February 27th, 2008
11:54 AM ET
14 years ago

Poll: McCain's hard to beat


A new poll out Wednesday suggests McCain will be difficult to beat in November. (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new poll out Wednesday suggests Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, will be a difficult candidate for the eventual Democratic nominee to beat in a general election match up this fall.

According to a just released Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, McCain would be in tight races with either of the remaining Democratic presidential candidates.

McCain is statistically tied with Sen. Barack Obama, 44 percent to 42 percent, and ahead of Sen. Hillary Clinton by 6 points, 46 percent to 40 percent. The poll's margin of error was plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.

The poll also showed McCain with a 61 percent approval rating, a number higher than both Clinton's and Obama's in past polls. (A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll earlier this month measured Clinton's approval rating at 52 percent and Obama's at 58 percent.)

The Arizona senator holds a clear advantage on dealing with the war in Iraq, according to the poll, and holds a 9 point advantage on economic issues over Obama, despite having acknowledged that area is not his expertise. Though the poll finds voters favor Clinton by 10 points over McCain to handle the economy.

The same poll also showed Obama with a 6 point edge over Clinton nationally - a finding that's consistent with several other polls out earlier this week that indicate that the senator from Illinois is the frontrunner in the Democratic race.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (499 Responses)
  1. MPG

    But of course......he's the strongest Democrat of the three 🙂

    February 27, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. last debate

    I may not be supporting Hillary in the primaries BUT if she steals the nomination, I'll be voting for her. McCain is a decent man but he is also more of the same when it comes to Bush.

    February 27, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. pd4hillary

    As a Hillary supporter, I am willing to vote for McCain for three reasons:

    1. I'm a moderate centrist Democrat who joined the Dems when it moved to the middle under Bill Clinton. I'm not interested in a left-wing liberal candidate as the Dems seem to want to put forward. McCain is a more moderate, centrist Republican that may pull his party more to the middle.
    2. While I'm a Dem, I'm an American first and I want to put forward the most qualified and experienced candidate. In choosing Obama over Clinton, Dems are not doing so. At least, he is not at this juncture in his political career.
    3. Finally, it is just personal. Obama supporters that are on these blogs spew too much sexism, ageism, and feigned racism. I have too much respect for the people who are older and have made contributions to our country. I also have too much respect for women to watch the double-standard that has played out as well as overt sexism. Finally, I have too much respect for real racisim, to sign on with those who wanted to depict the Clintons as racist. I also have a deep sense of loyalty for two people who worked very hard in the 1990s to make our country and our world much better!

    February 27, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. Frank

    I was first an Edwards supporter, then backed Clinton as a second-choice. But I will certainly vote for Obama if he is the eventual nominee.

    Anyone who supports Clinton but would vote for McCain over Obama ought to have his head examined, if it can be extracted from his butt long enough to perform the examination.

    February 27, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. Unknown

    John McCain will get my vote if Obama is nominated by the Democratic Party.

    I am a lifelong Democrat but that will end if Obama is nominated. And I believe that there will be a lot of voters just like me.

    We have had 8 years of a disastrous presidency where the man had no political experience -– why would we want to go there again?

    February 27, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. Love Hillary

    in this whole love-hate relationship, like in every other, the guy is let off and the girl gets all the blames ...

    February 27, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. Derek Larson, MN

    Of course, within the margin of error of this poll we could also see results of Obama at 47 and McCain at 39. "Hard to Beat" is a pretty misleading headline– perhaps "not easy to beat" or "a reasonably even match" would make more sense. But that wouldn't be sensationalistic enough for prime time, would it?

    Clinton's high negatives are the threat to a Democratic victory. It's time for her to step down, for the good of the country, and unite the party behind the candidate that has a chance of winning over independents and perhaps even some younger Republicans. "McCain Hard for Clinton to Beat" would have been a better headline for this piece.

    February 27, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. Steve

    Did anybody read the article before they gave it a headline? Look at the voter numbers from Wisconsin OBAMA wiped out everyone including McCaine by a 2-1 margin!

    February 27, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. Love the USA

    American, please vote the person, not the party.. MCCain has paid his dues to our country as a POW for over six years.. He has proven his loyalty and love of the USA. His heart is there for our son, daughters, husbands, wifes, moms and dads who are fighting to keep our country free.
    Don't be misled, looks at all the fact at hand, not at what has been caused by all parties in the past. They are all responsible for what has taken place...


    February 27, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  10. colorblind

    in the end they both will have something in common .... that is they both got beat by the new comer.... mark my words

    February 27, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. Will

    Any Democrat who votes for John McCain over Obama in November should be shipped to Iraq to partake of the 10,000 year occupation they will have brought us.

    Really, the fundamental feature of democracies is that they elect the leaders they deserve. If this country is idiotic enough to elect John McCain, then I'm officially finished with the political process here. You folks can dig your own graves without me trying to stop you.

