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. Vi

    August 20th: Reuter/Zogby poll: McCain 5% ahead.

    With such polls beginning to appear regularly, Obama should do the right thing NOW for the US, the DNC, and himself and family.

    He should decline the nomination in DENVER in favour of Hillary and wait his turn in 2016. This way, he'll show that he is indeed a new brand of politician who is noble not self-centred, a statesman not a rank politician. (His advisors should be willing to wait their turn at the White House too.) He'll be a shoo-in in 2016 - at the age of 55.

    Otherwise it's humiliation for him!
    Give Hillary her chance. It's her turn.
    Yours will come, my young friend.

    August 20, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. R.I.F.

    Does this mean the CNN and the rest of the media will finally start covering and criticizing McCain like they've been doing Obama every since the general election began? Every night I watch Election Center with Campbell Brown and 80% of her show is always filled with pundits debating on what Obama said, or did, or didn't do. Why not be fair to the American people and cover McCain the same way. I get tired of hearing every day that "Everyone already knows McCain" Really, do you really think that all 300 million Americans know the real McCain and what he does and stands for TODAY, or just this over-hyped "Maverick" that he was EIGHT YEARS ago????

    August 20, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. Nate

    Here is why he will lose – I just had a conversation with my office mate (an O'bot) and I (democrat myself) expressed reluctance on Obama (because of his rapid shift from Primaries – FISA, Gun Control etc). His response? "You got to be kidding me! How can you even question that? You are a closeted republican and idea of Black man as president scares you" (FYI – I am brown).

    WoW! It reminded me of talking to Bush supporters in 2004. I really think that this behavior puts off any rational thinker. I think you O'Bots need to tone it down a little, you are losing lifelong democrats with this blind following and racial accusations. Just my advice, you do what you see fit.

    August 20, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. Roy Maines

    I think Obama's turn in the polls is primarily due to people finally learning more about his ultra-left liberal policies. The country is hurting for sure, but Obama's plan would dig a deeper hole than we are already in. I'm personally glad he is lagging in the polls he is no where near being qualified to lead this country.

    August 20, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Marine

    Wah, wah , wah the polls now show that BO's lead has slipped and in some polls he now trails. Wah, wah, wah the press doesn't like us anymore and is now biased against the Dems. Boo Hoo Hoo!!!

    August 20, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Sorensen

    What is Axelrod doing? He should have been fired a long time ago.
    It is frightening, that Obama cannot see that himself.
    Maybe he is empty?

    August 20, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. larry

    opps – the polls are also change we can believe in

    August 20, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    Hello Alexander Mooney , who was in these poll you took and how many people was in this one. You say Sen Obama lead has slip from 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. One thing wrong with your poll is 1000 or people don't speak for America. GO OBAMA

    August 20, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. SUE IN CT

    I won't listen to these ridiculous polls anymore. My mind is made up – I will vote for the ticket that will restore worldwide respect and admiration to the USA – OBAMA/BIDEN 08.

    August 20, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. ObamaAllTheWay

    American people are so to be governed, they can not think for themselves but wait to get feed by the media to make a decision. People wake up read get informed, reaserch before you make a decision I hope and pray your ignorance will not give as third term of Bush.

    August 20, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  11. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    The GOP campaign has proved that lies work.

    Let's prove that they don't.

    OBAMA 08

    August 20, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. Jan/Michigan

    John McCain has both good judgment and experience. Obama is a JM wannabe, the way he eventually copies McCain's ideas on almost every issue except abortion. He was even waffling on abortion in the religious forum.

    August 20, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  13. NoBHusseinObama

    Other than maybe in the liberal enclaves on the coasts, no one is voting for Obama. They may say so in a poll, but will not pull the lever for him come election day.

    August 20, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  14. PG

    Panamanian McCain knows that to win over Bush idiots he needs to use the same tactics Bush used to take McCain down. There was a time I thought Americans were smart but what I am seeing now is that many Americans are uninformed and uneducated for wanting more of the same.

