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. Michael

    CNN should be worried abouts its on rating compared to FOXNEWS
    Obama has no problem and its only the media that has a problem telling the truth. Sen Obama will win and he has out organized the
    Mcwar campaign team and the media who are mccains base
    sorry CNN and MSM...during the democratic parties primary,CNN
    was all about Hillary Clinton...loosers

    August 20, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  2. Jason, Omaha, NE

    America is falling for Republican scare tactics again. It is a shame. Obama is an elitist? Who has the $100 million wife and wears $500 shoes and who grew up on food stamps? Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, fool me THREE times then we deserve what we get. Do we really want a man who will be 73 years old before even gets sworn in and has voted the same as Bush over 90% of the time the last eight years? It just doesn't make sense to me. I am from Nebraska one of the most Republican states in the country and I can see that this shouldn't be close. The world showed it wants Obama when he went overseas. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone in the world didn't hate us?

    August 20, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  3. obama's gonna lose ha ha ha ha ha ha, ohio

    Wake up dems! You chose a loser. BO should be way way way ahead in the polls, this should be the dems year, but he's not. Shouldn't have stabbed Hillary in the back, Obamabots. Many of you may not like her but at least she's actually qualified to be commander in cheif, has the fight in her and has great ideas and most importantly should would be blowing Mccain out of the water right now. The repubs even told you their worst fear was HRC but you didnt listen. If you all were smart you would be praying that by some miracle Hill will walk out of your convention the nominee. We all know thats not gonna happen though b/c all the Obamageddons, the ONC oopps I mean DNC are too far up Obambi's butt to smell the roses. President Mccain, hum? I like the sound of that! Mccain 08! Hillary 2012!

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

    Obama's lead cut in half? Hahahaha...I don't think so. These polls are so full of s%^T. He's crushing McCain in every way imaginable. I know that here in Denver he is already President. McCain will lose by a landslide. This is all just media contrived bogus hype. It's an Obama nation now, no one wants a 100 year old with an itchy trigger finger running the nation. John McCain is a pathetic liar, a warmongerer, a fearmongerer, and he couldn't possibly be more out of touch with America in the 21st century. We need change and a fresh start, John McCain offers neither, just more of the same failedpolicies and dangerous foreign policy. Obama '08!!!

    August 20, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  5. Joan

    Could it be that Obama is down in the polls because of the rumors as to who will be his VP? I am a Democrat who has decided to vote for McCain because of Obama's choice. Hillary Clinton should have received the Democratic nomination and I am unhappy as to how Obama is treating the Clintons. The economy was much better when Bill Clinton was President so I don't know why everyone bashes him. Besides, Hillary is her own woman and would have made a terrific President.

    August 20, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  6. Chris in FL

    And the world wakes up – FINALLY. It's not too late to elect Hillary Clinton as our nominee. The true leader who will win in November. The DNC made the wrong choice – not that it's their choice to make anyway. Mark my words, Obama will lose in November.

    PUMA Democrat in FL

    August 20, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. Ted R. from NYC

    These poll numbers will change again when the VP announcements are made. The conventions will also have an effect. I would expect Obama to maintain a mid-single digit lead through mid-September.

    August 20, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  8. gary

    If McCain wins this election then the dumbing down of America will be nearly complete! Those who voted for Bush/Cheney twice and now McCain are destroying America with their narrow-mindedness and shallow thinking. I have never seen so many nitwits who will vote against their own self-interests because of some minor issue that has little to do with the enormous problems facing our country. I'm thinking the polls are, hopefully, wrong and that thoughtful Americans who really care will flock to the polls in droves to facilitate a new direction.

    August 20, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. Brooke in PA

    Today's my birthday and this is a wonderful present to receive. America is waking up to this fraud. NOBAMA. Not now. Not ever

    McCain 2008!!!

    August 20, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  10. Moon over your Bammy

    In 54 years of active, participant loyalty to the democratic party, I have never seen the shamefulness of this primary- and from the man of hope and unity and change.

    Obama supporters have been LUDACRIS in their undemocratic and vitriolic tactics:
    strong-arming at caucus.

    calling fellow democrats, a democratic candidate and and ex-president, racist.

    Booing and heckling a democratic candidate on her campaign stops.

    Threatening to black out the vote or stay home if superdelegates did not vote for Obama.

    Songed penned with vulgar insults against a democratic candidate.

    Obama himself mocking and jeering HRC.

    NOW there is shock- yes shock that the party is divided.

    And screams of unity... vote for Obama or else...

    You new democrats have lost this election for your candidate by your own nasty undemocratic and vitriolic behavior.

    August 20, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  11. Jim

    Obama is showing cracks, he talks a good talk and looks good in a suit, but when hard pressed for real answers that we need, he crumbles. I think his "Change" is just marketing and he has no real answers that haven't already been thought of by hundreds of others.

    We need someone that has many years experience with the military and understands how our government works. McCain is the man for the job, he has a unique understanding of war and it's consequences. He isn't niave enough to think that he is going to "Change" the way things have been done in Washington for many decades.

    August 20, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  12. Anne/stone mountain Ga

    I would like to know who particpated in this poll and all the others. Say what you want Obama will be the next President. Everyone is suffering not just the poor or middle income.

