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. 18 Million minus One

    If this was going to be easy it would have been done by now.

    August 20, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  2. Kevin

    The trick is to respond quickly to attacks. Kerry waited around and did nothing. Obama waited around, but then began to resond slowly. If you don't counter the attacks immediately, those attacks define you and sit in people's consciousnesses (can't spell). I think it's time to let out the Biden and Clinton attack dogs.

    August 20, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  3. Babangida B. Hong

    I am sure that sooner than later Obama will rise higher than ever, All he need to do is to make Americans know that America is not all about war. He most break the Psychological warfare of the Republican by putting fear in the heart of Americans just to (RULE) them just the way Gorge Bush did.

    America needs a peace maker not another Blood Oil War


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

    America is finally waking up. Bye bye Obama. P.S. – text me with your sad story.............

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

    In other news REALITY shows Ominous signs for McCain.

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

    As it gets closer to election day it seems "certain" people are beginning to have cold feet. But don't be dismayed. Whomever Barack choose to be vice, they will whip this country into tip top shape. Whereas McCain will treat us like the Republicans have for the last 8 years. Like they say Marie Antoinette treated France. He doesn't even know what is like to be poor, which he proved when he said 5 million was rich. He is out of touch with us. Don't choose him just because of his color. It is not enough.

    August 20, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  7. G. Canada

    I think more than ever Barack Obama needs to choose Hilary Clinton as his running mate for VP or he will never come out the winner in November..

    August 20, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  8. Milton, Harrisburg, PA

    I can't believe McCain is claiming some sort of experience lead. He can't communicate without a teleprompter (and even then, with stilted difficulty). He is as anti-intellectual and anti-science as George W. He has no sense of geography or history-as demonstrated by his "wikipedia-lifted" speeches. There may be an empty suit in the presidential race, but I don't think it is Barack Obama. Even his tired stories of his prisoner-of-war days appears to be plagiarized from Aleksander Solzhenitsyn's time in a gulag. The story shifts with political expediency. I'm afraid McCain is a Chauncey Gardner (google Peter Sellers "Being There"). When he makes a candid statement it usually refers to people as "jerks", "my friends", or even schools for spoiled children (a reference to his wife's alma mater). He graduated 494 out of 499 at West Point. Is it possible that he is dumber than George W.? How about empty rhetoric challenging Barack's patriotism? Hey, anyone can do that. John McCain was born in Panama. We can start there.

    August 20, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  9. Adam

    The Press...what a bunch of sensationalist idiots they are in this country. They so want to push this narrative of "Bad news for Obama," and yet he has led McCain since day one. However, not one word about what legitimately looks like a huge problem for McCain himself...the fact that he simply cannot get out of the low 40's in any of the polls. 41, 42, 43...they seem to be his ceiling, and the press, naturally, won't tell you that he can't win with those percentages. Of course's Obama in trouble, that's the theme. McCain seems to have reached his peak at around 43%, which, gee if I'm look at 100% being the total, and 50% being the middle...would seem to indicate that McCain is the one in trouble. Leave it to the sensationalist idiots.

    August 20, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  10. Charlotte

    Too pompous..Grandios posturing, and completely unready to lead. His presidential looking seal, his grandstanding in Denver. I don't think I have ever witnessed such self-importance in a candidate. He is caught up in the media hype. I hope he knows, it is a long way to the ground when you fly so high. Obama is the current, Hanna Montana of politics.

    August 20, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  11. Marvin Higgins

    I am sick of polls, they are not reliable. There are over 300,000,000 million people in this country a small sampling of does not reflect anything. The should be outlawed I am been a registered voter for over forty years I have never been called for for a poll nor has my wife. Very few people want obama to win anyway the entire system is messed up you guys will do every thing you can to keep a black man from winning its all about race. you idiots.

    August 20, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |

    Dear Barack Obama:




    August 20, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  13. Ernie Puto

    For those of us objectively looking at this race and the media coverage of Obama find the following quote in this article quite humorous:

    "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(sic) coverage as he names his running mate and officially accepts his party's presidential nomination."

