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. Alma

    Go Hillary!!!

    February 27, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. Greg

    It is ridiculous that this country would even consider voting republican again after the current debacle.

    February 27, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. Lorin

    I wonder where some of these polls get their data, I don't know of a single Republican who is going to vote for McCain, most are looking at Ron Paul or crossing over.

    February 27, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. truth 08 time

    Barack obama will beat jon mccain by a landslide victory in november.

    February 27, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. angie

    News flash Jeb's planing a run in 2012 or 2016. Look for Portman, Powell, DeMint or Jindal as possible veeps

    February 27, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. Alma

    If Mr. Xerox were the nominee, I'd vote for McCain. Go Hillary!!

    February 27, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. Hans Becker

    Wow, im sickened by the hillary supporters who say they are going 2 vote for McCain just because she doesnt win the nomination, people dont realize hillary and obama are so similar and they basically only have ideological differences....redic

    February 27, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. The Theory of Change ...

    The "Theory of Change" Primary by Mark Schmitt

    ... What I find most interesting about Obama's approach to bipartisanship is how seriously he takes conservatism. As Michael Tomasky describes it in his review of The Audacity of Hope, "The chapters boil down to a pattern: here's what the right believes about subject X, and here's what the left believes; and while I basically side with the left, I think the right has a point or two that we should consider, and the left can sometimes get a little carried away." What I find fascinating about his language about unity and cross-partisanship is that it is not premised on finding Republicans who agree with him, but on taking in good faith the language and positions of actual conservatism - people who don't agree with him. That's very different from the longed-for consensus of the Washington Post editorial page.

    The reason the conservative power structure has been so dangerous, and is especially dangerous in opposition, is that it can operate almost entirely on bad faith. It thrives on protest, complaint, fear: higher taxes, you won't be able to choose your doctor, liberals coddle terrorists, etc. One way to deal with that kind of bad-faith opposition is to draw the person in, treat them as if they were operating in good faith, and draw them into a conversation about how they actually would solve the problem. If they have nothing, it shows. And that's not a tactic of bipartisan Washington idealists - it's a hard-nosed tactic of community organizers, who are acutely aware of power and conflict. It's how you deal with people with intractable demands - put ‘em on a committee. Then define the committee's mission your way.

    February 27, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Paul Naranjo

    CNN seems to be supporting the system by supporting obama. Obama is a weak candidate, to far to the left. Independents do not vote for leftist candidates.

    On the other hand, McCain would be the second choice if Hillary does not get our party's nomination. And the DNC will regret having ignored the Latino Voice in FLA. Texas is supporting Hillary, but CNN does poll only English speaking voters, and ignores thousands who are only Spanish speaking people.

    There is not such lead, the lead is in the biased media and
    Hillary is our chance to succeed

    Hillary for President!
    Hillary Presidente!

    February 27, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. Michael

    Come ON people don't just vote for McCain out of spite just cuz ur candidate didn't win! If you vote for McCain then all the values that Clinton or Obama wanted to bring to this country would be lost. It's not about the primary election...what really matters is the general election and we need to be loyal to our party regardless of if we win or lose!

    February 27, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. Will

    Charlotte, and I say this with all respect, do the country a favor and stay home on November 4, OK?

    Hillary Clinton winning New York and California in the primary does not mean that Obama will not carry them in the general.

    Hillary Clinton winning the primary in Florida (or Texas and Ohio, for that matter) does not mean she'll carry them in November.

    You and Mark Penn should get a bus and travel across the country telling the primary voters who turned out for Obama that their states don't matter. I'm sure that would really help Clinton's chances in the general.

    February 27, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. Connie, Tn.

    To all the Democrats who say they will vote for McCain over Obama: You must think the last 8 years have been great since a vote for McCain will be more of the same.

    February 27, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. Rick FL

    I respect both Clinton & Obama as our Democratic candidates. Their positions on the issues are almost identical; therefore, it is hard to understand why any of their supporters could vote Republican, considering the conservative platform is more of the same Bush policies. Please use better judgment at a time when it is critical to correct the mistakes of the past 8 years, not continue them. Either Democrat is better than the alternative in the general election.

    February 27, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. erica

    I am NOT a fan of Obama and think he is arrogant and naive. If he's elected we will be the laughing stock of the world, again, for electing someone with no experience.

    HAVING SAID THAT I think the only way the Dems can win in Nov. is to run on a Clinton-Obama ticket. That is the only way to unite the Democratic party right now. If Clinton does win Texas and Ohio, with Obama being so close, at a brokered convention Clinton could be forced to pick him and I think she would. She'll do what it takes at the end of the day because she doesn't hold grudges. I just hope Obama and his supporters would not be too arrogant to accept this.

    Please just think of it for a moment. Then we could really win. Not just think we were going to win like in 2004.

    Please Texas and Ohio – Vote for Hillary so we can have this one possiblity of having a united party and a Dem in the White House.

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE Don't make me and the others vote for McCain.

