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. Gerald in Georgia

    What else would you expect, with all of the constant negative news coverage of Obama. It's like everytime you turn on the news there is someone saying something negative and if you add the fact that the DNC is still catering to the Clintons, what else could he do?Look at the title of this ticker. It's always something negative. Fix News dedicates it's entire broadcast days to bringing down Obama. Rush and Lou Dobbs absolutely hate Obama and they use their shows to destroy him on every turn. And you wonder why the polls show him slipping. I tip my hat to him for simply just holding his peace and not telling the media where to stick their polls!!

    August 20, 2008 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  2. Deana

    Ha. I'm not surprised at all. Unless he chooses Hillary as his running mate, the election is pretty much lost for the Democrats! Thanks Barack!

    August 20, 2008 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  3. Robert NYC & Miami

    The Republicans are going to digest him ALIVE!

    Obama was never the right candidate.

    August 20, 2008 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  4. nobama

    In a year that democrats should be taking a landslide Obama has show to America he is not a president we can depend on.When the Democratic Convention is over and they pick Obama as their nominee they will have doomed the thought of being in the White House in 2009. Our country is in a very serious situation from economy, war,homeland security, gas prices lack of jobs, Obama clearly doesn't have a clue as to hoe to help any of the problems America are facing. As the primary season goes on you will see the polls drop more each day for Obama. He has bad connections, and is arrogant, racist sexist,egomaniac,phony, unqualified, unexperienced,and worst of all he shows hate to the blue collar workers the babck bone of our country HE HATES AMERICA AND AMERICANS

    August 20, 2008 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  5. jj

    I hope the polls are right, can't really tell as a lot of people don't have land lines anymore, only cells and I don't think the poll people can get those numbers. I think Obama should have waited 4 years so that we have some record to look at, he was an unknown and now the way his people are looking to take advantage of a mistake in OH, it just shows that they will do anything, cheat, lie, whatever to win. It's what they said about Clinton and here they've done the same thing over & over.

    August 20, 2008 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  6. Terry, NJ

    Yay! Good to know finally some people are regurgitating Obama's empty sugar and nothing else filled Koolaid talk and realizing this is about being President of the United States and not some prom king vote. Obama isn't ready to lead. He's just ready to give speeches, cross his fingers, and hope magic happens. Not the kind of problem solver or dreamer I would want as President. Don't drink the Koolaid!!!


    August 20, 2008 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  7. nancy

    This is something anyone with commen sense would have expected.
    Its not about being a democrat or republican, white, black or brown, male or female, older or younger. Its about who is best able to lead America. Isnt it wonderful that people are starting to realize Senator Obama doesnt have the credentials to be President of this great country.

    August 20, 2008 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  8. Jaded in CT

    Who really cares? Obama and McCain are both politicians and they both do the same negative things to each other, and both will make bad choices for the country. Might as well be the same person.

    I hate having to pick between two evils...

    August 20, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  9. Ben

    As usual CNN is putting a spin on it. I have stopped watching CNN to avoid being dished out one sided coverage of the election. This article is about Obama's lead being cut down to the margin of error, and what is the closing paragraph of this article? "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."

    CNN should either have an opinion piece or a news report, not spin the report by being a vocal supporter of Obama. People are not stupid, they can see through it.

    August 20, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  10. Former Republican

    Obama still gets my vote.

    August 20, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  11. Nicole In NE

    Just goes to show people really respond to negative attacks, even after giving us Bush twice. Thanks for nothing!

    If we elect John McCain, I will have lost all hope for America.

    August 20, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  12. Dem in PA

    The wheels are starting to come off of the garbage bus!

    August 20, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  13. Mark VA

    America may finally be waking up. Obama's only chance is Clinton on the ticket. But will he admit it??? Not too sure because he is a proud man. He cannot even admit that the surge worked, because then he would have to admit he was wrong and cannot say "I rather be right on day one?" Hubris and smugness is not an attractice feature.

