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. Lorna, NY

    Polls means nothing...people are on vacation now. The polls that will be important is the one on Nov 4th.

    August 20, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  2. Desmond Sequeira

    The USA will do itself and the world huge harm if it does not elect OBAMA.

    August 20, 2008 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  3. Ilene

    I take offense at your constant "Obama's in trouble" headlines over and over again. You're "leading the witnesses" into believing something that's not "that real." Why not say that McCain has made no progress. His numbers are the same.

    ...and after your own Jack Cafferty's commentary yesterday, anyone voting for McCain is just plain off their rocker...guys you work for the same outfit. Get together! That commentary was one of the most awesome pieces I have ever read. I forwarded it on to many friends to see.

    ...and just who is doing these polls? If you're just doing landlines, man, you're missing the boat for all the young people supporting Obama - they don't have landlines - they have cell phones.

    August 20, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  4. Shawn Newton

    I don't believe your polls CNN. I think you guys are doing just like every news and media did back when George Bush supposedly "won" the election. The media just wants a republican to win, so they just announce a winner ahead of the elections. I always hear about the so called Liberal media. It is just the opposite, it is the Conservative controlled media that is running our country into the ground.

    August 20, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  5. joe

    put caroline kennedy sholsberg on the ticket as vp.that could be the only way
    Hillary 2012

    August 20, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  6. Jerry

    In Arizona we call John McCain "The Fish" because he flops so much on the issues. He also voted 89% of the time with George Bush. Do you want someone like this as the president? If you do., you deserve what you get!

    August 20, 2008 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  7. Samantha

    Oh's already August and his lead is cut in half, oh what will he do?! CNN and please grow up and stop trying to influence the voters! This is sooooooo annoying! We don't vote until NOVEMBER for goodness sake!!!

    I'm getting deployed in a couple of weeks and I'm looking to a break from the DUMB NEWS! You are really impacting this world in ALL the negative ways! And to think...this is what your Ivy Leagers went to school for...sad...and I beat your student loans are paid with the hefty CNN salary!

    August 20, 2008 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  8. LET IT GO

    I hate to say it, but Barack just might need Hillary to win. I know it undercuts his message of change but I don't think he has a choice.

    August 20, 2008 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  9. From the outside, looking in...

    The best decision is always the hardest decision to make.....
    Think about it.. it would be much easier to elect McCain over Obama, right...That would be the easy and safest way out for most of us, Come on America, make a tough decision and vote Obama in November, i will..

    August 20, 2008 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  10. Doug

    I don't think this has anything to do with foreign policy. Ask the average American about the "crisis" in Georgia and they'll say "oh yeah....the russians need to get out. What's going on at the Olympics?" Fundamentally, no one cares beyond some humanitarian empathy.

    What is more troubling is that Obama will not be able to run a reasonable and thoughtful campaign as he had originally hoped. The voters (at least those reponding to these polls you cite) are fundamentally stupid. They're expressing more support for a candidate who is as shallow as they come. He's the most beatable Republican in a generation (except perhaps Bob Dole) and the Democrats are on they're way to blowing it. So Obama will have to start the usual "nyahh nyahh" campaign that Americans love.

    I don't care. I know how I'm going to vote. If the electorate were smart (which they're not), they'd really think about what is best for the United States and its people: fixing the economy, our own little unprovoked aggression in Iraq, etc. Don't vote for one guy because his dad can beat up the other guy's dad. Simplistic Imperialism and One-party rule doesn't work. Let's move on.

    August 20, 2008 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  11. Walt, Belton,TX

    Perhaps people are just getting tired of Nobama using the word change all the time instead of actually presenting workable solutions to problems. Bull Sh _ t tends to stick to thorny issues coated with ignorance.

    August 20, 2008 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  12. Don

    Obama will ultimately prevail because of the hardtimes the country is facing, but those who think it will be a landslide victory are mistaken. John McCain is a better candidate than he is being portrayed, and no he is not Bush.

    August 20, 2008 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  13. Jimmie, Virginia

    One thing has remained consistent, Obama has been up. I expect a 3 increase with the selection of Biden as his VP, or 5 points with Clinton. With all respect to Gov. Sebilius and Kaine, they won't add points to the poll; however Kaine would guarantee Virginia. Biden is the right person for the job, IF Obama comes through with his promise to expand the role of the vice president. Otherwise, please let Biden become Secretary of State. If Biden is your choice for VP, then Bill Richardson would be a shoe in for Secretary of State and possibly John Kerry.

    August 20, 2008 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  14. Joan Rochester, NY

    Telephone polls are very misleading in this day of cell phone as "home phone" ~ and you ALL know that ~ so one has to wonder why that potential to skew your resuluts is not included in reporting as possible error rate.

    August 20, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  15. Kathy

    All the negative campaign adds that McBush is running are working. Yet when Obama fights back the righties get their tightie whities in a bunch and scream! I have found the perfect song for McBush to use at the campaign since no musician will let him use their songs, "Cry Baby" with Janis singing!!! Fits!

    August 20, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  16. Sophia, 23, FL

    He will still win in November.

    He has 304 electoral votes. John McCain has 234.

    OBAMA '08

    August 20, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |

    The only numbers you need to poll are the votes in November. With all of Obama's spending, traveling abroad, constant talking (or speeches as you like to put it), he's going nowhere fast. The more he talks, the less we like of him and the more we can see through him.

    The Democratic Party made a huge mistake and just as they have done the last 3 elections they will fail again.

    The problem: They and everyone keeps trying to dismiss Bill and Hillary Clinton, which have proven fatal for the candidates.

    Notice that John McCain publicly disagrees with G.W. Bush but can stand along side of his and accept his support.

    Obama trashed and attacked the Clintons and used reversed racism and now he wants and needs the help. Dumb move.

    August 20, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  18. Val

    McCain will have no chance after the conventions. He will be smashed like a pumpkin. All the negativity from the McCain camp will backfire on them. Americans, wake up. The republicans always come in and spoil everything America stands for and Dems come in and fix it. Its never been this bad before. How worst do you want it to get? You need the democrats to fix your situation.

    Just a thought from Canada

    August 20, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  19. Exxon

    Yea, right. I guess Mr. Obama, needs to go ahead and quit. Not, have faith we'll see in the end. CNN, we will see what you have to say about this in Nov.

    August 20, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  20. Robert

    I love how the media spins things. Obama has been higher in the polls for months and somehow that's bad news. A lead is a lead anyway you slice it.

    August 20, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  21. Grace Needed

    It always amazes me, that politicians appealing to our worst instincts – fear, anger and worry – can increase their poll standings and even get elected! Why it it that Americans allow themselves to be manipulated into these negative emotions forcing them to settle on someone who offers such little hope, joy in or comfort to really solve the problems we face? Please take note of the candidate that has the intelligence, the judgement, the potential to lead this America in becoming the nation it has been blessed to be. We have NOT been blessed to just make ourselves more safe, comfortable and secure! We've been blessed to be a blessing to others!

    August 20, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  22. Scott, Wichita

    We all knew it was just a matter of time

    August 20, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  23. Terri

    Polls mean nothing now....what matters is the poll on Nov 4.

    August 20, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  24. concerned

    Obama needs to talk about McCains support for privatized social security. He needs to let America know that he's not a maverick.

    August 20, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  25. Left and Gone

    People are just figuring out he isn't ready? Where have they been? The hot air is leaking out of this overinflated balloon.

    August 20, 2008 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
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