    February 27, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. Yolanda

    This comes as no surprise. The democrats are busy self-destructing. This primary is not going to end well for the democrats. They have no way of making up for the Florida and Michigan fiasco. They can KISS Florida good-bye already. Too many people feel disfranchised. If Obama wins the nomination, many faithful democrats, me included, will not be able to vote in good conscious for someone we feel lacks experience all around. This was demonstrated once again in yesterday’s debate. He is an eloquent speaker, but when it comes to policy details and such, that is just not his thing. We will most likely vot4e for MacCain, as a vote for Nader would be a waste. Should, on the other hand, Hillary be the nominee, many of the young people will not vote, since their “Leader” is not on the ballot? The Dems are in a real pickle. The only way out would be a Clinton/Obama ticket (in that order). But that seems more and more unlikely. I predict Obama will be the Democratic nominee. The Republicans will attack him to no end on his inexperience. The Republicans will be in the White House for another 4 years. The Democrats will have major regrets, as they have not only past up on a very capable, intelligent women, but also, quite possibly, managed to destroy the career of a promising young politician.

    February 27, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. jane

    I have had three intelligent posts decrying McCain's inadequacies on the environment and our economy, which are both more important than an eternal right-wing crusade, my post get deleted by CNN so I will just keep cutting and pasting until the "moderator" lets them through......

    Ex: What would McCain do about the environment?? Bush just cut EVERY protection for our environment to send MORE $$ to Iraq...

    water infrastructure programs — which would drop from about $177 million in fiscal 2008 to $26 million in fiscal 2009

    EPA cut again, but they are bureacratic paid-off org anyway...

    State and Local Water grants for clean water: down 20%%%

    Watershed Grants 17 mill to ZERO!!!!

    You can't advocate fighting in Iraq or keep denying global warming if you don't have any water.....unless god will beam you up since you are one of the chosen few....after you destroy our planet....yeah, I don't think that is likely, go back and read your bible again instead of just thumping people with it....

    February 27, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  14. Ramon

    One, Hillary won't lose the nomination; two, if she has a difficult time getting the nomination, it will be because his supporters are forgetting what happened in 2000. So many people went with their feelings and not with their head; look where we are now. If it came time to have surgery or get legal advise, one would get the best qualified. Yet, people are blindly choosing inexperience and uncertainty over logic. Today you'd be hard pressed to find someone who is willing to admit they supported Bush (he didn't get elected by osmosis). I think that just like we're asking politicians to be held accountable, we should have a national register showing who you voted for so that, in the future, people can't say "hey! I didn't vote for him".

    February 27, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. Paula

    The news reporting on the campaign has gotten so thin that I had to watch TV news for two hours to get a few minutes of relevant comments. One commentator on Fox pointed out that Baraka Obama doesn't have a Senate record of bringing anyone together. He's voted along party lines. He suggested that the reason people believe his message is that if a minority man becomes president that proves Americans can come together. I thought that was a reasonable analysis, but discussing Hillary's personality seems to be a better story judging by the coverage last night.

    The other relevant comment was a politician from Ohio who said that neither Democratic candidate had a plan for creating jobs in Ohio.

    The TV commentators who are in such a rush to see Hillary get out of the campaign may want to consider that if she drops out of the race their ratings are going to drop out too. No one is going to care how Obama is doing against McCain on a day to day basis. Did the viewers tune in every night to watch John Kerry from March to November? Be careful what you wish for.

    February 27, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. Erika from Atlanta

    For what ever reason, John McCain is not reaching Republicans like Obama is with democrats. Go look at the turnout for the primaries. even though McCain is winning his nomination, Obama is bringing out more people to vote. In truth I think McCain is one of those old time Republicans that actually still believes in cooperation amd compromise with the Dems. Unfortunately, Republicans of today are never willing to bend and regard it has weakness if someone does. They feel you are negotiating with the enemy!! Republicans really are to blame for dividing our country. McCain has no chance of success if he is fighting his own party too!!!

    February 27, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. FP

    The Democrats seem prone to coughing up a hairball and calling it a candidate. This year proves the rule.

    February 27, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. David E7

    This story omitted one tiny detail. The Presidential election is not decided on the basis of the popular vote. It is decided on the basis of the electoral vote, and the Democrats have a big edge in the probable electoral vote – they have the big states of California, New York, and Illinois sewed up. In fact, the election is a done deal.

    February 27, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  19. pinkygray

    Don't speak too soon. He is just another undesirable choice. Not much different from last election.

    February 27, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  20. Enrique

    Voting for McCain is liking giving Bush/Cheney a third term. While the American people are dealing with home foreclosures and job losses, McCain is using the same scare tactics to keep us engaged in a useless war.

    February 27, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. McCain don't get your hopes up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This poll comes from where?????????????? Every single individual did not get to vote in this Poll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who wants WAR!!!!!!!!!! McCain. Who is too old????????????McCain. Who is dirty???? McCain. Who is a lobbist-lover?McCain. And who will lose in November?McCain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 27, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  22. Greg

    Are these the same polls that had Rudy killing the republican field nationaly?

    February 27, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    If Hillary doesn't win, doesn't mean you should vote the other way. That doesn't make any sense at all. They have totally different issues. If McCain wins, this will be a disaster for the American people. The only thing he has any experience on is the War, period!!

    February 27, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  24. Melissa

    Who does these polls? I've never been asked my opinion on who I'm voting for and it just irks me that pollsters try to sway the vote with these "poll results".

    February 27, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  25. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    It is unlikely that McCain will win if he is challenged by Obama.

    I suspect the poll was published to scare off Obama supporters and make them go over to Clinton.

    Don't let this happen. Obama is the clear choice of the majority of Democrats, and he will be a strong candidate against the establishment Washington that McCain represents.

    Go Obama!!

    February 27, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
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