    August 20, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  14. John in Ohio

    This is BS
    The early week polls consistently (in July anyway, August has actually been a *better* month for Obama) show about a 2-3 point Obama lead
    The late week polls consistently show about a 5-6 point Obama lead

    This is a consistent pattern. It's lazy sensationalist psuedo-journalism to take the late-week polls, and compare them to the early week polls, and say "Oh look! The lead was cut in half! Oh noes! Bad news!"

    You never see frantic breathless ticker articles after the late-week polls saying "Obama doubles his lead over McCain!" now do you?

    Something else 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.

    So if you look at it critically (something the people who are going to scream "ZOMG EVERYBODY FINLLY SEEIN THRU OBAMBI" aren't capable of), you see clearly that this is not bad news, or good news, or even news at all.

    August 20, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  15. Walter

    Finally, for Obama, reality sinks in. Polls show the reality. His economic and spending policies would be a disaster for US economy. His judgement is flawed across the board and his inspiration works on college kids who have no idea about the money matters. No one ever one with college kid's votes, one needs adults who make abuck for living- that is where Obama has NOT won the hearts.

    August 20, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  16. theresa

    And this is new because?.....Bush/Mcsame is preying on the US using fear from the recent uprising w/Russia to indicate Obama would not keep us safe...and Hillary supporters, pundits and media friends are sitting back quietly approving the ongoing drama over her lost. Obama will still rise in November making wonderful history and proves our country is built on hope, change, justice, liberty & equality for all....Obama 2008/2012

    August 20, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  17. GB

    Not without Hillary he can't.

    August 20, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  18. joe in VA

    Obama is an empty suit. He should go back to the senate for the next 4 years and PROVE he can do what he says he will. He's too inexperienced to run this country right now. In 4-8 years though, he might make a very fine president.


    August 20, 2008 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  19. Pulease.....

    Ohhhhhhhh the horror! One poll shows him dipping. OMG we should all run for the hills. PULEASE!!!!!! CNN you're pathetic to blow this out of proportion and even worse that you think intelligent people will panic at this pathetic article.

    August 20, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  20. Joc

    This this about polls is all balony. Obama is going to be the president of the United States of America and let's not make any mistake. He's presidential, hes smart and Godly

    August 20, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  21. Scott L

    Obama is going to get crushed in November. He should be skyrocketing in the polls now...but typically it is historically shown that non-incumbent elections are usually neck and neck. This time though, Obama won't have Hillary supporters and he'll be dealing with a lot of people who won't tolerate his ties to shady characters.

    Still not too late to select Hillary! 😀

    August 20, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  22. kinchasa

    All of this Hilary stuff has put a damper on things. I believe that this has all made Obama look weak. I am an Obama supporter who will not watch the "catharsis" called the convention. I think the convention will divide democrats even. How disrepectful of everyone to pick which historical moment is more important. The first female loser vs. The first african american. I think that well see another woman succeed before we see another black person. Just like America to belittle the efforts and successes of blacks. Just like white women have historically in this country to ride the coattails of blacks again, Civil Right Movement to gain respect. Shame On You Hillary, America.

    August 20, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  23. Nate

    I don't get it...where's all the trash talking O'bama supporters?

    August 20, 2008 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  24. Rus

    Your headlines for these polls always amaze me – I doubt there's a significant difference between the mean of means that gave Obama a 3% compared to 8% lead. So headlines like 'lead cut in half' or 'bad news for Obama' are likely based on nothing. What does stand out though is that more polls have consistently shown Obama leading than McCain since the contest began. Quick calculation suggests that's highly significant (exact test).

    August 20, 2008 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  25. Nick

    Negative fear mongering is what McCain is doing. Americans are not re-awakening to national security fears because of Georgia. Most Americans didn't even know there was a country named Georgia. They are afraid of the black guy-because that is what us white folks were taught as kids-fear the black guy.

    Media analysts has shown that news stories are slanted much more towards McCain-lets see some non-biased press reporting on Obama and McCain. Doing stories about McCain being a POW as "NEWS" is not accurate. He has not been a POW for a long time now. For every POW mention by the media, there should be a picture of Barack doing organizing in Chicago.

    August 20, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25