    August 20, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  13. emtp JB

    You just have to make this dramatic, don't you CNN?? The American people are sick and tired of the current failure of a presidency and certainly don't want more of the same (or McSAME). You have to hype up a race so we can get excited that it will be a close race. The nice thing you have done for Obama is that, in general, he has seen an INCREASEin donations every time you espouse this garbage about a close race. At least I can say "Thank you" for that!!!

    August 20, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  14. Judgement over experience

    Election Watcher – hey, just for the record – Obama spent 8, yes 8 years as a Illinois Senator, 3 yrs as a US Senator and is a Harvard educated Constitutional Law Scholar. And 20 yrs devoted to the peoples cause is nothing to sneeze at. Mccain, besides being a pow and cheating his way being fast tracked as an officer has never voted for any substantial bill in his 25 years that would benefit you or it. BTW what do you do? Would you get hired by that CEO??????

    August 20, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  15. Elizabeth FOR OBAMA

    John McCain thinks it's funny is lied about his age with Cindy.

    John McCain thinks adultrey is funny. John McCain can throw a human being away to marry someone young and rich.

    John McCain is repulsive.

    August 20, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  16. goofus

    The candidate that promises to kick out all the illegals gets my vote.

    August 20, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  17. Kevin

    Obamamaniacs are hilarious! When a negative poll comes out about him, it doesn't mean anything. When it's positive, it's golden. Real mature.

    August 20, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  18. marcuswatson

    Bad news for Obama is bad news for America. God help us.

    August 20, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  19. Dave G, Minneapolis

    Both McCain and Obama are seeing their poll numbers decline due to third party influence.
    This is why McCain is suing to have Bob Barr removed from the Pennsylvania Ballot. Barr was also "barred" from the "Civil Forum" which is actually a violation of the McCain-Feingold Election reform legislation.

    The two parties don't have to work to hard to keep Americans in the dark about other candidates. Dems and Republicans need NO signatures to get on November ballots in all 50 states. "Third" party candidates must get differing amounts of signatures in each state they want to be listed. And McCain's actions to have a candidate removed from the ballot is reminiscent of what Obama did to other candidates in Illinois. Obama sued to have his opponents removed from the ballot. With only one choice–he won.

    We should all be outraged at these tactics! If you are voting for either McCain or Obama just because of their party line, you should start looking at the other candidates. Obama and McCain are using sly tactics to keep their stranglehold on America.

    Their gain is your loss of freedom.

    August 20, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  20. Art

    Which Polls! CNN plays down the fact that they decide which polls to use (and which to exclude). For example about a week ago they had Minnesota as a toss up and reported their poll-of-polls as a 2 point lead for Obama in that state. At the same time had Minnesota as solid Obama with a 12 point lead, but then was using all the polls, not cherry picking polls that show a horserace.

    August 20, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  21. Moderate Democratic, New York

    A long time ago, when Obama was surging forward in the primaries, I said the Obama "phenenom" was a wave and that the last time I rode a wave, it crashed and I got sand in my bikini. Well, the wave is crashing and this time I decided to stay out of the water.

    August 20, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  22. Again...he's lost

    Enough of you democrat poll discounters! Where's that brilliant bunch of intellectuals who wer touting the polls a few weeks back? We need them front-and-center now, emphasizing their faith in the facts.

    August 20, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  23. Hatred drove us away

    Nothing but threats from the Obama supporters this entire primary season.

    Now the threats go forward to vowing revenge in 2012- against an unknown democratic candidate- just to "get even".

    So... losing one critical election for your candidate and the democratic party is not enough.

    You want to lose again in 2012.

    Good for you...

    Roe v Wade- benefits who most? The HRC over 50 year old supporters who fought for that right for you? Or young people and AAs.

    A conservative supreme court will damage who most? The conservative elderly voters? Or the youth?

    OBAMABOTS... you have reflected poorly on your candidate and it will have lasting negative effects on the party.

    Who wants to be part of the new democrats of vitriol, force, coercion and hatred?

    August 20, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  24. Silentwulf

    I'm sure this won't last long. The American people thrive for change, and McCain can't really deliver that.

    Numbers are numbers, and Obama is still in the lead. With his upcoming VP announcment, I'm sure he'll go up by at least 5 points when future polls are conducted.

    And for the record, I don't think Democrats should vote McCain just because Hilary lost the primary. I voted for her, and she lost fair and square. Obama is the next best thing, and frankily, he isn't a bad pick.

    Hopefully Clinton Democrats won't be complaining about the loss when election day comes, or you can expect an illegal war within the next 4 years.

    August 20, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  25. Linda

    To the person that knows no one voting for McCain. I know no one voting for Nobama. And I sell in 3 1/2 states. I've seen 2 Obama stickers since this began and both of them were on cars that tell you the people in them are deadbeats that don't work. I dare you to publish this CNN and prove you aren't as biased as you appear nowadays. I am an independent that used to vote Democrat most of the time but I'm sick of deadbeats and illegals that want all my money when I work hard and they sit around on their lazy rumps and whine all day. I might have voted for Hillary though, I'm sick of the men. Who cares if Nobama is black. I care that he's another man. We need a woman! Tired of men running this country. I might even write in Hillary. I bet neither of these lousy candidates will pick a woman VP either. Hey black women, Obama is STILL a man. Did you ever consider that?

    August 20, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
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