    My vote for Obama will never change.

    August 20, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. Gina

    Luis from Miami........ I do NOT feel bad for you. You're pathetic to think that the Florida fiasco was no one but HRC's fault. HRC didnt play by the rules so go blame HER and no one else.

    August 20, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. Crystal

    As Americans why would we want a president to be someone who sees it fit to replace the American Flag with his own personal symbol? Obama should not be running for president for himself he should be running for president because he believes he is the best American for America. How arrogant can you be to do that? If he is elected president we will see and increase in taxes and an influx of illegal’s taking over America. I have heard him speak and still to this day can not find his platform. I hear he wants change and wants to unit America but see no plan of action. He is all talk. The only action I can see is his past voting history which is not something to gloat about. The company that he keeps raises eyebrows and statements that have been made have raised eyebrows. He will not wear the American Flag pin nor show proper respect for the National Anthem yet we believe we would be a good Commander in Chief. Lets be realistic people. He is not the bright shining star he once even had me fooled to believe he was.

    August 20, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  17. Honay Rogers

    We can't afford four more years of scandals, runaway spending,
    young men and women dying for.........................., high cost of gasoline, high cost of fuel to heat homes, poor education for our children who are taught by test, home foreclosures, jobs going overseas, no hope.
    McBush is senile and much to old to be president. What are his skills, 26 years in the senate where they've spent every dime we had, he was a POW. So.........................I think I'll try the new guy. He's smart and he can learn. We'll be safer as soon as we leave Iraq, they (middle East) wwwwant us to leave their land and we should. Vote Obama!!

    August 20, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  18. Sam

    It's going to get MUCH worse for Obama. There are half a dozen career destroying items on his resume that Obamanots just ignore or don't realize because they live in a bubble or something. There is no other explanation for this nonsense... This is a "ludicrous" candidate.

    August 20, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  19. Crush Rush

    Producing fear makes for a good horse race.Relax,these numbers are fixed by the MSM.People are scared by the lies that Limbaugh and the neocons are producing.Obama will win.

    August 20, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  20. DHuston

    If for one minute the American Pulblic believes that the terrorist acts wil go away because we elect Obama, then you are fooling yourselves. There is no sitting down and discussing options with terrorist. The only option they want to hear is our defeat. Plain and simple.

    McCain wants a victory for our soldiers and the common good of western society around the world. These are perilious times, but we must remain strong and not crumble to Socialist Government. Our forefathers would be turning over in there graves to know that we have let that happen.

    Socialism does not work. Look to Russia and you will see. We can not afford to let someone like Obama in Office. He will bring this country lower than where it is right now.

    August 20, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  21. Missy

    OOOOOH.... SCARY... 'OBAMA LEAD CUT IN HALF.' I could better understand the concern if 'cut in half' meant cut from 30 percent to 15. But at this point in the race to go from a high of 8 points last month to 3 is, in my opinion, insignificant. I can't help but get the feeling Mooney is trying to make this sound more dramatic than it really is.

    August 20, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  22. lenny

    The only people I know who are voting for him are the same people who think OJ was not guilty.

    August 20, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  23. Susan

    If he picks HIllary for veep, the polls will soar with Obama ahead!

    Obama/Hillary 08

    August 20, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  24. Storm

    It might be because he:

    1. Never gives straight answers and should be called flops-a-lot.
    2. Citizens are seeing through the facade.
    3. The rock star status is wearing off

    August 20, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  25. Yvenst Miami

    These polls are not really accurate.

    Obama supporters are mostly young individuals with cell phones who dont have landlines. Mostly older people have landlines.

    So in essence, the polls only polls the older demographic. And if you ask me, he's doing pretty well against mccain with these older individual because you know most of these people have old mindsets and are not hip to whats really going on.

    The young generation will shatter these polls and then everyone will really be talking about how these polls dont matter.

    August 20, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
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