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. What will will be

    If such polls make you guy sleep well, good luck! Come November, polls or no polls voters will speak loud and clear and you will understand that America is no land of fools! After having a president that needs help to peel his banans, I will eat up my old hat if the voters vote in another one to continue in same direction!

    August 20, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. JP

    Bulldog not all families accept their half sibilings. Happens in American everyday. As for the polls going up for Mr. O, sure they will for a week and then the Reps. have their convention and it gets tighter again. Mr. O is not going to make it to the presidency. More than likely he will chose some guy who is not a threat to his intelligence and he will be a running mate. When he does that, then you will see how intelligent him and his advisors are. I have never wanted nor will I vote for someone who speaks one thing and then says he didn't mean to say that in another breath. Funny thing, no one knows what he means. McCain will take him in Nov. Sorry folks....

    August 20, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  3. Dan

    It's too early for polls to mean much, but I don't mind Obama needing to play a little catch-up. It'll keep him and his supporters from getting overconfident.

    The stupidity of the American voter is not a thing to underestimate. It should have been an impossibillity for Bush to get a second term after the mess he made in his first one, but, lo and behold, he won in 2004. And everybody (except a stubborn and brain-dead 19% or so, who'd vote for an ashtray of Dobson told them to) regrets that now. But, have they learned from it? Apparently not. At one point I thought McCain would be a competent choice, but after listening to him and seeing the way he's run his campaign, I honestly think he might end up being WORSE than Bush. But he may win anyway... this country has become THAT stupid and THAT self-destructive. Too many sheeple brainwashed by politicalized pastors and talk-radio will do exactly what they're told to do, even if it's obvious it'll destroy the country.

    August 20, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  4. Bob From Pittsburgh

    John Doe

    I smell desperation..!!

    August 20, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  5. Christian

    I LOVE the despiration in the comments of the Obama crew. HEY!! There's always HOPE! It doesn't power my car, it doesn't run the economy, it's never won wars or intimidated evil. BUT IT SURE CAN KEEP THAT TINGLY FEELING GOING UP YOUR LEG!

    August 20, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  6. Nikki, Florida

    No one polled me!

    August 20, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  7. JJ

    All I have to say is if McCain wins, America will get what it deserves..

    More war
    Roe vs Wade overturned
    Women's equal rights abandoned
    Affirmative action gone
    Higher Gas prices
    Another 10 trillion dollars in debt
    No respect from foreign leaders will continue.....

    Need I say any more

    August 20, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  8. Teresa

    Nominating Obama will go down in history as the biggest mistake the DNC every made...

    August 20, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  9. Terry

    The word is out it's not going to be Hillary.
    Guest What Obama Just Lost.
    I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!
    Look at the polls.
    No Hillary means your lost HA HA HA

    August 20, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  10. RealityKing

    John McCain will put America first.

    Barack Obama??

    August 20, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  11. gl

    I really don't know who they are calling for these polls. I have not had one call so I really don't care about with the polls said. Alot of people are not even included. With Hilliary and her supporters still holding out, also makes a big different.

    August 20, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  12. craig

    To those evangelicals who say Obama is the AC...If you don't vote for him then your savior will never come. Think about it!!

    August 20, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  13. mollygonz

    People are being duped by the master puppet. McSame can't think for himself so he has others put him through the motions. Poll numbers mean nothing. Just wait until the millions of democrats, newly registered democrats, come out and vote.

    August 20, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  14. Canadian

    Please elect McCain. Once he instigates a nuclear war, Canada will be flooded with American refuges. It will be great for my business.

    McCain 08

    August 20, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  15. Ken Sawyer

    If any body but but one of the Liberal networks had taken the poll McCain would be ahead by many points. Get real and wake up.

    August 20, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  16. Polls mean nothing at this point

    Polls mean nothing at this point – it's who's gonna show up and actually vote in November – just the sheer thought of another Bush term will bring people out to vote for Obama in droves. Don't believe me? I just got November on my mind!

    OBAMA 08 & 12!!!

    August 20, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  17. babsnj

    finally people are seeing the light....I can't believe Obama was ever a viable candidate to begin with. I am not crazy about McCain to be sure but I'll take him over Obama every day and twice on Sunday.

