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. Jacci

    The only people who are voting for John McCain are people with money, the rich. AND, the people who can't get over their prejudices which they learned growing up. Prejudice is a learned behavior and it can be unlearned. Look at people for who they are inside, not the outside features. If you are a Christian, you are not going to get all of what the Bible teaches in John or Barack. Barack cares more about human rights than John, and that is a fact. We have had enough war, and John would love to keep our country going in wars. That is all he seems to be proud about. I don't think the death of many is something to boast about. Our country needs serious attention and John has no clue what to do, and doesn't really care because he has it made with all of the money his wife has. Vote Barack people....wake up.

    August 20, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. valwayne

    McCain's supposed attacks have been pretty mellow by any standard...pointing out "The Obama's" cult of celebrity and inexperience. "The Obama's" attacks...they will try and scare you!!!! playing the race card have been pretty low, and have also hurt him. However, Saddleback showed the real problem for "The Obama". He really has no core principals or conviction, and no experience to draw upon. When he says change and hope, and avoids answering questions its because he doesn't have the answers. "The Obama" wants to be President and appoint Supreme Court justices, but a decision about when life begins is above his pay grade. He's not being asked to act like God.....just a President who makes those decisions every day! The American people have noted that he is failing badly!!! Super Delegates...its still not too late.........Nominate Hillary!

    August 20, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. Nigerian for Obama

    In response to the following:
    Meaningless Polls: NICE point. Please do your own research. I dont believe these random polls. Who are they polling for crying out loud? Landlines that no one uses?

    Ann T: Right on!! If he is the maverick and he blew everyone away at the Forum Saturday, why is the lead not increasing past Obama's.

    Cant wait to watch his swearing in Jan 09!!

    August 20, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. Tony Z- MD

    Everyone can name things Obama does not have. What has McCain done? At Saddlebrook, the truth is Obama answered honestly. We all stumble to answer questions unless we had a prepared short answer. The nuiance is to open the dialog.

    For my friends:

    They took me up into one of the interrogation rooms, and for the next 12 hours we wrote and rewrote. The North Vietnamese interrogator, who was pretty stupid, wrote the final confession, and I signed it. It was in their language, and spoke about black crimes, and other generalities. It was unacceptable to them. But I felt just terrible about it. I kept saying to myself, "Oh, God, I really didn't have any choice." I had learned what we all learned over there: Every man has his breaking point. I had reached mine.

    This is the real John McCain-POW

    August 20, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. Matt

    With Obama tanking in the polls, look for the democrats to come out with some type of smear campaign whether it be impeachment hearings or some other drummed up witch hunt.

    It's what the democrats do. Divisive, destructive politics.

    When you are losing the war on ideas, they start playing dirty.

    August 20, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. Relle Boston

    You know what I find funny about these polls is that I never see poll workers in the black Neighborhood. I do not see the colleges polled . So how is this an accurate depiction of registered voters. When you guys do then=m more on an even basis then I will believe them. Because Barack went on vaction he has problems. Mccain does not work on weekends and he is arogant.
    CNN you say you are the station that does not play favorites. Really.

    August 20, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. Ernie

    Rob in Detroit, it's promises, not promices, geesh

    August 20, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. Ian

    It looks like Obama's rock star status has been revoked and people are starting to realize the emperor has no clothes.

    That is what the Democrats get for nominating an America hating 1960's leftover, empty suit for President.

    P.S. Love hearing the Democrats scream about biased reporting on CNN. LMAO. Welcome to my world.

    August 20, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  9. facts are facts

    McCain is right women should be subject to state control and the government shouldn't be giving veterans so many perks.

    Phil Gramm will certainly put the public in it's place with such a progressive approach to the economic conditions in the U.S. which will also help to keep workers working at more than one job with less time for buying stuff they can't afford anyway.

    August 20, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  10. Dave G, Minneapolis

    There are SO many comments here that say "if you want war vote for McCain." or "the democrats will help the economy"...

    Fellow Citizens, you are both arguing that one or the other party can actually fix things. They can't and won't. You wanted an end to the war, the Dems won congress based on that promise and have done nothing. People want security but McCain AND Obama vote for FISA that reduces our freedom and security. You wanted smaller government and voted for we have a government more bloated than any in history. You want to blame it on Bush...but now, Congress writes the laws and Bush says Yea or Veto...The Dems now have this responsibility and what do we have? War, failing economy, debt, higher taxes.

