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. James Commey

    These polls are just to create unusual excitement and panic. America please don't make a mistake this time. The whole world is waiting for you to lead again. Go Barack Go Bama

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

    Obama: Please forget about what Pelosi, Kennedy, Dashle, Dean, Kerry, and Richardson have to say. Win, win FIRST: CHOOSE HILLARY CLINTON!! You can learn from Gore, 2000. All Republicans are now admitting they purposely damaged Hillary because they thought she was the toughest candidate to beat in 2008. Don't let the naive followers fool you: Choos Hillary and secure the votes and WIN for the WORLD!!

    August 20, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  3. Nikki

    Who are pollers polling? I never get a call. What areas are they calling? You always hear about the negative polling numbers but we heard nothing during the week he was up 8 points. Did they call all pro-life people or the members of Rick Warrens church?

    Obama 08' !

    August 20, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  4. AJLP

    Fantastic! Can you imagine how far in front McCain would be if he did not have the Bush presidency weighing him down

    August 20, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  5. Alice in Florida

    Obama is going DOWN!!!!!

    The Democrats sealed their own fate by forcing this empty stuttering suit down our throats!

    McCain '08 for Hillary '12

    August 20, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  6. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    America shakes off the enchanter's spell. Just in time!

    August 20, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  7. David

    Not surprising.

    Saddleback exposed the lack of depth in Obama's knowledge & preparedness.

    He can't think on his feet.

    August 20, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  8. CL OT

    People are starting to see the light. Speeches only get you so far.

    August 20, 2008 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  9. matt


    August 20, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  10. Vee Robillard

    As a non-American, I will never cease to be amazed by how easy it is for the 'Establishment' to manipulate the American people. The McCain 08 show, brought to you by the same producer's of the GW Bush show. And because of this, we're all screwed.

    August 20, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  11. KSH

    Are first time voters included in this poll of polls? Do people without landline phones fit into these polls? Hmmmmmmm I didn't think they were. What is the estimation of new registered voters on the Republican and Democratic sides?

    August 20, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  12. KT

    Bring on the hateful ignorant comments. America will get the president it deserves.

    August 20, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  13. Vietnam COMBAT Vet, OHIO

    like we really believe CNN polls! McCain will be smashed in November. Obama 08!!!!!! McTraitor, never!!!!!!

    August 20, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  14. Joyce in Florida

    Well, he better hurry up and pick Hillary Clinton as his V.P. now or his numbers might continue to fall. We need Democrats back in the White House. So wake up Senator Obama and choose her already. You know you NEED her in order to win in November.

    August 20, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  15. Johnr

    America is starting to wake up to how ill-prepared and ill-suited Obama is to lead this country.

    August 20, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  16. carlo

    I'm not concerned. The polls are being tightened by changing the internals. It's to keep this a "horse race". November will be an Obama slaughter. They did the same thing with Clinton in 1992.

    August 20, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  17. Ben

    I find it very discouraging that McCain, after having been in a war himself, and having been tortured for so long, can now sit back and advocate continuing violent conflict on others. Self-reflection is non-existent in our government. War is evil, war ends lives, and war causes mental problems and depression, how can this presidential hopefull advocate the same hardship he went through on others? Further denigrating his image was his decision to turn "bombing Iran" into a mock Beach Boys song. War is not a joke, especially for someone who was tortured for so long – I bet he wasn't laughing then! This senator disgusts me, and has joined the league of hypocrites that have been running our country into the ground for 8 years.

    August 20, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  18. Q

    B.O. stinks!!!!!

    August 20, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  19. Sandy

    You forgot to say that Obama went up 1 point. And that he was not on the trail for a week.

    August 20, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  20. J.S.

    Obama is not ready to be President of the United States much less a "ruler" of the entire World. Hillary Clinton was the best candidate we Democrats had-Period.

    August 20, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  21. NC Jan

    Here is one registered Independent who will be voting for Obama. Polls mean nothing to me.

    August 20, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  22. K of TX

    These polls indicate that the media has achieved its objective by making this race as tight as possible going into convention time.


    How else can you explain Obama getting 70+% negative coverage the first six weeks of the general election and McCain only getting 50+%?

    It is sickening the way the media plays with the future of this great country simply for ratings sake!

    August 20, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  23. Judgement over experience

    If clinton ruins this along with her demented supporters she can kiss her political career goodbye. Her supporters are too dumb to realize this but she is toast!

    August 20, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  24. jason

    if this country is still into trusting conservatives, it will continue to get what it deserves.

    with even 30% of the country favoring McCain, they should just give it to him. I guess we need to be driven to cannibalism before some people learn...

    August 20, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  25. tone

    McCain needed a international crisis, condi and george gave him one.

    August 20, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
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