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. Vegas

    “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.

    ROFLMAO.... oh how true... the DNC should be ashamed

    August 20, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. Ange

    Polls don't mean anything especially if you haven't been the one polled.

    So when they poll me I will agree with the polls.

    August 20, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. jason from woodbridge nj

    i'm not surprised. america keeps heading towards a downward spiral because the public keeps letting it. i guess we're on our way to the 3rd bush term

    August 20, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    McSame is about as real as the lie that his Barbie heiress is an "only child." His "gaffes" largely unreported by groveling mainstream media are signs of larger mental impairment. He doesn't work on weekneds and limits his appearances to one a day...Do you really think this guy is up to the job of being president? I realize that Dumbya has set the bar pretty low, but America, don't we deserve a full-time, healthy, mentally capable president?

    August 20, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. Brenda of Saginaw ,Michigan

    Well, that's ok. There is always ups and downs before the election. Obama will pull away from McCain again and win the election

    August 20, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. ikeusa

    No worries. Both McCain and Obama will see bumps after their respective conventions. I think the upcoming VP announcements and debates between the two will provide better definition in the polls than currently exists.

    August 20, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Patriot

    Love how you wait to publish poll results when the flucuation get's close. Notice 5 day gaps before..why..They showed Obama with huge leads. Each day the polls will change, so you show what's most controversial. Plus poller's don't poll people by Cell phone and only the old ways of hardline phones. It's a new age. I know you want post this one just like the rest of mine you haven't posted.

    August 20, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. therealist

    What did he expect with that high pay grade comment on abortion and Caroline Kennedy as VP?????

    Perhaps the progressive media should try muzzling both Obamas until after November...

    August 20, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. TESAP; SAVANNAH, GA

    ???? WHO ARE YOU POLLING????

    August 20, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. rightytighty

    This is why I voted against Hillary in the dem primaries..

    Ha Ha!!

    August 20, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. I told you so

    And – I wish they added spell check in here.

    Corrections for the record :)

    One = Won
    Transes = Trances
    500,000 most = 500,000 more votes

    Thank you!

    August 20, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Jennifer

    In spite of all the negative and dishonest attacks, courtesy of McCain, Rove and Clinton, I am confident that Obama will emerge the winner. It is impressive how he has not stooped to the level of these three and their like.

    August 20, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. 18 Million minus One

    When did he have a comfortable lead? I must have missed that.

    The headline should be McCain had the whole field to himself for several days and still couldn't get a head of Obama.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    August 20, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Anne/stone mountain Ga

    Again, who are they polling.???? I don't believe a word of this.

    August 20, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. Sherry, Atlanta

    UNLIKE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, SENATOR OBAMA IS NOT A DESTRUCTIVE INDIVIDUAL, IT'S NOT WITHIN HIS CHARACTER. BUT, I FEEL THIS MAY CHANGE!

    MAYBE THIS IS THE REASON THAT WE HAVE A DYSFUNCTIONAL SOCIETY. . .DESTRUCTION SEEMS TO WORK IN AMERICA!

    ****TRULY SAD****

    August 20, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. Oh Boy!!!???

    Hang your polls on a pole.

    Let's vote and find out. I'm not going to let a poll of polls sway me, let alone any single poll.

    Hang up the polls, PLEASE!!!!

    August 20, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. Marc PDX

    Funny how a little dose of reality in the real world pops the Hope and Change and Unicorn bubble. Maybe we need someone who knows what they're doing rather than a freshman senator who is only good when he's reading from a script. And who is apparently terrified of Hillary Clinton and John McCain (Obama: "Debate? No we won't").

    If he's so afraid of John McCain, how's he going to deal with Ahmedinejad or Medvedev/Putin? They'll eat him for lunch and his script with him.

    August 20, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. rightytighty

    Rush was right! Again!!

    August 20, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. hillybilly

    i dont believe your polls.the one who raises the most money always wins.

    August 20, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. Rocky

    Once again after the dust settles and the average voter really looks at how far left the Dems candidate is it makes it hard to vote for him no matter how unhappy you are with the Repubs.

    August 20, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. Tom

    Obama revealed himself as an ultra-racist in his books. Maybe more people have read them and that is why his poll numbers have dropped.

    August 20, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. rachel

    Funny when Obama leads the supporters say shut up hillbots and whatever childish name they can come up with but when he is down polls dont matter hun?

    August 20, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. ran

    Obama will win.

    CNN or any other news outlet do an Internet poll.
    would be nice to have a cell phone poll also.

    Once again weak minded don't think for yourself people are running from change to the comfort of fear. These are the same people who voted for Bush twice so no change there and they were never going to vote for Obama anyway or for any change unless they are told to by their masters. Sheep only sheep that is what the republicans have now.

    So People of the US don't fear the polls. Obama is going to win because there are more nonfeared voters then feared ones.

    August 20, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. jean HUISSEIN (WHAT HAPPEN TO THE GREAT COUNTRY WE USED TO BE?)

    SAYS WHO??? MARK PENN???? we don't care. Obama will win

    August 20, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. sinbad

    Does anybody remember 2 or 3 months ago what one of McCain's advisers said on national t.v.? I believe it was Mr. Blac, right? That McCain would need a conflict of some sort to occur in order to become president. Not necessarily one against the U.S., but somewhere, so he could "demonstrate" that he has more experience on defense issues. HMMMMMMMM how convenient.

    August 20, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9