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. Obamabot Watch

    Polls don't mean much before all the scrutinizing takes place during the general election. Clinton was ahead a month ago by a wide margin, and then shot herself in the foot with an inept campaign against a novice, in what should have been a cakewalk to the nomination. McCain may very well shoot himself down too, by embracing the rabid right, but if he courts independents and acts more presidential and less like a loose cannon, he may in fact win, and better he than the cult of Obama.

    February 27, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. Markus

    I am so sick of hearing...Experience from McCain and Clinton. Obama is inexperienced in the ways of American Politics. It is the McCain and Clinton experience that has even our current president the ability to do what he was done. I am looking forward to having a president that will be both a straight talker and a fighter... and that person is Barack Obama.

    February 27, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. Matt

    If the Democratic Primary turnout continues to be a ratio fo 2:1 there is no way Republicans win. Especially if the economy continues to spiral downward and no troops have left Iraq.

    February 27, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. Lola

    I have to agree if Obama beats Clinton then I will vote republican too!

    February 27, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |

    I can't understand why anyone would want to vote for someone who believes that we should be prepared to be in this ridiculous war for 100 yearsand admittedly knows little about the economy.

    It saddens me that people keep saying that Senator Obama offers empty hope. There is nothing empty about hope. Without hope we have nothing. Still, I understand that there must be substance and a plan. And, Senator Obama offers all three – HOPE, SUBSTANCE and A PLAN.

    We are not worried about the few Democrats that will vote for McCain. There are a great number of Independents that have already voted for Senator Obama and a great number of Republicans will do the same. However, it is disappointing that the Democratic party and members of the party are unable to become unified in the effort to ensure that we win in November.

    February 27, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. keith

    Just a quick observation....

    I have noticed with disgust that most of the people supporting Hilary are threatening to vote for a republican if Obama wins the nominee. I think this goes a long way to show how much these folks believe in the cause the democrats are fighting for in the general election.

    Agreed, the media might have further contributed to the rifts between the candidates as percieved by some but both candiates vritually agree on almost everything.

    Republicans will always be republicans and democrats will always be democrats. I think it is unreasonable to switch parties because a preferred candidate wins.

    Please sharpen your focus!!!

    February 27, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  7. Doug Hill

    If John McCain had the judgment he purports to have, he would not have allowed Cunningham to speak at his rally.

    February 27, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Look for a McCain/Jeb Bush ticket if McCain wins. Wakeup people.

    February 27, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. D.

    I support Hillary, but if she doesn't get the nominee, I'll definitely vote for McCain.

    I cannot trust Obama to lead our nation. Just to name one example. In last night Debate, Obama's statement that he had not held a substantive meeting of his Foreign Relations Sub Committee on European Affairs since his chairmanship January 2006 'because he's been campaigning', was unacceptable! For two years, not even a meeting? He said he would change the strateges on Afgfuhan once he'd become the president. Hw even cannot look into to find a solution with our european allies at his current capacity as the cmmittee chairman. He cannot do it now (he's the chairman), How could we expect he can do later (as the president)? The next President will have to juggle many tasks, difficult or more difficult than campaigning! Can you trust that he could bring in the changes that he'd promises. They are only words to bring voters to vote for him. THat's all. I don't trust him can bring the hopes and dreams we expect.

    February 27, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. Eager

    We are eager to see what happens. An evolutionary society responds to changes to avoid stagnation!!! Wither are we going? Why are we losing our leadership globally? Be the judge and vote wisely.

    February 27, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  11. Peter Canada Obama 08

    Yes he can get it close when he is the nominee. As a comments I read, Obama has always come back and win.
    So, lot of people have not actually compare them to be the presidentail candidate from both Democratic and Republican parties
    . When it is clear that Obama is the nominee and people get to choose between these 2 gentle men, the poll will be much more different.

    Thank you CNN. Who won the debate?

    February 27, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. Phill Edou

    Sincerely that s bad news for every body. US or not, another republican in the Oval Office will devastate the economy of the world. Sen Cain doesn t know anything about econmy. He only knows about war, so probably he will do what he knows better: Attack militarily another country in the mid east!!!
    That s 2 bad!!!!!!!!!

    February 27, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. simple thought ?

    people,people,people. sure there is overwhelming numbers of democrats voteing in the primary,
    thing is half of them will vote exsperence over anything else in the
    general election.
    just the way it is.

    February 27, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |

    If this country elects John McCain I would have to consider a move to Canada!

    February 27, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. Johnny Riall

    The stupidity of the American people can never be underestimated.

    The war in Iraq has been an unmitigated disaster and McCain is one of its biggest advocates, but Americans believe he is well equipped to deal with the situation. In a rational world, anyone who supported the war would not be considered Presidential material.

    February 27, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. Praetorian, Ft. Myers, FL

    To: TheLeftNut

    Yep...there are democrats who've chosen to leave the party during the primaries this year.

    Our (erh now I'm an independant) your party–has swayed so far left it now resembles the Democratic Socialist Parties agenda for change.

    I'm not a fan of Bush. And until the DNC set a socialist agenda–I was a life long Democrat.

    As an American–I don't believe in voting along party lines–just what I believe is best for our nation.

