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. Mark

    This is not statistically significant, and it is not surprising if McCain benefited slightly while Obama took a very sensible break. The dynamic will change with the conventions and VP picks, and the polss about 10 September will be the really important ones ...

    August 20, 2008 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  2. Politically Speaking

    LOL. CNN, please stop this. Your Poll of Polls always carries a +/- 3% margin of error, which you conveniently didn't mention in this particular story. Meaning 6% last week could have really been 3% or maybe even 9%.

    You look like rookie journalists when every week you change from doom and gloom for Obama to momentum and dominance in his favor.

    August 20, 2008 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  3. Fred Hermans, Neshanic Station NJ

    This is another indication of how weak Obama is. He lost control of the convention by giving into hillary, had to back off on the "Rev" and reversed course on off-shore drilling. It may be too early to tell but obama has an uphill battle for the election or a downhill ride back to Chicago.

    August 20, 2008 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  4. Char for Obama 08 & 12

    McCain is NONE to Happy about the Georgia~Russian issue.
    He just want WAR WAR WAR WAR. McCain needs to slip of the stage

    August 20, 2008 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  5. Debi

    Its only August and the only poll that will matter is in November. Georgia is the exact reason I will not vote for McCain, he was practically drooling!

    August 20, 2008 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  6. enough with the uh's

    Obama doesn't stand a chance without Hillary on the ticket.

    I don't understand why the – uh – Obama elitists can't see that the – uh – honeymoon is over. Americans are – uh – no longer – uh – swooning over his – uh – empty words. Obama simply doesn't have the – uh – experience to successfully run the US.

    Seriously, Obama, enough with the "uh's" – the last thing the US needs is another inarticulate president.

    August 20, 2008 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  7. Richard

    Your forogt to mention that Obama has really been ahead by 3-4 points for the last month EXCEPT for the previous poll. It is simply a polling adjustment that has little to do with McFlipFlops advertisements. SHOW us the numbers state by state and tell us if any of the states have changed dramatically instead of wasting your time trying to invent a contest.

    August 20, 2008 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  8. sharon of canada

    remember the presidential forum with pastor rick warren? well, jessica yellin of CNN said that obama was too thoughtful! imagine, she was complaining that a politician is too thoughtful. what has become of USA!? seems to me that thoughtfulness and intelligence are liabilities and weaknesses. is that why bush was re-elected? you deserve what you voted for ,and methinks you've got to be an idiot to vote for mccain and the republicans in november. i guess senator obama is too smart and too good for USA.

    August 20, 2008 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  9. Dem

    It's not surprising. His inexperience is showing more now that we are learning and hearing more from him. Watching him the other night without a teleprompter to guide him was just awful.
    McCain nor Obama are a good choice for Presidency, but if I have to vote between them and it looks like I will have to... I'm voting for McCain.
    Obama just doesn't have enough experince to get USA out of its problems nor to face the world wide problems looming.
    Unfortunately the best candidate is no longer in the running.

    August 20, 2008 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  10. Keith

    So when Obama has won the election in November will the press be saying, "but he should have won by more!"

    He has just had millions dropped on him in negative advertising and been on vacation. He is back on the campaign trail, calling McCain out on those personal attacks, and is headed to the convention where he will speak before 80,000 people.

    In otherwords, I would rather be in Obama's position than McCain's at this point.

    Of course John gets to take weekends off.

    August 20, 2008 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  11. odessa

    CNN, and all cable news stations and local.

    I want to know who you all are polling. I have never received a call nor have I been asked who I am voting for in this election.

    Another point, you all take too many polls in a short span of days and weeks. Stop taking polls and start listening to the candidates. I am looking forward to the day, when all this is over.

    Take more polls questioning the media's cover of the primaries and general election. I will not be surprise the media will receive very, very, very, high negatives.

    August 20, 2008 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  12. jim

    He can't think on his feet without the teleprompter. He doesn't want to give opinions when he hasn't seen the polls, and certain questions are "above his paygrade" when simple questions are asked on the issues.
    That and he has no idea what to do about Georgia and Russia except to continue surfing in Hawaii, while Mccain addresses the issue. That made Obama look really bad.

    So now that we are finally seeing the man behind the slogans and flashy signs.. this is what he really is.

    August 20, 2008 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  13. DW, NY FOR OBAMA '08

    If the US wants a war hawk for a President then that's on them. But, it'll definitely be hell to pay when we have a World War III on our hands and all our young people are drafted into a war McSame is very committed to.

    I want a President that think before he acts and uses as much diplomacy as possible before entering into a war we'll definitely regret. This country has taken alot of beating over the last 8 years and couldn't take another. Obama is sincere and I trust him to guide this country along the right path. We need a leadership that's strong but not hawkish and McSame is VERY hawkish. McSame only knows WAR. That's his whole life.

    No McSame or this country is really doomed!

    Obama is the leadership the USA needs!!!! Go Barack Go!!!!

    August 20, 2008 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  14. RayRay,NC

    I guess fear politics is winning over some voters over again. If McCain wins we get what the majority ask for unfortunately it will take the rest of us down in to another 4-8 years of a Bush policy. This country will go under eventually with that type of leadership.

    August 20, 2008 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  15. Miss C

    It's early CNN- find other news to report PLEASE!

    August 20, 2008 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  16. MThomp

    I often wonder about these "polls" and who are "they" polling? The press is very adept at misleading the public. Who in their right mind would vote for that bumbling old fool?

    August 20, 2008 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  17. Bic from CT

    The only way Obama can stand a chance to win is if he makes Hillary Clinton his VP. If he does not do that then McCain will beat him in November. Maybe Obama does not want Hillary but I see no other way he can win. I think if they voted over again for Obama or Hillary that Hillary would beat Obama at this point. If the dirt came out on Obama when it should of back when he was running againest Hillary we would not even be talking about Obama. Hillary would be running againest McCain.

    August 20, 2008 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  18. ART

    These Pollsters just dont get it and obviously CNN doesn't either. The majority of OBAMA supporters, and to a lesser extent McCain's use cell phones. This large population is not polled. How can such surveys even be near accurate when the average land-line populace falls within the 50+ age demographic. To present these polls, as being even near accurate is absurd. The only accurate polling method today, is the old fashion door to door survey.
    Comeon you pundits–GET A GRIP!

    August 20, 2008 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  19. yvonne

    CNN what other negatives would you like to report on Senator Obama? Do you realize how blatant you portray your dislike for Mr. Obama? Talk about news that is suppose to be presented to the people unswayed but isn't.

    August 20, 2008 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  20. CARL PA

    Finally change we can believe in.

    August 20, 2008 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  21. Independent

    These kinds of articles are a waste of time. The national polls are wrought with far more error than the state polls. Why doesn't CNN report on something substantial instead of this nonsense.

    August 20, 2008 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  22. checkthisout

    The answer for the DNC is:



    August 20, 2008 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  23. Richard

    Don't trust the lying arrogant, anti-American snake.

    No Hillary! No Barack Hussein Obama!

    My Democrat vote will go for McCain!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 20, 2008 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  24. Ikenna

    Obama is up by 3%, and it is bad news for Obama, I wonder what kind of news it will be for Mccain.

    August 20, 2008 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  25. earl

    America for Obama – Yes We Can!!!

    August 20, 2008 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
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