senator Obama's radical voting record on abortion issues makes him unelectable. I recognize that Senator McCain is not the best canidate but he is MUCH better than Senator Obama.

    August 20, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  11. R Wolf

    What a bunch of elitist junk. Do you think the majority of Americans have the time or inclination to go to the internet and vote on your polls? Do you think the millions of people who actually work for a living, the true backbone of America, the ones who will vote for Obama, care about your polls? Obama is winning over poor, wealthy and all the millions of people in between and the voting booths in this Country will reflect that in November.

    August 20, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  12. Are we as a Nation really that stupid?

    Do we really want more of the same? Why aren't we tired of the Republican's trickle down policies? Is anything of value trickling down to you? Why don't we give someone new a chance to do better? Do you really think he can do worse than our current president who was elected not once but twice? Are we really going to let fear mongering sway us yet again?

    August 20, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  13. Hello!!!

    Hillary on the ticket would give him a huge lead. Otherwise, he will lose to John McCain. Seeing how McCain is becoming a stronger candidate, who knows what could help Obama other than adding Hillary......dems will never learn.

    August 20, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  14. BigBear

    Maybe all of those people who thought Obama would bring change have realized that his record has failed to support any ability of his to make change. He has never done it in 47 years and it would be extremely difficult for him to bring about change that matches his rhetoric, even if he had made changes during his prior attempts.

    August 20, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  15. Objective Reader

    Polls only reinforce that the Presidential election is a popularity contest with little to do with experience or qualifications. Obama has no experience in anything that prepares him for an executive position at Walmart let alone the Presidency. He is highly charismatic and demonstrates high ethical values, a nice guy most of us would like to know, but that shouldn't qualify someone to be President.

    August 20, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  16. SaneTexan

    Funny that CNN still shows their candidate- Obama with a lead over McCain when other polls show McCain with a 5 point lead.
    Really not that surprising since you beat Hillary to death to get Obama the nomination. There is some justice in the world though. It will all backfire on the biased media and Obama's mean-spirited supporters come November though.

    August 20, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  17. Nancy

    Why doesn't CNN shut their mouth and let the American people think for themselves. McCain is now getting a free ride even though he hasn't the energy or the intelligence to make an informed comment. If you listen to his speaches carefully, you will notice that they are full of "fluff". Since when is a thoughtful, careful answer wrong? John McCain is another "my way or the highway" man instead of listening to people who know more than him about the subject at hand. Barack Obama will listen to the facts from all aspects before jumping into a bad decision. Unlike Bush and McBush. You will not find a better leader than Barack in this race for the White House. Think carefully voters before letting the pity stories lead you into a wrong decision.

    August 20, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  18. joe bob from georgia

    when he names his vp candidate & its name is not hillary rodham clinton, john mccain will take his first lead in the polls. after john mccain beats him in three head to head debates after the conventions, obama will need to learn how to say president mccain.

    August 20, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  19. marie

    I think he will have to choose Hilary if he has any chance of winning–he simply does not have what it takes on his own. If that includes Bill, so be it. I am pretty sure, in spite of the cloak and dagger stuff, he really has no choice–the DNC is running the ship–Obama probably has very little say in this matter.

    August 20, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  20. Rob

    No wonder McBush is catching up. Just look at his message to the people. Dril Drill Drill,Surge Surge Surge, Bomb Bomb Bomb.I am sure inspired. Arn't You?

    August 20, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  21. Mccain=Warmonger=Bush

    of course his poll numbers are down he has been on vacation for about a week what do they expect Cnn is Bias it is alway negative towards Obama and Positive towards Mcbush Cnn report the news fairly. Talk about all the other State polls that Mcbush should be leading but he is not talk about that

    August 20, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  22. Hello!!!

    Also, a week in Hawaii probably didn't help matters when MOST people are not doing well right now. Too Bush-like.

    August 20, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  23. Frank

    The problem with Obama, as we get closer to election day, is that no one really knows who he is or where he stands on issues... He is walking very close to the fence trying to sell to both conservatives and liberals... Contrast this with McCain who has a long record in the Senate... People either hate him or love him, but they do it based on his record and where he has stood on issues in the past(tanglible...

    Who is Obama?

    August 20, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  24. Jeffer65

    Where are these poll takers? No one has ever called me to ask about who I will vote for.

    August 20, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  25. edward sevume sweden

    Alas, Obama is too soft in his approach to McCain. History shall tell if Obamas tactic of refraining from using dubious campaigning tactics in order to win was right or wrong.
    It appears that the audience loves McCains way of doing things and it is paying off judging from the opinion polls.
    The tactic is to attack the opponents weaker points, repeat the message over and over again. This is a simple principle in psychology. With time, the message gets inplated in the hearts and minds of the audience as being true! On the day when americans, especially those who are undecided, go to the voting booths, they will remember McCains message – a message that instills the belief that America can solve all problems by military means. A message whereby experince far ways heavier than making good judgements.
    Att the end of the day, it is the propensity of making good judgments by the populace that shall play the decisive when it comes to putting in place the right leader in the white house, a leader that the world shall look upon in helping to solve the ills of the world.

    August 20, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
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