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. Alice Brinkley

    His lead hasn't been cut nearly enough to suit me. He should drop out for the good of our country. He would only bring great misery to the USA as he favors other countries first, and tells us up front to expect great "sacrifices" (now just what do you think that is, Obamaniacs? –a loser, who wants to bring USA down to deprived levels of other countries).

    August 20, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. HyperD

    Correction: No doubt that republican is the party of the simple minded. Country folk who comment on the Olympics in racial terms. It's easier to judge something by its color, it takes less brain power and attention span, as it is easier for them to just maintain the status quo (Bush and the rest of the republithugs). I guess they are not brave enough for change… as they celebrate "victories" while our country keeps falling into a deeper crisis year after year….

    August 20, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. Al Ram

    Ok Mrs. Michelle Obama now that your husband it seems going down at least what the polls say, do you still believe in America for the first time in your adult years? Or are you changing your position like your husband in many issues?

    August 20, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. Peter of Oregon

    My friends... Obama's ahead though is he not? Let me give you some straight talk.. With McCain and his Republican base throwing every sort of dirty attack at him. Calling him the world's greatest celebrity, a fundamentalist muslim terrorist in disguise, the anti-christ even. Saying he's not patriotic, he's elitist, that he doesn't care about our vets, that he's only running to fullfil self-ambition (something McCain accused himself of in 2002 as we now know.)... using some of Hillary Clinton's 3:00am tactics, And Obama's ahead is he not?

    Give me a break CNN. Why not report on McCain's "I'm running for President to fullfill self-ambition" admission that he made in 2002? Oh.. I understand. You don't want to do anything that'll damage his image since if he wins he'll line your pockets along with other big cooperations.

    August 20, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. Pichu

    For all Hillary supporters out there – DO NOT WASTE YOUR PRECIOUS VOTE ON OBAMA OR WRITING HILLARY'S NAME ON THE BALLOT! Vote for McCain and Hillary can win in 2012. Otherwise she'll have to wait until at least 2016...

    August 20, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. Cheryl Tx

    To-That's Reality Obama will lose because he is too liberal and lacks the necessary wisdom we need in a President.
    Wisdom is the old White Haired Wrinkly Dude .....McBush can't restore worldwide respect and admiration to the USA – OBAMA/BIDEN 08.

    August 20, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. Obama all the way

    It is amazing to me how dumb the majority of Americans are. Bill Maher said it on LKL last night, and isn't it the truth.

    The intellegent citizens, the ones who read up on each candidate, don't listen to the spin and rhetoric of the media and make an informed decision, based on fact, not TV commercials are in the minority.

    For them, myself included, it is a celar and easy choice.

    Obama is the choice. McWalkingCane isn't even an option.

    And I have NEVER been polled!!

    August 20, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. joe

    get paris or caroline as the vp.that is the only way .hillary 2012

    August 20, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. Robert

    Where's the trouble? Obama has led for months in the polls. A lead is a lead any way you spin it.

    August 20, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. ROBERT


    August 20, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    If by any chance McCain does manage to lie his way into the White House there may only be one scenario that will save the U.S. and that would be to take all your citizens currently in prison and arm them and send them off to fight the wars you will have throughout the world.

    Then after all the prisoners have been killed off you can reinstate the draft and that will end some of the wars as the elite won't be sending their relatives to the slaughter house.

    August 20, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. Kim

    Those voting for Obama are not worried. I put nothing past the republicans and because of that I pay no attention to the polls. The polls at the beginning indicated that Obama didnt have a chance at becoming the dems nominee.... And it happened anyway. Just know this, Our country is in state of depression like I have never seen before. Barak Obama will win, make no mistake about it.

    August 20, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. McBride, SLC, UT

    Obama is still ahead isn't he CNN? Even after the constant negative press from you and the other so called Journalists out there. If you covered the McCain campaign as much as you do Obama and continually question and attack him, then you would also see this down turn in the polls that you do! Let the American people see a more objective poll. That will come on election day when we all vote.

    August 20, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. Sluggo

    Obama supporters are showing very agile rationalizations for his continuing dip in the polls. The real answer is he is the worse choice since Jimmy Carter and people don't vote for losers.

    August 20, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. Obamacan

    What is wrong with America? Why can't we see that being lied to, bullied, and disrespected for the last 8 years will continue with the election of McCain. This man is running a VERY negative campaign full of lies and innuendo. I haven't heard any policies from him that are the polar opposite of Bush. Every town hall meeting is full of criticism of Obama. Please America don't be fooled this year, vote smart, and vote for the candidate that DID NOT endorse this war that got us into this mess in the first place!

