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. Boopme

    And who are they polling? Just wondering, I've asked over 500 people randomly at three different malls, on the street, at 9 different churchs, all multiracial poll. Obama 418 and McCain 82. That's my poll and I think it is just as reliable as yours, so there.

    August 20, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  2. ran

    CNN give us the people the methods used in these polls like land lines use vs cell phone use; locations,locations,locations; # of people polled? We then can make up our own minds. Not everyone wants to be spoon feed only the outcomes. For people out there open your eyes and ears we need Obama and the Democrats now more then ever; so you land line users get on board and don't listen to all the lies.

    Vote Obama and only Democrats.

    CNN do a poll using only internet users.

    August 20, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  3. Benjamin Brown

    Only a matter of time until things get EVEN worse for Obama. His time in the lime light is over.

    McCain '08

    August 20, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  4. chris

    Obama lead was cut because he is making the same mistake Kerry did, underestimating the power of negative Ads. In some states he is hitting hard but not nationaly. I am not a political genius but every one can sense the shift. Come on guys hit back, Hit back. Or simple you will loose.

    August 20, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  5. Richard

    This is just a poll of not even a percent of the registered voters. Plus not very many people these days who would vote for obama have land lines, its those old people who get scared when they see a black man, lol! Come november, McBush will be behind again. I cant belive people think McBush has a better economic understanding over Obama. I think cnn polled those who make over $250k a year(the ones that will get a tax increase) and lets face it people, Nothing is free and the current administration spent so much more money than they had its just pathetic of course look at who spent it, Bush a complete tard! And why are people so focused on drilling, even the oil men are saying its not a solution and the analysts are saying it could be 30 years before it makes any differance. Im sure we can develop an alternative fuel for cars in the mean time. Why dont people use there brains?? McBush would be nothing more than another 4yrs of Bush's ideas and we dont have 4yrs. Plus did anybody see last saturday when McBush was being interviewed by that church guy, All McBush really said was WAR WAR WAR and talked about his STORIES. That should of confirmed a lot for the swing voters that McBush is nothing more than a senile story teller!!

    August 20, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  6. Ginann

    Seems that the more US voters know about Obama the less interested they are in voting for him. If you look below the surface of "Change Agent", view his Illinois and US voting record – he isn't the person that he claims to be. Most likely, his ratings have just begun to plummet.

    The Democratic Party screwed up big time.

    August 20, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  7. Smitty

    All you fools that think McCain will win I STUPID. Obama will win. The figures just show a close race because they want you to believe that Oamba is losing ground and McCain is gaining. I have not seen McCain ahead yet. Just wait until they both annouce their VP and then watch the poles going up for Obama. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OBAMA all the way.

    August 20, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  8. Benjamin Brown

    I love how Obama fans cant stand that McCain is ahead. Sore losers if you ask me.

    McCain '08

    August 20, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  9. ceetip

    he will lose in nov. the writing is on the wall

    August 20, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  10. B-Man

    The only reason this poll reflects a close contest is because the election would be less newsworthy if it wasn't close. Other smaller, more independent news outlets predict a much larger victory for Obama. But if this election was portrayed as a landslide by CNN, then no one would be interested in their coverage.

    August 20, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  11. Reality

    When Obama was having a huge lead, Obama supporters were so happy and were so relied on polls, but now that Obama is going down the hill, the Obama supporters are trying to blame CNN and all other medias that they are pro McCain and so on and so fourth.
    Frankly, how can we have a president that stutters for minutes and doesnt know what he is talking about: mmmmmm,hmmmmmm,uhmmmmmm,ahmmmmm,ohmmmmm

    Sad that My democratic party is having such a candidate... I am really unsure if I can vote for him.

    August 20, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  12. gt

    heres a poll for you .ask all the white voters who left detroit , gary ind , liberty city , st louis , etc ... see who they are voteing for .....

    August 20, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  13. Not being fooled

    Who are they polling?! Where are they polling?! I do not know one Republican who will vote for John McCain and I do not know one Independant or Democrat who will not vote for Barack Obama.

    The media has shifted it's focus from Obama to McCain, that is all. Everytime the media decides to fall in love with one candidate over another suddenly the "polls" swing in that candidates favor. It happened with Clinton, then Obama now McCain.

    Anyone who believes the hype that the media shoves down our throats is a complete fool.

    August 20, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  14. CitizenAJ

    I have been on other blogs and we all agree. We don't think these polls mean squat and the media is stirring this up and over exaggerating the issues with Senator Clinton supporters to make ratings and interesting reading and news reporting. Who is at home during the day to receive these polling phone calls? What woman would TRULY support John McCain when his voting record on issues concerning American women is poor?

    The Gallup poll had the two Senators tied, 44% on Friday. The Real Clear politics poll, which averages 7 polls or more, had Senator Obama up by 3%, his largest lead in that poll all Summer! The other polls go up and down and makes you wonder who is being polled and where. Here is a poll to watch for, November 5th! Watch for that one.

    August 20, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  15. Michelle

    Obama has the media fawning over him and is spending tons of
    money and he STILL is tanking. LOLOL

    Barry's bad week:

    Wipe out at the Saddleback forum
    Caught in big fat lie about his extreme abortion voting record

    Barry, Barry, Barry.

    August 20, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  16. dodo

    Gary, you consider yourself an intelligent voter, whao! Just like McCain is intelligent, right?

    August 20, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  17. Colin

    Oh no! Now Obama is beating Mccain by less than he was earlier!

    August 20, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  18. Clinton/McCain

    Using a quote from the Grail Knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The superdelegates chose.....poorly.

    August 20, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  19. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    We just had a real world 3 AM moment in Georgia, and Barry failed open. His waffly indecisive comment about both sides needing to show restraint was right out of the liberal play book. America wants a decisive leader. That's McCain. After Pear Harbor, Obama probably would have said both sides needed to show restraint.

    Oh, and CNN needs to ditch Jack Cafferty and Roland Martin. Both act like they are on Obama's payroll. What ever happened to impartial journalism?

    August 20, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  20. mk3872

    Hey, here's a crazy idea CNN: How about instead of inane articles about polls, more polls & polls of polls, let's take a close introspective look at the scripted right-wing policy replies by McCain at Saddleback that should lead you to remove "independent" and "maverick" from your adjectives when refering to the Arizona senator. Or would that require too much work on your behalf?

    August 20, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  21. DJ Drummond

    No experience and vague evasion just doesn't impress voters. Obama may well still win, but he can't do it unless he shows something more than the ability to dress well and read a teleprompter.

    August 20, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  22. Rainer

    It's proving to be an interesting race. Both candidates will probably help bring respect back to America, so we'll see what happens come November.

    August 20, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  23. sally sharp

    I am personally upset about all the negative ad's run by Mcain or should I say McBush.Obama is going to win but of course in Washinton State by the time our polls close we have already have a projected winner.If McBush wins heaven helps all.

    August 20, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  24. vic nashville,Tn

    These polls not surprised me
    Even Bill Maher disappointed by Obama
    If Obama wants to win he has to do lot of work
    Better he get advice form Clintons
    Hillary 08 or Mc Cain 08

    August 20, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  25. hillybilly

    who cares about polls?they're never right.

    August 20, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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