    February 27, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  15. Eric

    How funny it is that in all the exit polls, so many Clinton's supporters would be just as happy if Obama is selected, but the blogs seem to be filled with Hillary or nothing (or even worse, McCain) supporters.

    Can't wait to see the old man, who fortunately for him had an easy run as a nominee so he can rest 5 days out of 7, having to debate and really run a 24/7 campaign against Obama. Poor debater, self-revealed ignorant in economy, softly senile (listen to three of his speeches and you can expect his next lines) loosing all credibility after his flip-flop on Bush tax cuts for the wealthy (you may add immigration), old daddy just doesn't have it anymore.

    As for Hillary, once she looses, check out for her divorce, since her "30 years in the making" road to presidency won't need Bill anymore. Oh no, the woman is not calculating, she wakes up every morning thinking how she can help the poorest among us.

    February 27, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. Kevin

    As a republican, i feel that obama can be a strong opponent against McCain. No one seems to realize that Obama has one ally that no other candidate has and that is the over growing population he recieves from the young voter. Granted young voters have had an awful turnout for god knows how long, but Obama seems to have deterred that trend and continues to attract these kids to not only vote but to vote for him. . .

    Although i do not think Obama will win the presidential election (once he gets the party nomination), he will provide a candidate that is attractive to young voters and therefore increase the voter turnout of a generation that has unfortunately not played a vital role in the election process. . . i think it might be a good time for McCain to start paying attention to this trend, and do something about it.

    February 27, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Jeff

    One thing I know for sure: if Obama gets the nomination I WILL be voting for John McCain.

    Hillary is the most centrist and moderate of ALL the canidates and has a higher common sense than the other two. I just hope people realize this sooner than later.

    February 27, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Uncle Sam

    My support goes to the candidate who when taken prisoner of war, refused his chance for freedom out of loyalty to his fellow Americans, who has been willing to stand up for what is right in the face of ongoing criticism from within his own political party, and who risks his presidential future in support of a strategy that he believes will not only bring stablity to Iraq, but will ultimately serve to bring victory over global terrorism. By his own admission, Senator John McCain has his flaws, but he has repeatedly shown great courage and self-sacrifice for our country.

    February 27, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. Andrew Lee, Nashville, TN

    I'm shocked to see so many Hillary supporters going to McCain instead of sticking with their principles.

    Hillary and Obama, really and truly don't have that much of a difference in their core values.

    It's a shame that you would rather see the country crumble under the weight of Republican ego and ignorance, than to see Obama succeed.

    February 27, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. Dave

    If these pols are right then people are not doing there home work.
    If you vote for McCain then you get the same four years of the war, and a tax break for the rich.
    If you vote for Obama you get change.
    I am voting for change...........

    February 27, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. Me

    To Nic who wrote, "Once the bitter Hillary supporters get over their heartbreak it will once again be 60-40 Obama."

    It's this kind of arrogance that's making it VERY DIFFICULT for this Clinton supporter to want to cast my vote for Obama in November, should he win the nomination.

    It is amazing to me how the obama supporters continuously point out that Hillary supporters are "ridiculous" and immature for wanting to cast their vote for McCain should obama be nominated... while at the same time they not only demonize Hillary but her supporters as well. Do you seriously think that this is a way to win us over? Some kind of "uniting" effect Obama's camp has created!

    Because I am a TRUE BLUE democrat, I cannot in good faith vote for McCain, because in essence, as many have said, it's a vote for 4 more years of Bush and that is a travesty in and of itself... HOWEVER, I will likely write in Hillary's name. I've got to vote my conscience. Obama and his supporters sure as hell have not reached over to me and how dare they take my vote for granted?...

    February 27, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. Mirror

    First, I am confused on why this poll matters, when:

    1. Obama is not the Democratic nominee, yet.
    2. We are 8.5 months away from November; anything can happen.

    Second, I am appalled at the ignorance of some democrats. I have no idea why you would jump on the McCain bandwagon if Obama receives the nominee. Why would you go vote for the person who rides Bush's coattails, and has the same policies as Bush? You are voting for status quo, and the continued same failed policies of the last 7 years. Doesn't make sense to me and shows ignorance.

    Democrats are democrats, and we should be so lucky to have an individual like Barack running during a critical time in America's history. If you can't see the what this individual has to offer, his sound judgement, great personality, respectful, and calm as can be, then you're completely off the reservation, or delusional. It's unfortunate that folks cannot look past their fears or change, or differences, and vote for change in America.

    You think McCain is going to bring people together? Sure, the wealthy and inside the box thinkers that we've so long seen in Washington. Folks that can't work across party lines, and truly have shown poor judgement. Unbelievable people's thinking nowadays, and in a way, sickening and sad.

    February 27, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. B. Smart

    Hillary democrats for McCain? Why be two-time loosers?

    February 27, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  24. T. Wright

    I am an outsider, i am from Europe but I have been following the elections, I think if Barack Obama wins for Democrats Republican will win for novenber elections.

    February 27, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. Frank Lee

    If you liked George W. Bush you'll love John McCain.

    February 27, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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