August 20th, 2008
06:15 PM ET
6 years ago

Poll of polls: Obama's once-comfortable lead gone

Obama's lead is down to 1 point over McCain.
Obama's lead is down to 1 point over McCain.

(CNN) - For Barack Obama, the Democratic convention and the bump in the polls that is expected to follow couldn't come soon enough.

According to a new CNN poll of polls, the Illinois senator's once-comfortable lead over McCain is down to only 1 point nationwide - potentially troubling news for Obama as he gets set to accept his party's nomination in Denver.

Obama now leads McCain 45 percent to 44 percent, down from a 3-point margin in a CNN poll of polls yesterday and down from an 8-point lead in mid July.

The seemingly rapid drop in the polls could be due to the reemergence of national security issues following the crisis in Georgia, giving McCain an anvil to hammer away at Obama's inexperience. When Russian troops invaded Georgia two weeks ago, McCain vigorously denounced the action and warned of consequences. Obama's reaction was more measured, and potential voters noticed, CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider said.

"Which candidate do voters believe is better qualified to deal with Russia? McCain by better than 2-1," Schneider said. "More experience in military matters and foreign affairs."

CNN Election Center: Check out the latest polls

In a year when the Republican brand is reeling, CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib says the Obama campaign officials should be concerned their lead appears to have become so tenuous.

“This ought to be a landslide Democratic year, but right now the Obama campaign is at risk of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory," Silverleib said. "They’ve been slow to respond as McCain has successfully raised a series of questions about Obama’s basic fitness for the presidency."

"The pressure is mounting for Obama to regain the initiative as he heads to Denver for what is certain to be one of the most critical weeks of his campaign

But can the Democratic presidential candidate rely on the post-convention bounce? Maybe. From 1976 to 2004 every major party nominee has gained ground - 8 points on average - in polls taken immediately after the convention. But in the last presidential cycle, neither President Bush nor Sen. John Kerry received any bounce from either of their conventions.

soundoff (222 Responses)
  1. Lisa

    Obama will win! America doesnt need WW3

    August 20, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. No Longer For Obama

    Do I hear a 3am call coming into Hillary – its the smartest call he could make.

    August 20, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. NotFallingInLine.org

    Barack Obama's one gift has been to be better than most at projecting a carefully crafted image of greatness to cover up his many flaws and his lack of a record of accomplishments.

    Unfortunately, now that the novelty has worn off, he is proving himself to be an otherwise mediocre candidate.

    Why didn't the failed leaders of the undemocratic Democratic Party see this coming?

    Most of their constituents did.

    August 20, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. Sandy - PA

    I don't put any stock in this. CNN posted a ton of articles saying that Hillary Clinton allegedly led in every poll, too.

    August 20, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. ken

    Not worried about your polls CNN!

    August 20, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. ObamaBots are funny

    Obama is going down. People are now waking up to see this Obama is a Carter.

    I will take a Bush over a Carter any day.

    August 20, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. Joe

    Finally, America is waking up. This guy is a fraud and I can't believe he even has a chance at being our President.

    August 20, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. Brian

    If the media says it enough times, people will think it is actually true.

    August 20, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. Hotdog

    Who cares. It's just polls. Obama will win.

    Nobody wants McBush lies, lies and more lies.

    Let's see what happens in November.

    McBush should have been leading in the polls. He's suppose to be the maverick. LOL

    August 20, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. mollygonz

    Go Obama! We are not worried! It's still early and we have so much time. You can pull this off. Polls mean nothing. What matters is who turns out to vote and seeing the number of people who voted in the primaries, you will be fine.

    August 20, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Yeh.....
    Libertarians–eating away at the status qou.

    Real change 2008
    Donate, vote, elect Bob Barr/Wane Root 2008, U.S. Libetarian Party–real change that respects your values and your pocket book!!!

    August 20, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. AL in West Palm Beach, FL

    Johnnie Mac…

    Let's just say for a split second, I believe that you're questioning his judgment on Iraq…eventhough I don't believe you for a thousandth of a second. For the sake of argument let's say I do.