    And how would this be different than the last year of Obama coverage?
    When has he not gotten "overwhelmingly positive coverage"?

    August 20, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  14. Greg

    Hmmmm. I wonder why? Obama has only been on vacation for a whole week, a book full of lies and distortions against Obama was released, McCain was double-downed on his negative ads........

    What's worrisome is that with all of his experience, "straight talk", RNC money-backing, lobbyist-support, McCain can't seem to pull out ahead of Obama!

    Watch what the polls do for the next 2 weeks as Obama comes out swinging, he makes his VP pick, and the convention show Americans who really needs to run this country!

    August 20, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  15. bobie

    NObama has no foreign experience to lead America through any crisis with Russia, China, Iran, etc.

    NObama has no economic experience to lead us through any recession or downturn in the economy.

    NObama is not ready to lead. Hopefully NObama picks a VP that can tell him what to do if he is elected or America is in for some trouble.

    NObama needs more expierence before he is ready to be president.

    August 20, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  16. Wake UP America

    Politicio has McCain ahead!!!!

    August 20, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  17. Anonymous

    And Reuters/Zogby has McCain up by seven points.

    People really are stupid, and the stupid people make all the really important decisions in this country.

    Are we really going to elect the empty-rhetoric, rah-rah, kill-the-terrorist, drill-here-drill-now, simpleminded doddering old fool based on quick quips and foolish mono-syllabic soundbites given with no sense of thought or careful consideration?

    This coiuntry is in a cesspool and looking to go deeper.

    August 20, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  18. S.M

    Sometimes the polls depend on the demographic area and who you're asking. Have they asked any of the inner city poverty stricken communities who they would vote for, or are the majority of people that they're asking are white? Many times you can't depend on the polls because there are those who may be for a particular candidate but are afraid to say for fear of backlash from friends and family. The real, provided they don't cheat.

    August 20, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  19. WILLIE

    In the wake of Russia's aggression, how can we ever negotiate peace from a stand of weakness. Obama would make us vunerable to attack should we ever give up our nuclear weapons. The next Georgia they invade might have a city called Atlanta. You can't negotiate with terrorists! Lord help us if Obama gets elected.

    August 20, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  20. Chris, NJ

    Well keep in mind that the only poll that matters is taken on Nov. 4th and I have no doubt in my mind that when that time comes America will realize that all the "change" Obama is offering is more of the same that the 2006 democrat congress' "accomplishments"

    I'm sure all the obamamaniacs will be here saying, "Oh it's ok.. still a 3 point lead" but when a bunch of left leaning polls show obamas lead dropping that significantly it means something. Thank you America for finally realizing that obama is nothing more than a creation of the media and is in no way fit to lead our country.

    August 20, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  21. Marc M

    Overwhelming positive coverage? Don't you mean overwhelming biases reporting and the creation of new where there is none?

    Has there been anything else from the media?

    Your supposed to report the news, not create it or put your personal spin on it. It's a shame what the media has become.

    August 20, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  22. Deniese

    Who cares!!!!!!!!!! He's still gonna be POTUS.

    August 20, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  23. Rose

    I am not at all surprised by Obama's drop in the polls. His response to the Russian, Georgia conflict showed his lack of judgment in this type of matter. He has boasted that judgment is better than experience so often. His response just shows he is not prepared for this type of world issue. All he has talked about was that he was against the Iraq war from the onset, however, he also admitted that if he was in the US Senate at the time of the vote he is not sure how he would have voted. Judgment we can't believe in.

    August 20, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  24. Michelle, PA

    This will change once Biden is firmly in the co-pilot's seat.

    Obama just can't bring himself to stoop to McCain's slimy level, but Biden has no trouble hitting back hard. And since McCain started the dirty stuff after promising to run a clean campaign on the issues, I have no problem seeing Joe mop the floor with him while Obama stays with the inspirational, unity and domestic policy message he does best. Add in Biden's foreign policy credentials, and they'll be unbeatable.

    Obama/Biden 08!

    August 20, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  25. wake up people

    Good, people are starting to smarten up. Just like the 2004 election.
    GO MCCAIN!!!

    August 20, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
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