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. Gary

    This may be due to the fact that the voters who put Obama in the lead nationally are currently on vacation. Just you wait until November 4th the polls will have a different tale to tell.

    August 20, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  2. JBB

    So What? The best is yet to come! How reliable are the numbers, not much.....seen that before.

    August 20, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  3. Mike Maggio

    Obama is the Democrats' and the nation's best hope. He has got to win. We can't put up with another four years of Republican divisiveness, cavalier foriegn policy and their attacks on civil liberties at home.

    August 20, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  4. Linda from Prescott AZ

    He was on vacation and McCain had the air waves to himself to talk trash. Now that Obama is back, the polls will change again. AFter the conventions we all know things will change.....dramatically.
    So, let's not have a panic attack.

    August 20, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  5. Racine

    It looks like Americans are finally waking up!

    We don't want someone who is going to raise taxes, implement tariffs and price controls, increase subsidies, renogotiate trade agreements and plunge the economy into a depression.

    We don't want someone who is going to continue to grow the US Government to even more unsustainable levels.

    We don't want someone who is going to retreat from Iraq, give the terrorists a victory, and allow the middle east to blow up and fall back 100 years.

    We don't want someone who is going to idley sit back and allow countries like Russia, North Korea, and Venezuela continue to make the world a less safe and secure place and threaten democracy globally.

    And we don't want someone who has questionable moral and ethical values, who says whatever the audience wants to hear, never answers a question, is two faced, and surrounds himself with racists (Trinity, Wright) and crooks (Rezko).

    Americans are waking up! John McCain 08!

    August 20, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  6. Matt

    Zogby has Obama behind by 5!

    McCain is coming on strong!

    No where to go but the White House from here, President McCain!!!!

    August 20, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  7. Josh

    Uh-Oh Obama...time to sway in the wind again. McCain is gaining...quick change your platform for the 20th time.

    August 20, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  8. wilma

    The Reuters poll released this morning, shows McCain up by 5 points. McCain's lead is across all demographics, including the young vote. Guess the MSM just aren't getting the job done. My bet is on the american peoples sound judgement & finding the truth themselves.

    August 20, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  9. James

    Whenever I think of Barack Obama my mind unconsciously forwards to the story plot in "Remember the Titans"; the public expects him to be near perfect in all areas, and each time he fails to hit a home run his opinion ratings fall.

    We are still in summer, frankly the only people who bother to keep up with polls and elections during this period are political junkies like I. It would be wise to wait until both conventions before we ferment our opinion, there are still 3 months left in the genereal election...

    August 20, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  10. MJC

    A lead is a lead. I'll take it.

    Obama/Biden.......get use to it.

    August 20, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  11. Mike, TX

    Obama's like fish. Nice for the first few days, then it begins to smell bad.

    August 20, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  12. mariela

    it was about time already the his lead is dwinding. American's People is waking up with this obamation finally they are realizing that he is capable of being commander in chief. I am a democrat but I am voting Republican. I am Hillary's supporter all the way

    Go Mckain 2008 Hillary 2012

    August 20, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  13. WDRussell

    The far right media can't control their glee, trying to find any story that would be negative for Sen.Obama.
    I am not even surprised.

    August 20, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  14. Andrew

    Wow that was biased. Might as well say "don't worry folks, we will fix it next week."

    August 20, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  15. Yankee Air Pirate

    He's toast.You Obamatrons might have to go back to Ms.Clinton in 2012.Oh well,it was fun while it lasted.And I'll always have his performance in Bristol,Va. on my desk top.

    August 20, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  16. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Poll, schmoll! November will tell the tale, bean-counting trolls!

    August 20, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  17. Missy

    Maybe Obama shouldn't have gone on vacation. . .

    August 20, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  18. no to obama

    There is a new Zogby poll that just came out this morning that shows McCain up by 5%!! Looks like people are starting to understand that Obama is not ready to be president.

    August 20, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  19. Obama- Next Stop.. White House

    Not worried at all.....

    Obama 2008 thru 2016

    August 20, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  20. len

    Obama is just a demagogue. He will say, do anything to get elected, a la Clinton.

    He looked well when competing against Hillary, but anyone would look better next to the ruthless lady.

    He should not be elected. His promises, "priorities" are too many to meet.

    His wife is no better. Michelle Obama is an angry woman, full of resentments.

    August 20, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  21. Shrill for Hill

    Congratulations John McBush, you're still losing.

    August 20, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  22. ConcernedIndependentVoter

    Shouldn't this be an ominous sign for McCain? I mean Obama is STILL in the lead after the Conservative Christian roundtable. I was almost positive that McCain would be ahead in the polls this week. That definitely wasn't Obama's best moment this campaign season. However, as a result, I am now leaning more towards Obama. Let's just see what November brings.

    August 20, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  23. Elizabeth

    Isn't it like CNN, Rooney, to post a big negative headline about Obama. The CNN headline is not news...Where is the news? A couple of weeks ago when McCain started to utter his superficial rhetoric to appeal to the non thinking republicans (echoed by a non thinking news service), the polls started to change. The fact is that Obama and his supporters know that it will be an uphill battle, because the swift-boat liars and the publication of the Obama Nation book, a pack of lies, is what got the UnChristian republican hypocrites elected in the past. Why doesn't CNN deal with that? Does CNN believe in the truth instead of distorted headlines? Does CNN or the republicans for that matter ever consider that a democracy is founded on and sustained by truth? Does experience count for anything after Bush who does not know how to think? The last election was fed by fear that was based on lies and by a party that is supposed to be "Christian," lies that feed bigotry, and lies that are reminiscent of the brown shirts of the Nazis who used lies that nearly destroyed the Jews. If the republicans consider themselves Christian just because they are anti abortion, what about the other sins that they don't take a stand corporate greed, corporate welfare, bigotry, failure to integrate their own churches, White affirmative action, to name a few. But I guess being against one sin, anti abortion, makes the republicans "holier than thou" and permits them to try to win another election based on lies, fears, narrow-mindedness and bigotry. You would think that McCain had the depth to consider the seriousness of the lies within the book "Obam Nation" and how injurious it is to our democracy? But McCain is a non thinker just like Bush and so what does his experience count for it he can't think? And if free choice were repealed or changed by the Supreme Court as McCain would want, then I guess we would have to go back to the good old days when the predominant group that got abortions were the republican White females. CNN just goes real honest reporting, just distorting.

    August 20, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  24. dEMOBRAT

    He needs to get over himself and pick HRC for VP. No stopping that ticket.

    August 20, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  25. Christina P, Buffalo NY

    We'd better stop partisan bickering and get down to who is best for bringing this country together and getting things done. If Obama's campaign hasn't been a shining example of that, I don't know what people need to see. Put party allegiances aside – and let's handle the United States of America's business!! (I guess that makes me Independent, non-partisan is common sense!!) Let's stop dividing ourselves – because we are getting nowhere ... unless you're an oilman.

    Obama '08 / '12

    August 20, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
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