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. Politico

    Polls mean very little at this point in the game–numbers have been fluctuating tremendously, and anything can happen in September/October (further decline of the economy, national security threat, etc.).

    August 20, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  2. gene in N C

    I hope all of the Nobama nuts are happy. This is just the begining of the end of our hopes of getting us out of this Bush mess. Hill could have pulled us back on the right road. This lieing con artist has mislead the nuts just like Bush. Thanks a lot you idiots.

    August 20, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  3. S Callahan

    I think the polls ride like an ocean wave and come election time the winner will be the one on the best wave. Remember, this is August where people are doing other things like vacations; purchasing school clothes, etc. I don't put any penny's in an August poll.

    August 20, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  4. Kevin

    A win is a win regardless of the score. We knew this would be tough, and it will be. But the fact is that he's still winning, and that is not a bad sign at all.

    OBAMA 08, 12

    August 20, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  5. A. Little

    Were you just polling people in your office? For being a major news provider i am highly dissapointed with the level of statistical disclosure. Where, when, how many people were asked what method? Phone calls? We the people deserve better...step it up! P.S. and FIRE Nance Grace! Im tired of the sensationalism of the news. Just the facts please....

    August 20, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  6. Susan

    This has happened because the news agencies keep reporting that Hillary's supporters are going to be making a scene sometime shortly. Why is Hillary still insisting on being a cry baby and getting her way.

    August 20, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  7. Waste my time, CNN

    'Polls say McCain is right handed, when last week they said he was left handed...' This article is incredibly insipid. Polls are random surveys and for you to write this one as inflammatory as you did, is just plain stupid. Take a poll six blocks away and you'll get an entirely different answer with entirely different results.

    August 20, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  8. Brian

    Polls shmolls!!! Nov 4th is the only poll that means anything.

    August 20, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  9. AF Vet

    Here is a funny thing: An AOL strawpoll as McCain beating Obama 68% to 32% with over 7,000 votes. I hope for America's sake (and our military) it works out that way in November.

    August 20, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  10. BOB


    August 20, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  11. sherry for Obama

    Doesnt mean a thing.

    Obama will come out the winner.......I dont even know of anyone who is voting for McBlah.

    I frankly cant fathom how anyone would want 4 more years of this.....Are some people that stupid?

    August 20, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  12. L

    Oh well, a shame for the obama fans that the rest of america has seen through the empty suit that this obama man is. He is not going to be hailed as a glory boy, even if he does scrape through to win this election.

    John McCain has been looking more and more sincere and presidential in recent weeks, guess this is showing in the polls

    August 20, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  13. Meaningless Polls

    I conducted my own survey of 150 random people, and my Poll of Polls show Obama with a 12 point lead. So, goes to show you that Polls are stupid.

    August 20, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  14. robert ga

    Well, we had a lull in events with the olympics and other issues.
    But lets not forget that we don't want to go to war with anyone (Russia over Georgia – just kidding ) and the economy is first on our agenda. Oil prices might have drop in recent days but this problem is going to come back even stronger next summer so please let not get carried away with (super)foreign policy credentials we will alway protect America, but we cannot afford to cede our dominance in technology and economic stability to asia or other. At that point , trust me , national security will be the least of our problems.

    For a better America.

    August 20, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  15. Christopher F.

    Here we go. The election isn't for months, and already this hyped up back-and-forth account. Lets face it . Nothing to get excited about at this point. The polls mean next to nothing right now.

    August 20, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  16. Ann T

    Well CNN. I'd like you to discuss why it is that John McCain can't seem to get ahead? He's been down consistently and doesn't seem to make much inroad. Supposedly, he's the expereinced Maverick. Why oh why isn't he doing much better in the polls? Your bias is showing yet again.
    Oh, and what about Mccain's extra-marital affair while married to Cindy????? IF that were Obama, you'd be on it 24/7.

    August 20, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  17. Phyllis/ PA

    Now pundits are having a great time giving his or her reason for Obama dropping in the polls. However, the main reason is that since the primaries the media no longer hadsHillary to bash. Consequently, pundits have had to fill air time with somethi and therefore have been forced to talk more about Obama as a candidate rather than as a super star.
    The more voters know about Obama the more voters are convinced that he simply is not qualified to be president. Now voters are finding out how one goes from a community organizer to being nominated for president of the United States.

    August 20, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  18. mickey lane

    It's about time! BO does NOT deserve one democratic vote. His latest
    show of the slime he is was again demonstrated when reached out to Picken. He is the toad who largely financed the 'swift boat' campaign against John Kerry who awhile ago threw his support
    to ' slimeball' BO.

    August 20, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  19. Mike

    Sure CNN. Take all the Polls you want and kiss up to McBush and your Corporate puppet masters. When it comes time to vote. America will choose not to vote for more war and a ruined economy. McBush will be shot down once again.

    August 20, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  20. Adam

    Finally people are getting the idea that Obama has no substance...He is all talk

    August 20, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  21. Johnny

    I am a Mccain supporter who thinks that Obama will win, but its going to be a very close thing.

    August 20, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  22. That's Reality

    Obama will lose because he is too liberal and lacks the necessary wisdom we need in a President.

    August 20, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  23. Bob From Pittsburgh

    Get Lost..

    The only poll that counts is the one in November. and to top it, the last few elections the pools were wrong.

    Most young people have cell phones and that makes the difference, these pollsters are getting the wrong data..


    August 20, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  24. Kevin

    This is just like when McCain lauched his other ads blaming Obama for gas prices and comparing him to a celebrity.

    in another couple weeks the polls will turn back around and Obama will be back to a higher percent lead.

    People need to stop listening to the media and do actual research on these 2 candiates to see the real points of view they carry. All the smear ads or ads in general are all BS and should not even be payed attention to.

    Look up these guys actual record and see who they like look at their political points of view and see what they agree with, not listen to some guy reading a TelepromTer.

    August 20, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  25. Rob indetroit

    It's amazing to me how people forget about the last time we heard a Republican make promices,that he could not keep.

    Why are people falling for Mccain's lies?he's making the swame promices bush made in 04' are we that stupid, if so then we get what we deserve.

    MCcain sounds good when he get's the Question's ahead of time,
    it's time for OBama to get MCcain in a debate, of his own choosing,
    not MCbush's.

    August 20, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
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