    August 20, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. anonymous

    Ty – suck it up, loser! NOBAMA is not electable! (PS – instead of writing on blogs, you should be going back to school to learn how to spell, punctuate and write!) Its evident why you wanted NOBAMA to win.

    August 20, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  19. Tim

    And I hope the gap closes tighter. We can not afford to elect an Obama to the whitehouse. He has the largest campaign staff of any in the history of this country, constantly feeding him information on every subject, for one main reason- So he doesnt say something stupid or make himself look ignorant. Take away his teleprompter, isolate him from his brains (his campaign staff), and stick him in a town hall meeting with John Mccain. Mccain would eat his lunch and make him look flat silly, and he knows it, and is why he refuses to accept the many joint town hall meetings that Mccain has proposed. We saw at the Saddelback forum how bad mccain can make obama look. He is so much stronger, smarter, sharper, and experianced than the babbling, calculating Obama, who seems to always try to fit his answers around what he knows the current audiance wants to hear.

    Mccain/Romney 2008.

    August 20, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  20. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    Its funny(or sad) that when McCain was talking about issues, he couldn't gain any traction, but over the last few weeks, he has gone negative and has taken the low road and this has helped him. I still say its the nutty right that has come home because of these attacks and that is where the upsurge has occured.

    No clear thinking, half intelligent person would be influenced by the McCain campaigns recent plan of attack.

    August 20, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  21. SSgt Perrry

    George Bush's record as a student, military man, businessman and leader of the free world is one of constant failure. And the part that troubles me most is he seems content with himself.

    He will leave office with the country $10 trillion in debt, fighting two wars, our international reputation in shambles, our government cloaked in secrecy and suspicion that his entire presidency has been a litany of broken laws and promises, our citizens' faith in our own country ripped to shreds. Yet Bush goes bumbling along, grinning and spewing moronic one-liners, as though nobody understands what a colossal failure he has been.

    John McCain is just like him.

    Vote Republician, this what I really want to see again for another 4 years

    August 20, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  22. Ken in Dallas

    This is proof that the Republican propaganda war machine trumps any campaign of issues and ideas every time. Republicans always go for a lock on the stupid vote, and it works well for them.

    America the Gullible.

    August 20, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  23. frustrated democrat

    Sigh... when will the Democrats learn that you have to be willing to ATTACK YOUR OPPONENT in order to win an election... I know that in this election and the previous one the Democrats have tried to present intellectual arguments in favor of their candidate, more people vote based on fear and emotion as opposed to .. well.. thinking..... If Obama doesn't make people afraid of what a McCain presidency would be like then he will lose. He needs to start putting some negative labels on McCain and making those labels stick. I just hope its not already to late

    August 20, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  24. mark

    I've always admired John McCain's tough honesty and willingness to put country before party. HOWEVER, I am very concerned about the state of our nation has found itself in under GOP dogma.

    I was 99.9% sure I was going to vote for Obama in November. Healthcare is my families #1 issue. Our grown daughter is type 1 diabetic. I typcially vote Democrat and am a former '92 Clinton campaign worker (El Paso County CO land of zeolot evangelicals – I no longer live there). Then my Mom (82) asked me if I'd watched the Saddleback summit. I had not. I listened to the entire summit here on CNN. I have to say I am VERY concerned with all the "fluffy" answers Mr Obama gave us. He spent what seemed an inordinate amount of time looking over his shoulder to ensure he was saying politically expedient things.

    McCain just answered the questions as if to say 'this is me, I hope you like my answers but if you don't that's ok too'.

    Based on McCain's willingness to wrestle and criticize Bush, especially around 2004, I really do not believe we get Bush III. How could we? The country can't sustain it.

    I haven't changed my mind, it's no longer near certain though. I think part of the poll slippage is due to all those fluffy answers in that summit.

    August 20, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  25. Francis Michael Xavier

    As a European, I can tell you that the whole world is not only rooting for Obama but they believe in his sincerity and unique ability! He has brought all the big guns out for the convention and this will really rally the democrats, independents and reasonable republicans together!! Obama must continue doing what he has been doing: resisting the politcss of fear with faith.

    Go Obama/America!!

    August 20, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
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