    Would we have been in Iraq had you read the Foreign Intelligence Estime on Iraq (the foundation for the war) and understood what it said? Would we have been in Iraq had you sided with Vallery Plame's husband on the false accusation your good friend Bush and best of pals Dick were making regarding Iraq and WMDs? Would we have been in Iraq had we put all our resources to find Bin Laden–even though you say you would follow him to the gate of hell…but won't go get him in Pakistan? What is victory in Iraq?

    Senator, if you can't answer those questions, then anything you have to say about another man's judgment on that issue is moot and means nothing to me. Senator you need to use some of that judgment and appologize to those 4,200 men/women's families whom wouldn't have lost a loved one in Iraq had you not voted for it. Senator, please tell me if I should not call you McArthur and challenge you to either call your fellow senator a traitor or leave the subject alone because using code words in this juncture is unbecoming.

    Senator if you can't do either of the things I mentioned above, tell me, please do soon…WHY SHOULD I VOTE FOR YOU?

    August 20, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. LT for Obama

    This is temporary. These polls are going to continue to jump around until the truth about McCain truly comes out.

    "I didn't decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political reforms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president. . . . In truth, I'd had the ambition for a long time." - from his autobiography.

    August 20, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Soldier 4 OBAMA

    Much to do about nothing. Everyone knows OBAMA will win with 53% of the popular vote and 350 electoral college vote. The Media is pushing ratings, yet even this spin will motivated DEMOCRATS to go VOTE and not take anything for granted. The polls will favor McCain because that is what the MSM want us to believe, but NOT THIS TIME!

    August 20, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. Terry, Butte, Mt

    Pay attention voters. If you pay attention then there can only be one choice... Obama all the way.

    August 20, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. Lorraine

    These polls are useless and mean nothing.

    August 20, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. cherrystrawberry

    Obama dont worry about these polls Brother. You know they are calling old retired people and noone from the hood. We have your back. Stay Strong! Peace

    YES WE CAN & YES WE WILL.

    August 20, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. gl

    I really do not give much to these polls. Who are the polling? I have not got a call yet. The most be talking to those udeducated Americans that put Bush in twice.

    August 20, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  19. Obama '08

    Calm down, the only poll that matters is on Nov 4.

    August 20, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. John B. From New Hampshire

    they have NEVER done polls 2 days in a row. WHO are they polling?!?!? This smells fishy, doesn't it?!?! how in the world could 44% of americans vote for McCain... his CONS well outweigh his PROS!!!!!
    OBAMA '08

    August 20, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Jim

    I think all the hillary supporters are going back against Obama in hope's the convention can make her the top ticket. I think once that's over and he is still on his way people will come to their sense's...if they elect more of Bush's policies the world will fall over in laughter at how utterly stupid America is. They will take pride in their educational system and mock America's educational system and watch America sadly go down into another depression, as if a recession isn't bad enough, lets ignor the warning sign's and continue down the same economic path...

    August 20, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. Lisa

    false sense of hope. Look at all the repubs dancing with joy over a poll. Us Obama supporters are all too familiar with polls. They dont mean anything!

    August 20, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. Chad, Wisco

    All the Obamabots will come on saying the polls mean nothing. Well they do mean something. There are many people that will be turned off by his choice to get coronated in a football stadium. There are many people that will be upset to find out how much extra money it cost to put on that event. And there will be even more mad people when they realized that U2 cancelled their free concert in Denver next week and they have to listen to Obama instead.

    August 20, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. Will from NYC

    Polls CNN why don't you take a ride on your polls...

    you CNN gimps must be so excited thinking this will grab viewers.... nope actually you lost one starting when you started giving McCain a free ride on all his gaffes, and stupidity,

    August 20, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. Lisa

    false sense of hope. Look at all the repubs dancing with joy over a poll. Us Obama supporters are all too familiar with polls. They dont mean anything!

    World War 3 if McCain gets elected. hes still stuck in Vietnam

    August 20, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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