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. Julie

    i knew it was too good to be true

    August 20, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  2. GetReal

    Please, please, please, polling people. Your opinion poll is as out
    of touch as the old man. The group of voters who are making the
    difference in this election see well beyond the outdated tactics used
    by McCain and his loco-votion machine. Be smart and deal with real issues in voters lives.

    August 20, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  3. Brenda

    of course he'll rebound after the democratic convention. two things obama supporters fall for–1. his charm, and 2. his rhetoric. you can bet the charm will be on overdrive during the convention. it always is when there's a camera around.

    the man has no substance. "change" sounds great, but actions speak louder than words. i was happy to see the polls slip. hopefully that means people are finally questioning what his inexperience could mean for our future and how he plans to go about changing the country.

    August 20, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  4. Rachelraye- MD

    Don't get to cocky the fat lady hasn't sung yet. This race is not over by along shot. I don't believe in polls.

    August 20, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  5. Anthony

    Negative attack ads work, as we saw in 2004.

    Obama needs to get smart about these attack ads before it destroys his chances to win. I don't care about playing nice guy at this point, his campaign should be attacking McCain in ads from here on out. Not blaming McCain for the Bush-era problems, but all out attacking him/

    Come on, man! you're running for president! Show some guts.

    August 20, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  6. Nick

    Great piece of news, except for the fact we have heard and seen this occurrence in politics dozens of times. As frightening for democrats as this reality may be, must this all come as a surprise? Sure his lead has dwindled, but the lead is still apparent. Barack Obama is simply experiencing what the world calls competition. All I can is say is ride the wave Barack.

    August 20, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  7. ree

    People are finally getting smart.

    He might go up after naming a VP and he might not.

    He might go up after his speech and he might not.

    It's time he and his supporters face the fact that not everyone wants to belong to a cult or be a sheep. There are still enough of us left who can thing for themselves. We just don't like the hateful comments of his supporters and don't want to be one of them.

    I am not a racist, not stupid, or still mad about Sen. Clinton and I am neither a Dem. or a Rep. Just someone who does not trust the Obama's.

    August 20, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  8. Christina P, Buffalo NY

    Can the presidential race make a “D” student an “A” student? If “NO” , how come McCain knew all the questions and answers? He even answered most of the questions before asked!!

    August 20, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  9. Patricia Walton

    Whom are these polls polling? I admit I do not understand how the polls work, but don't the outcome of these polls depend upon demograhics, etc.? At any rate, I don't think the American people are that much concerned about these polls, as they change daily and weekly and are really not a telescopic representation of the nation as a whole. I don't care what any polls say - Obama will win and point this country in the right direction.
    (Also, we are all sick and tired of hearing McCain talking relentlessly about his POW story to gain sympathy - that was almost 40 years ago for God's sake -enough is enough!! McCain is surely a POW, which stands for Pathetic, Old and White.)

    August 20, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  10. Jerry

    where do these folks get the polls from because nobody ask me do I want to take a survey for the election, this is a conspiracy so people could feel Obama is losen so they can vote for McCain. We would see in November who will win......I heard the polls are taken by republicans

    Obama 08

    August 20, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  11. Edward Lim

    I cannot believe so many people support John McCain. It's truly ridiculous. Haven't we learned from Bush? McCain is Bush number 2!

    August 20, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  12. Silo

    This should surprise no one. Senator Obama is proving to be a well-spoken empty suit with a stong liberal bent. His performance last Saturday night only highlighted his clear lack of experience. There is only so long the MSM can cover for him. Senator McCain on the other hand, for all his flaws, comes across as experienced and a man of conviction. Equally important, he is center-right on most issues, right where the majority of the electorate is. This is far from over, but Senator McCain may end up winning this election the same way he won the primaries–slow and steady.

    August 20, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  13. Veteran in Kansas

    What we need is a President that thinks before he acts or even speaks. I do not look at the Obama response to the Georgia situation as indecisive, I look at it as a measured thought process, rather than a knee jerk reaction.

