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. Linda


    Who are you polling?

    How is this polling data a statement of fact based on your limited polling demographic?

    You (CNN) would better serve the American people by focusing on the critical issues and not subjective polling data politically geared to further divide the nation.

    August 20, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  2. duke

    McCain may pull this off. Speaks to the worldwide recognition that Americans are basically dumb. I always thought that McCain seemed not to be very intelligent. I don't agree with Bush policies at all, but I always thought that he was reasonably intelligent. I had no idea that McCain graduated 894 out of 899, oh my goodness. Take this guy's Admiral father away and what do you have?

    McCain is scary, he is not very intelligent, and he is extremely scripted......who is pulling the strings? The man cannot think on his feet. Please don't give this guy 5 minutes alone with a foreign leader, most of which are at least intelligent. I don't like Bush, but if I cannot have Obama or Clinton for that matter, give me 4 more years of Bush. No, I mean actually Bush, not McCain. Give me Cheney over McCain. McCain is going to get us into much more trouble than we are already in. Think your belts have had to tighten over the last 8 years......just wait.

    What does it say when an academic failure is this close to winning the white house.

    If no Obama an no Clinton
    Give me George W. Bush / Dick (shoot you in the face) Cheney 08

    August 20, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. Jennifer in NYC

    Who are these McSame voters? Do they really like how the country is now? seems obvious little will change between the current state of the country under Bush and if McSame is the President. This is really frustrating that there are that many ignoarant Americans out there.

    Just wait until the debates begin. Obama is going to blow McSame out of the water.

    August 20, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  4. Tom Eyemdaman

    Gail, are you trying scare tactics the same as Democrats claim Republicans do?

    Wake up people! Look past Obama's rhetoric, look past his teleprompted speeches, and look at his voting record. Look at his tax plans – look and understand how they will really impact the economy. He's appealing to your emotion by taxing the evil rich, but you need to understand what that taxation will do to EVERYONE. Read up and learn about it now before it's too late. I'm not asking you to vote for McCain – I'm asking you to educate yourself! (The vote for McCain will come naturally after you learn about the issues)

    August 20, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  5. Brenda

    Marvin Higgins–"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."

    only people like you make it about race. i'm for neither candidate. does that mean i don't have a race?

    (that's how stupid you sound)

    Obama supporters–wake up. CNN (and every other news outlet with the exception of Fox News) has been singing the praises of Obama since he got the primary. i've never had a candidate shoved down my throat like the media is doing with Obama.

    Bulldog–your statement is completely irrelevent. that's old news. NPR reported it already. but it was a great anti-McCain slip.

    August 20, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. mike

    if you liked "W" your gonna love "McCain"

    August 20, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. G

    you are a complete tenth degree IDIOT!!
    Turn off your computer and go bake cookies. And cry a river when McCain wins this election.

    August 20, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  8. Terry

    Frank, Atlanta, GA,

    Wake Up. Obama will lose because he did not pick Hillary.
    The Hillary voters do not like Obama.
    Can't you see 18,000,000 votes!!!!!!
    Dont blame anyone but Obama. He has the Presidents job if he uses his head. Thats the problem if it wasn't for the young vote Hillary would be our next president.
    End Of Story!!!!!

    August 20, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  9. Hillary Supporter

    I want the democrats to wake up and smell the roses before its too late. McCain is gradually sneaking up on Obama and will eventually overtake him. The DNC and superdelegates selected the weaker candidate because he is a black american. Democrats go ahead and live in a dream world because the american people want someone who can do the job and not because the person is black and will make history. Forget the history making and elect the stronger and better candidate which, of course, is Hillary Clinton.

    Don't wait until November to realize that you have made a mistake and then it will be too late as the republicans step back into the white house. I don't why Obama is being so arrogant with these big rallies and they mean nothing if you cannot win the election. The republicas are sitting back and laughing as the democrats with Obama make fools of themselves with these stupid big rallies.. The republicans must be saying "typical black people". Why is Obama doing such stupid things. I suppose he really has no say as he is just the puppet on the strings and he does what he is told to do.

    Hillary, I am behind you 100%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 20, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  10. carolflowery

    You know, it's a funny thing, our economy didnt really start having a down turn until a democractic majority in congress took over, that my friends, is something to think seriously hard about. If you want to be taxed into hell, then well, stick with your man, Obama, if you want security and less taxes, pick McCain, those are the facts

    August 20, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  11. David N

    To prove that Obama is a socialist......

    Next week the convention will be visited by the president of a European Socialist party.

    This party strongly supports Sen. Obama, that party thinks that paying more than 50% taxes is fair, has great relations with the Cuban regime and with Castro and opposes sending troops to Afghanistan.

    Oh did I say it was anti-American.

    Sometimes if you look at someone's friends, yo know who they really are....

    If you want good change, someone who keeps his promises and is ready to lead the greatest nation on earth, you vote John McCain.

    August 20, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  12. obamacrat

    I'm no statistician but it seems like the "poll of polls" keeps using a different set of polls each time. Would it therefore be correct to keep comparing the "poll of polls" to previous "poll of polls". Either way I'm not worried. Obama's bump will come after the convention and "real" debates.