    BOTH PARTIES ARE TO BLAME. DON'T keep betting on a losing horse. Do you want a better America for your kids? Do some research and don't vote for either McCain or Obama!!!

    August 20, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. Becca

    Let him win this one. I mean Mr Obama.
    Then once everyone is tried of him, Hillary can win.

    Anyway once he has ran for President and got it. There is nothing more he can do in public life. So let him have his minor spotlight for the next while anyway!

    Hillary will be around to pick up the pieces and help solve your country's problems for a long time yet.

    August 20, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. Brandon in MN

    I'm just wondering, do this "poll of polls" concept have ANY statistical validity? Seems to be fuzzy math to me. How can you "average" polls.

    It may sound nice and relevant to the layman, but then again, most people think you can predict the next coin flip based on the last one.

    August 20, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. Upon Further Review

    Why do you think they call them push polls,because they get people to believe lies.If you still believe any poll,at any time,you may also believe in the tooth fairy.

    August 20, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. John in Ohio

    Something to note that CNN does't talk about is that Obama's number have stayed stable throughout all this.
    8/19: Obama 46% – McCain 43%
    8/13: Obama 47% – McCain 41%
    8/8: Obama 46% – McCain 41%
    8/6: Obama 46% – McCain 41%
    If you go back further, the numbers stay the same. There is maybe 1-2% fluctuations to McCain from the undecideds, but Obama's numbers stay stable.

    August 20, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. Ron L

    I wrote a rather lengthy respose to this earlier but I guest it was a little too critical of the News Media and a small percetage of the electorates REAL issue with Obama. But that as OK. But let me just say this...when have you EVERY HEARD these as the reason a person SHOULD NOT be elected:
    1) Too Popular
    2) Too thoughtful in giving answers
    3) Lying about their relegion ( Even though EVERYTHING in his history says he is what he says he is)
    4) His rhetoric is too positive
    5) He doesn't have a REAL plan ( even though there are pages and pages of it on his website)
    For 10% of the electorate it has nothing to do with his character....I think you can figure out what the REAL obstacle is...That is why the polls are still tight.

    August 20, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  16. "Old" white lady for Obama

    It will be a sad day for this country should the McCain/Clinton strategies win the day. Negative campaigning is effective, if despicable,
    However, my money is still on Obama, his intelligence and decency. He has the potential to be a great President, given the chance.

    August 20, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  17. Wayne

    I was a Hillary supporter now McCain 2008

    NObama 08'

    August 20, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. Shirley-Ohio

    SO, and you are saying that to say what. We all know that the only reason the polling is like that is because he is a blank man running for, present . John McCain would actally be beating Hilliary Clinton.

    August 20, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. Duane

    McCain in 2008!

    August 20, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. Gina in Racine Wi

    To "The World is Watching" –

    I agree with you 110%. Because of Hillary's antics.....and the emotional crap that her PUMA females are still going through is a BIG set back to ever getting a Woman in the White House.

    I have a Daughter and Granddaughter and would love a woman in the White House. Just not Hillary. She would have never done it anyway. Her negatives are too high and people who hated McCain would have still come out to vote for him just to vote against her.

    Wake up all you bitter emotional women.

    August 20, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  21. Helen, NY

    Obama is thinking to attack McCain to get his polls up but he does not understand that he is losing his ground because he is nothing. He has no experience and no judgment. What a shame to be presidential candidate for democrats.Give it up Barack. You have to grow up.

    August 20, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. scott p

    When the election comes and McSame wins, these polls will be meaningless. Exxon Mobil/Walmart has already picked McBush to work for them and this election will be yet another farce. It is sad!

    August 20, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. Voting Obama

    You all can believe these polls all you want. What I DO know is, I've yet to meet a black person who has been "polled", and we will show up in droves on election day to make sure that Obama wins the White House. You can take that to the bank!

    August 20, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. Toni - Atlanta

    No worries - the key is tuning out the biased reporting!

    Obama '08

    August 20, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. Kelby from Houston, TX

    There are two things in this world that cannot be denied, they are;
    The love and grace of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ
    And the fact that Barack Obama will be President of The United States.

    August 20, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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