    My advice to Obama, honor McCain as a veteran, recognize his suffering as a POW. On everything else attack, attack, attack, remember a good defense is a strong offense, keep McCain on the defense don't give him a chance to gather his thoughts, his true colors will come out.

    August 20, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  14. james

    I think we need to check how these polls are conducted. I've heard reports that they were done over land-line phones. This could skew the results quite a bit towards Mccain, just like Dewey over Taft.

    You watch, Obama's going to disprove all the polls in a much larger win than they predict.

    August 20, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  15. Richard J H

    all you people who disrespect this country, the one and only Hegemon, and say it is doing so bad, "in a cesspool", need to "regain respect", etc. ARE IN THE MINORITY!

    Most citizens are proud of their country so when obama degrades the country that allowed him to be where he is and tells the world that the largest power in the world needs to do better, it offends those of us who KNOW that we are already the best and need not defend our actions. That is why he fails. That is why he will lose.

    August 20, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  16. Not fooled by distractions

    Obama was also on vacation and out of the spotlight when this polling was done – While McPresident grabbing every second of airtime he could was bombing away on russia. HIs numbers will rebound, no doubt.

    August 20, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  17. baker

    YES! this is good news for freedom, liberty, and freemarket capitolism.

    LIberals: People are saying NO! to socialism and low moral values!

    August 20, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  18. MT

    So.......why can't McCain close the deal? McCain reminds me of another “overwhelmingly-experienced” politician that’s unable to overtake an “amateur.” I find this fact very interesting.

    August 20, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  19. mcbush sux

    when referring to mccain draft, don't just concentrate on unemployed eighteen year olds who can't even drink in our backwards country....instead look in the mirror, we have a bunch of felons serving in iraq now, bush is relying on 20 min. trailers people are forced to watch now in movie theatres, and the enlistment age is up to 38 now.....mccain's draft will mean experienced professionals, aka most reservists, will be overseas somewhere, we are already preparing a third front in georgia to artificially prolong mcbush's war economy......apparently the only economy he knows anything about....just don't ask him to find a place on the map!!!!

    August 20, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  20. GetReal

    WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! experience does John McCain have. His claim to
    fame came through a marriage. Listen to the guy speak. He's not quite as smart as Goerge. What does that tell ya??

    August 20, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  21. Kevin

    As long as media and jounalist in love with McBush, They will not report true MCBush picture to American, Shame on all of them. This guy is double talker , dumber and hakisher than our current president. Media pushes that this guy is Maverick and has experience and I am not sure what experience they are talking about when this guy does not seem to know anything and time and time either has flip-flopped or gaffed.

    August 20, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  22. Billy

    Everybody just remember that it's the Rush/Chamey/McCrackin show that's allowed Iraq to build a 76 Billion Dollar surplus! Hey, here's an idea, lets allow them to stockpile money so that they can continue to fund terrorist groups that hate us. All while robbing us blind on oil. What a novel idea.

    Can somebody, anybody please explain why we want this failed foreign and domestic policy to continue.

    If you can honestly say that America is better off now than we were 8 years ago, you need to seek professional help. Or maybe you should go ahead and buy a ticket for the "Straight Jacked Express"!!!!

    August 20, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  23. Tom Eyemdaman

    The straight talk express coming through, coming through, excuse me please, coming through...

    August 20, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  24. Michael O'Brien

    Hello CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney.., your article of Senator Barack Obama in the latest polls was very good. However.., Besides the Georgia conflict.., it was also the Saturday night CNN "Forum" led by Pastor Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California with Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain. Senator John McCain did very well.. Now.., I am taking a closer look at Senator John McCain. Mike O'Brien Butte, Montana

    August 20, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  25. Obamacan

    I wish our population was a little bit more intelligent. I for once can’t even recognize the party I voted with for the last 26 years…It’s right in front of our eyes, yet my fellow American prefer to close their and pretend they’re blind. After the disastrous past 8 years, simply can’t believe that someone other McSame’s family could actually vote for him.
    Obama 08.

    August 20, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
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