    August 20, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  13. S. Simon

    People are starting to wake up, no big surprise.

    August 20, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  14. John

    Why Obama's lead cut in half?

    Simple answer – the more we know about Obama, we see him dangerous, scarry, weak and much more. That's why he has to keep flip floping on issues because he can't get it right the first time (Georgia crisis and Iran nuclear issues are good examples), but the more he flips flops, the weaker he looks and he will be a LOSER. HE DOES NOT BELIEVE IT BUT HE NEEDS SOME MORE EXPERIENCE IN ORDER TO HAVE GOOD JUDGMENTS.

    August 20, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  15. James

    Yes, the slide has been apparent for some time, too many mistakes by Obama, and too many lies by McCain, too much ignorance on the part of potential voters, too much desire to believe that the world in not in serious difficulty. McCain will bring more war, and that will only lead to a greater diminishing of our country and the planet. I hope Obama has something dramatic in reserve, our future depends upon it


    August 20, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  16. Judgement over experience

    The US is full of retards – I agree wholeheartedly with your statement and will help you.
    And Raymond Duke – get a life! You are the poster child of the typical repuglican and the reason why america is as messed up as it it.
    And Christian – atleast we have hope to look forward to in Obama than more war, more killing of innocent soldiers, more poverty, more high gas prices, more unemployment, more homes in foreclosure in mccain.

    August 20, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  17. Pondering

    Yaawwwwwnnnnnn! I will really like to know who they are polling. Are they polling Martians or real people on Earth? Please do tell!

    Obama all the way!

    All of this negative coverage just pushes his supporters all the more to make sure that we come out in record numbers in November. I guess there has to be some news stories each day even if it is crap!

    August 20, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  18. Vote 4 the Hero

    Down goes Obama...

    August 20, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  19. Elizabeth

    IF McCain gets in the White House, our country is going to be in deep trouble! I just hope the American voters will not be so dumb!!! McCain just DOES NOT HAVE WHAT IT TAKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 20, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  20. dodo

    The majority of voters are nyncompoops anyway. And whoever checks the validity of those polls, people can just be spewing out numbers in order to sway the general public thinking in a certain direction. I for one never believe in the veracity of the numbers but I recognize how instrumental the numbers help some dumb voters decide who to vote for instead of paying attention to the candidate's positions on important issues.

    August 20, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |

    Good ! Thats all I have to say. I hope it is cut by another 1/2 after next week. Democrats are praying McCain will pick a bad running mate........ trust me.. he knows what he has to do to win this.

    Clinton Supporters......... BACK MCCAIN so HILLARY CAN AND WILL WIN IN 2012/2016 !!

    After November........... Obama is DONE !!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 20, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  22. JD

    I'll vote for Obama. Honestly, I don't see how the Republicans can even win this next one.

    August 20, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  23. Philvis

    Why is it that the Obama supporters can only make comments about McCain calling him names (Mc and whatever clever name they want to put behind it) and calling him the same as Bush. I think they do not realize that McCain is definitely a more liberal leaning conservative. All I hear is, "Obama is going to make change." What change??? He has already said he is raising taxes and he has already shown that he doesn't really have any idea about foreign policy. I still do not fathom how raising taxes for those who are successful is helpful and fair to be quite honest. Those who work hard are going to be penalized and their good success will be trickled down to support those who don't want to work. Hmmm, sounds like good ol socialism to me. People need to get real about Obama. He nothing more than smoke and mirrors with a good smile. The only change he is going to make is to make this great country come even closer to socialism. Maybe he should call up Chavez for some advice.

    August 20, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  24. Michelle, PA

    Frank, what you said is very telling of the lousy job the media is doing in this election. Obama is completely overexposed and analyzed down to his shoe size and what some kid who might remember going to second grade with him said one day, but what do we hear about him other than spin? Not his spin, everybody else's spin of him, his words and his actions. We hear "Obama the Elitist jetted off to take vacation in Hawaii", but how many people mention it is the state of his birth, where his extended family still lives? Do we, as a nation, really begrudge a man who's been working 7 days a week for months a visit to his family? How about his energy plan, which he discusses in detail at many rallies and town hall meetings, but you have to be there and hear it in person to know it exists? His tax plan, which again you only hear if you see him in person. The media only covers what it wants to cover, and sadly it hasn't been the serious issues but only what it can make controversial to make this a horse race. What it does cover it frames in ways it can make controversial to sell advertising. It's a shame how low the media in this country has sunk. No wonder the American electorate, who mostly relies on them for information, elects the idiots it does.

    August 20, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  25. Merica is waking up

    America is waking up to the fact that what Barack O'blah-blah brings to the table is eloquent lip syncing of words written by others, and the ability to deliver clever sound bytes for his adoring media ...but does not bring much else to the race – especially a lack of any meaningful experience.

    Foreign policy -- zero
    Holmeland security – zero
    military – zero
    national experience – zero
    international experience – zero
    Economic experience – zero

    America can and must do better in these troubling times – Maybe in 8 years Obama will be ready, bit not today.

    August 20, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
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