    August 20, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. Donna

    I live in Missouri and I know of ten people or more that were Clinton supporters that are now saying they are going to vote for McCain.
    I have been trying to listen to McCain more since Clinton gave up when all the media started pushing her out,(SHE WAS RIPPED OFF AND PUSHED OUT) ....
    Some things McCain is starting to get my attention on and also I felt he did better then Obama when the Pastor questioned them.
    I know people will vote for Obama if he has Clinton as his VP because we feel she is more concerned about our health and other issues that effect us as a person, instead of treating us like we are a herd of cattle to be taken care of.
    MAYBE if he asked Caroline to be his VP we wouldn't feel so bad for what everyone did to Clinton.
    We don't care if Clinton is okay with what happened or not because it was US THE PEOPLE THAT WERE HURT NOT JUST HER*****
    Thank you,
    Donna in Missouri

    August 20, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  17. Steve, Madison WI

    Repug sleeze tactics + dumb electorate = 4 more years of Corporate rule of America.

    If McLame wins I will ask anyone complaining about their low paying job, lack of healthcare, and general lot in life if they voted for McSame – if the answer is yes, then my reply will be, " then shut up".

    People really are stupid to fall for the same old sleeze and fear politics. I'll try to explain to my kids why America was destroyed by morons voting for more of the same. God help us all!!!

    August 20, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. Lee M. Robinson

    If the American people as a whole can't see that Barack Obama is the best person to be the next president , then we are in for a lot of trouble in this country. John McCain is just another Republicain who will lie ,cheat and degrade to become president. Are we going to be fooled again by a man who is just George Bush with white hair? Mr. Obama just cant seem to get a break from those who hate the idea of an African American president. That is the main reason his lead in the polls will never reach above 50%. America, wake up and elect someone who have your best intrest in mind for a change. These Republicains are the same people who sent our sons and daughters into Irag to die for a lie. Are we just going to forgive them and put them back into the white house?

    August 20, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  19. Teresa

    No scapegoats...if Obama loses HE loses on his OWN merit. No one's fault but his own and HIS so called supporters.

    August 20, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  20. bill mullis

    obama in 08 despite cnn big buisness HOW MUCH DID TIME WARNER NBC CBS over bushes invasion billions but they have the blood of our dead serviceman on their hands pretty sad case for sooo called freedom of press you people are all in bed with mcbush 100 more years DONT THINK THATS GOING TO HAPPEN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE SMARTER THAN THAT FOOL ME ONCE MY FAULT FOOL ME TWICE YOUR FAULT GET REAL CNN WE KNOW WHATS GOING ON

    August 20, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  21. Cheryl Wilson

    Obama supporters – do not fret over polls. Here's the poll you need to look at: If McCain were really up in the polls, why then why, is Obama raising $50,000,000 a month in campaign contributions versus McCain who raises a little over $20,000,000? THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS ARE SUPPORTING OBAMA. If Obama were really down in the polls, it would show in his contributions. Obama has raised more money than any candidate in US history.

    Also, for those that do follow polls, Obama's numbers may have slipped a notch or two, but McCain's numbers have not risen at all. McCain is stil in the lower to mid 40%. Also, let's not forget Obama has over 20,000,000 energetic, enthusiastic, youthful foot soldiers who will be working the ground on election day getting out the vote. McCain does not have an army of young, energetic foot soldiers. This election will be won at the ground level. Obama will win, I have no doubt.
    OBAMA '08

    August 20, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  22. Armageddan

    Benedict Arnold was reprimanded for profiteering during the Revolutionary War. He got angry about it, but it was true. That was in the eighteenth century. Now here we are in the twenty first century and not only do we have just one person doing that but a whole administration applying the Benediction practices. Bush, Cheney and just about the whole administration is guilty of this, yet no one dares bring it up. I have not heard one mention of even the possibility that this is occurring. Strange.

    So here comes McCain with the same aspirations. He's no different and is just as guilty. Yet once again, no one is taking these greedy men to task about it. We, the people, act as if we don't have a clue. McBush, pumping up his; "drill here, drill now" nonsense with his sights not only on off shore drilling, but also the Georgian pipeline and Iran too. God's judgment will come down on this nation with a fierce wrath and it will be well deserved. Go ahead and elect this baseless and moraless, unprincipled, untrustworthy man if you people want to. But remember, I told you so.

    And when our sons and daughters continue to die for unjustified wars, don't cry and complain because we the people like whatever lies are told us to satisfied our national ego. Shame on us. We, the people, will also be judged by God too. And might I add, justly so. So like I said go ahead and vote for McWar, but don't complain about the death toll of our children and grandchildren.

    We are a nation of idiots and fools with absolutely no common sense....

    P.S. CNN, apparently I'm on your black list as evidenced by the countless times you have refused to post my comments. No matter what FREEDOM OF SPEECH will prevail, even if my voice is silenced. Tell candy I said hello and try to be objective rather than subjective.

    August 20, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  23. Jeff

    I would like to believe that Americans are smart enough to not vote for McCain against their self interests, but it may be the case, as Schiller said, that " a great moment has found a little people."

    August 20, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  24. KW-nc

    Obama will prevail--–No one called me! either WHO ARE THEY Callin? With this new electronic age-Americans will NOT elcect the 3rd BUSH!

    Fired up & Ready to GO in the NC

    August 20, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  25. Obama all the way

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

    Lenny, you are an idiot and incorrect!!

    I think OJ was guilty as sin, and I had my mind made up to vote Obama months ago.

    August 20, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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