    Once the emotions are cleared–and ObamaMessiah faces off with McCain on the life and death issues affecting Americans, their children, and their grandchildren...I think you will see a lot of conservative thinking Democrats doing just what I've done. Leave the party completely–or vote in favor of a more conservative candidate.

    While Obama's speeches are both inspiring, motivational, and enlightening–they don't reflect the reality on the ground–and certainly do not reflect the desire for a balanced budget and a responsible government.

    Yes...there are many Democrats who see through Obama and do not buy into the bunk he's selling. And yes, they will probably vote for the best alternative–John McCain.

    February 27, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. divabunny

    there is absolutely no way i would EVER vote for barry obama. NEVER. EVER.

    he has shown time and time again that he is nothing but rhetoric. he hides behind his speeches and is nothing more than words... most arent even his own. that my friends is disturbing.

    i am a democrat to the core and will be very upset that once again ou party will fail to deliver universal healthcare to this country. this is the most important issue to me in this election. if senator clinton is not the nominee, i will vote for john mccain. he will do as much for universal healthcare as barack obama. so, in voting for mccain, we will at least have a leader that has served our country, will keep us protected, knows foreign leaders and is a tried and true patriot... much unlike barry and michelle.

    February 27, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. Buch

    Bush made US weaker. McCain will do same things!

    February 27, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. divabunny

    i wil never ever vote for obama. i would vote for mccain if clinton is not our democratic nominee!

    February 27, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. milspouse

    Also, if Obama gets the nominee. I will definetely vote for McCain. I think Obama floundered on his Farrakhan question last night. I don't trust this man and most military will not! He should Reject his minister also it isn't a hard question to answer for most.. I think Hillary brings leadership and ideas along with McCain so a little torn if it comes down to those two..

    February 27, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. Garth

    this thread has clearly been hijacked by uninformed illiterates. never have I seen such a collection of poor grammar, spelling and thinking.

    first of all, the policy differences between Hillary and Obama are negligible. not voting for Obama if Hillary fails to get the nomination in favor or McCain whose campaign is imploding before our eyes in the face of critical medial coverage, is simply stupid.

    there is no point on which McCain and Hillary agree from taxes, Iraq, to healthcare.

    recall that the title of the article is McCain will be difficult to beat, but in fact shows him losing. He may be difficult to beat, but he is beaten, by Obama.

    Poll after poll is predicting Obama's victory over McCain.

    the ignorance displayed on this thread is astonishing.

    February 27, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  22. Mike

    >>Those who are so mad that will vote for McCain are really putting there vendetta against Obama hgher then there values and goals in life. Name one thing that will benifit you from the McCain?

    McCain is a competent leader. For those of us Hillary supporters that value experience and competence, and think the worst thing about George W. Bush is that he is beholden to the religious right and he is completely incompetent, McCain is not so bad. McCain is a known, proven quantity. He is going to win independents and McCain Democrats – sorry if you don't like it, but it's true. I value true universal health care – maybe if Obama really supported this I would change my mind.

    February 27, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  23. John in CA

    dbacchus February 27th, 2008 12:15 pm ET said:
    Those posts that are "threatening" to vote for McCain "if Obama gets nominated" are so obviously fake!! If you read carefully, you can even see that a lot of them were written by the same – *sigh* not very well educated – person. Of course such lame attempts will have zero effect on the nomination results (Clinton is so done!), but it surely tells us something about "hard-core Hillary fans"… Sad and pathetic…

    It is comments like yours that makes a Hillary supporter like me to not want to vote for Obama. Look at how divisive Obama has made his supporters.

    What makes you think that our posts are fake? It's just that our comments are always censored for some reason. We're real people too who lives in America and care about America's well-being.

    What makes you think that we're all uneducated and you're better than the rest of us? I for one am college educated and have been following politics for many years. Just because the exit poll says that Obama supporters tends to be college educated, doesn't mean that Clinton supporters are stupid and not college educated.

    Why do you think we complain about the bias on the media outlets? Your comment clearly violates the CNN Comment Policy, but it always gets posted. Moderators, please post this comment. I'm sick and tired of the "Your comment is awaiting moderation" message.

    February 27, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  24. Josh

    I'm sick...sick that I might have to choose between more of the same, Republicans with no credibility whatsoever after the past 7 years have brought us to this horrible economic/war situation, or a guy who can't think for himself, and repeats talking points and the same stuff time after time.

    Hillary is 1)Change, 2)Intelligence, 3)Strength coming from the Clinton economy, anyone who wants to vote for anyone else is NOT PUTTING THEIR COUNTRY FIRST.

    February 27, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. Ben in Colorado

    I denounce and reject the author's title to this article. When the New England Patriots play the Miami Dolphins, they are "hard to beat". The title suggests that McCain is leading in the polls by a significant margin and not tied with a candidate who is currently in a battle for his own nomination. This poll right now gives an indication of what might be the outcome if Hillary ran as an independent. However, once the democrats have their presumptive nominee, the support for that candidate in imbecilic polls like this one will go way up. In reality, nobody can foresee what will be the situation in Iraq or our economy come November. Clearly these situations will impact the outcome of the election. I do agree that if the American public votes for a continuation of the worst administration in our history, then we get what we deserve. What we need is an electorate that is better informed and a media that is more unbiased.

    February 27, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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