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. Bob Stephens

    The only way that " War Monger" McCain can get a few more votes, is when he is talking about his only expertise , war. On every other issue, he is in the weeds......

    August 20, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  2. Gerry in Virginia

    Any thing CNN has to say about Obama is ALWAYS on the down side so your pole of poles CNN doesn't say much to me except your trying very hard to keep the same old money grubbing bunch (who have ran our economy into the ground ) running the country. Now, since you have mostly cut out my comments because I don't (evidently) spout your propaganda, I'll not expect you to post this either.
    P.S.... The one bright star you have on your staff is Jack Cafferty.. It's too bad you don't have the good sense to give him a full time slot. But then, he does seem to be more PRO OBAMA then the rest of you "news team"... *NOTE TO JACK* Your commentary tuesday was right on the money... Thank you !!!!!

    August 20, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  3. S.M

    The real truth will come on the day of the election and after they count all of the votes; provided they don't cheat.

    August 20, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  4. Chips

    Do an internet Poll and you will find out just how accurate these polls are!

    August 20, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  5. v.a.

    polls schmolls. anybody who has been involved in any past campaign knows polls don't mean squat.

    August 20, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. Jennifer Miller

    No surprises here, who wants to elect a non-experience candidate such as Obama, whom the only experience is few years in the Senate and as a community organizer does not make him qualified to be a US president. He needs to gain more experience and the he can try again in the future. Better candidates are Clinton and McCain.

    August 20, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  7. Lucas, Nashville TN

    Big deal. They'll go up and down a hundred times between now and the election.

    August 20, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  8. Foreign observer

    Still poll statistics. In fact it is still 50:50 as it´s been all the time.

    August 20, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  9. Mike in Chicago

    Once again our current administration shows it unable to make a move without issuing hollow threats. Mr. McCain will be a perfect choice if we want to continue the failed policies of the past 8 years leaving us with few allies and a tired and poorly equipped military.

    August 20, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  10. Geoz

    negative works... but that still doesn't make it right Senator McCain.

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

    Cnn I can tell you one reason you are surprised that the polls show the Gap is so close. You do not get a real read off your blogg because most of your writers like this one deletes any negative statements that is made concerning Obama and his wife. Apparently your writers and moderates(most) or so in the tank for Obama they do not let most people post that have negative info by either deleting or saying it is a duplicate and it never shows up under the article. They try to slant the input as Jack Cafferty of cnn does by reading 4 comments three poitive for Obama and a half negative toward him. But guess what you cannot stop a vote against Obama.. I use to watch CNN and thought it was far and balanced in its tv coverage and writing. Now I watch about five minutes of cnn and apparently have to see which of the people write the article and ask for comments to see if they will be posted. I do not know if the writers moderate their own or have someone elde doing it. Either way whoever is doing this is a disgrace to the audience , to cnn and ought to be fired.

    August 20, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  12. ashley

    Very interesting....

    NOBAMA 08

    August 20, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  13. Bulldog

    Cindy McCain has consistently stated that she was "the only child" but today I heard on NPR that in fact she has a sister from the same father who is pissed that Cindy is lying to the media. Her sister, Kathy, is content that her and Cindy's dad gave Cindy the family business and only gave her $10,000 in his will, but she is pissed that Cindy continually lies to the media about being an only child.

    August 20, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  14. Alex in NC

    He's losing steam because the truth is he is an inexperienced naive less than one term senator. He has zero foreign policy or leadership experience and voted "present" over 100 times in the Illinois state senate. John McCain has a proven record of working across the aisle and getting things accomplished for the country and what is right for America. He is an American hero and will be the 44th President of the United States.

    August 20, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  15. Dave

    I don't think these polls mean very much at this point. After the candidates name their running mates and after the conventions, the campaign will really start. I also think that when the candidates debate in a real forum, not one designed by evangelical Christians, John McCain will lose ground. I'm not saying that Barack Obama is invinceable - he needs to "dummy down" his answers because the average American is looking for short sound bites like those provided by McCain and, unfortunately, race is going to be an issue.

    August 20, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  16. Gary

    Intelligent voters see more substance in McCain's leadership capabilities and less in Obama's lack of executive experience.

    Oprah and CNN may 'push' Obama, but in November that 'push' won't work.

    August 20, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  17. WOW

    Please AMERICA .......................

    repub's=pro life ...................................but pro war ( WOW)............


    ALL FOR GREED..............................PRO LIFE ,,,,,,,,(PLEASE) if you believe that I have a bridge to sell ya.


    August 20, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  18. Amir, DC

    What about new voters?

    Obama's new movement managed to get a large segement of young people who never voted before and are not included in any of these polls. These polls gives very little clue.

    August 20, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  19. John Doe

    To all you uneducated phonies out there claiming they don't poll cell phone users, you might want to emerge from the rock you've been living under and do some research. All the major polls now include cell phone users. Gallup daily has John McCain trailing by just 1 point; imagine how bad he's going to crush Obama come election time.

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

    I dont think a running mate will do much good because thats exactly what he is is a vice president and how much can they do if the president a lot of the promises they make they really cant do anything without the house or the senate

    August 20, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  21. Don, Ft. Worth

    Both candidates have positives and negatives. Depending on the major news events of the week probably influences the polls more than anything as to which appears to be the best candidate. I would remind both partisans that voting Dem or Repub because they are the answer is not very bright. Both parties have a lot to be ashamed of. Neither party has shown the ability to govern effectively. Both are better at being the opposition party. Neither party has the answer to any of the problems and both seem unable to look at solutions without partisanship being the major factor. For example just saying no to drilling is not proposing a solution. Neither is drill, drill, drill. Cutting taxes doesn't cure cancer, neither does raising them. Both parties need to understand simple things like that. If they can't they need to become extinct.

    August 20, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  22. Jerral

    the seantors lost points will come back by large margins, he took a vacation and mccain took advantage. he is going to have to slip back to the old politics for a day and defend himself against the attacks. HOWEVER, he stayed on course and beat the clintons. i am confident he knows exactly what to do
    go obama/08

    cnn, it is hardly never my comments get posted,why?

    August 20, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  23. blueken

    I think the Warren forum hurt Obama badly. McCain seems to have gotten better at sound bites. He was clearly just using campaign slogans and neo-con talking points. Sadly that plays well with a lot of Americans. What was Obama thinking walking into a auditorium full of evangalists? Not his crowd. McCain clearly out flanked him on that one. Obama has to tighten up his tactics, and stop giving advantage to McCain. He also has to handle the Clintons.

    August 20, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  24. Brandon

    These early polls should be taken with a grain of salt. Wait until some debates are done, and it's getting towards zero hour.

    August 20, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  25. jsg

    Every news blast from you people is like watching Oil Can Harry twisting his mustaches while Sweet Sue is gentely screaming, causing her blond tresses to wiggle wildly ,as the Hero in a white hat , is shown at least a 100 miles away, riding his wooden horse to the rescue.

    Wolf, why not just have the Cafferty file and yourself report the news? Although I do l love watching the doomsdayers – Crowley, etc., roll their eyes and posture as they infer what "could" happen.

    Soon, John will be back in AZ, watching a paid employee polish his medals and we can rest easy that the countr;y is in good hands with the right democrat at the helm!

    August 20, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
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