March 21st, 2008
07:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Poll of polls: Obama's lead narrows after tough week

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The Wright controversy had an impact on Obama's poll numbers last week."] WASHINGTON (CNN) - After tapes of inflammatory statements made by Sen. Barack Obama's pastor came out last weekend, it appears to have had some negative impact on the Illinois senator.

Nationally, Obama's lead over Sen. Hillary Clinton narrowed in a poll of polls - which included CBS News, USA Today and Gallup.

The polls, taken between March 14-18, show Obama with 49 percent to Clinton's 43 percent.

"I don't think there is any doubt that the [Rev.] Jeremiah Wright controversy played a role in the 10-point drop in his favorable ratings," said pollster Terry Madonna.

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–CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. leads widens not narrows






    March 23, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. sozzi

    Who cares about these national Polls. The primaries are over, Hillary is done. This is the Media, still holding onto high hopes for the Clintons to make the White House. Please stop the false hope.

    March 23, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Kris from AZ

    I agree the sound bites are controversial but I think it is not fair to just use the sound bites and not put the whole sermon out of text. Obama is a good man and I think poeple can see that. There is no wrong doing by sitting at those pews. Even the Clintons knew Rev. Wright. No wonder they did not give input to the controversy about this. I hope poeple really do look at this and see there was really nothing to worry about in Obama. We have to look at the facts. We all know conservative white community churchs hold some controversial sermons that have prominents going to those pews. Lets not kid our selves. Let me ask and answer a few questions I think on this. Did Obama give that sermon? No. Did Obama endorse those words made by Pastor Wright? No. Is Obama responsible for his own words? Yes. Good man Obama. Keep it stong and positive. From a White man who knows the facts. Please who ever wins this nomination. Dems UNITE!

    March 23, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. StephanTX.

    Get out hillary; now!

    Obama 08"

    March 23, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. bonna

    Please. Thats because the undecided has finally made up their minds, which is fine, but he still has a great number thats staying no matter what , white blacks, latino etc.

    March 23, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. Allison Marie

    Of course they make a difference! It doesn't matter how good Obama is at giving speeches, it doesn't explain why anyone would stay and continue to listen to such hateful comments.

    Obama's speech on race was very good, however it didn't answer the real question. Me personally I don't care were you are from and what you look like, I have never heard of any spiritual leader speaking like that, and it's very disturbing if you continue to listen.

    Real leadership would speak of love, a path to peace and acceptance. This is not the person I would ever want to be President.

    March 23, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  7. Relax Joe

    Get real. He has lost his lead. It's down to a 45/45 or a 46/46 or a 46/45 split within the margin of error.

    By the end of next week he'll be in the upper 30s.

    March 23, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. Ed

    Remember all you TYPICAL americans that you can write in your choice. you do not have to fill in a spot by name. If you are like me i do not believe i can vote for Mccain and if Barak and his religious adviser and a few other hanger ons that seem to think they are on the bandwagon and we democrats do not like the choice on the ballot hand write in your choice. at least you have some say vice voting republican. We need to hear about solutions not more rhetoric about what is wrong.

    March 23, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. MD in CT

    Sen. Obama's handling of this controversy demonstrates the ability needed in a president to deal with difficult situations.

    Instead of waiting for the emergency 3 a.m. call in the White House emphasized by Sen. Clinton, he will be able to diplomatically solve the crisis by the 4 p.m. call the day before the potential problem.

    Preventing a disease, either physical or diplomatic, is always better than treating the sickness.

    March 23, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  10. joe

    Instead of being concerened about the impact of Pastor Wright on Senator Obama why isn't anyone trying to expose how this tape was pieced together. The ten second sound bites have been spliced together from different sermons and date back for years, some in 2003. This is dirty poltics and dirty campainging. How many times have we sat in the pews and our pastor has stepped on our toes? I agree it sounded awful what we heard. But that's just it ,we only heard what the media and the conspirators against Senator Obama wanted us to hear. If people believed Barack Obama didn't have any experience I can say he has plenty now because the Clinton's have tried almost everything and he still comes out smelling like a rose.

    March 23, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  11. Anna, Florida

    This guy is finished!!!
    I am not voting for him bc he does not support my right to vote.

    March 23, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. Tony

    There are some of us who knows that Hillary's only hope is that Obama will slip up for her to be the nominee. In the mean time she will cotinue to divide the party, trying her utmost best, making to more difficult for Barack to win the race in November. Then she will sit back (if he losses) and say "I told you so". She knows very well what the poll says, but she is a very poor looser,and so is Bill. Let me say this to Bill – if you (Bill) want to be on the winning team, come out and endorse Barack. We know that you want to.

    March 23, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. bimmer

    Patriotic Americans will not forget those words and images from the U-tube when they go to vote again.

    It all makes sense why the candidate's spouse says she is proud to be American for the first time. Why the vcandidate does not show respect during national anthem playing. The brainwashing can have such a long-lasting effect.

    No wonder he is shaken up. He is smart to realize that he cannot stop this bleeding.

    March 23, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |

    CNN.....the new Fox News....tabloid journalism at it's best! Why not report that after you unfairly played clips of a 30+ minute sermon, only showing the most inflamatory parts, and reletless bashing of Obama, that his ratings went down but he's still ahead of Billary....I, for one, will NEVER AGAIN VOTE FOR A CLINTON. THANK YOU CNN FOR HELPING ME MAKE THAT DECISION.

    March 23, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Sicko

    Wright's swift boat attack on Obama has convinced me! I will not vote for Clinton either.

    March 23, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  16. Bryan

    You can stand on the side of your Mentor as much as you
    like but Wrights and """your"""message to the American people is already engraved
    in their hearts """""God Dā€¦ā€¦.America""""""
    You and your Mentor will never make this go away and I Pray to God that
    the American people will never forgive you!

    I imagine CNN will not let this statement go through
    as so many of my comments. I wonder why???

    March 23, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Jake, California

    We all know that this has been one of the most dreadful attacks yet from the Clintons(though they pretend to have nothing to do with it) but here's where I am strongly positive:

    If Hillary didn't destroy Obama with this one, then she better start packing her bags because this might as well be 'the beginning of the end'

    After Pennsylvania, Hillary has no other chances of winning!
    Any attempt to continue will only be meant to tear down the party further.

    God Bless Senator Obama and his family!

    March 23, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. Norm

    hopefully, soon enough his "God like" vail will drop........

    March 23, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. Canuk

    this is really getting to be old news!!
    for anyone who is adult enough, what this pastor says has no relevance to how Senator Obama thinks or feels
    Barack is an intelligent individual with his own mind and *voice*
    I think americans should move on

    March 23, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Mary - Independent

    It is unfortunate that Obama's Pastor was allowed to speak through the media. It is also obvious that there exists much controversy over what Rev Wright had to say. You cannot go back in time and try to conjecture Obama's early life with this man ,right or wrong. I believe many people were shocked at what Wright had to say about America, as I was; however, we need to move on and form our own opinions as voters, as to who we would choose for the Presidency.

    March 23, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. Patricia


    March 23, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  22. seektruth

    be positive CNN, Obama shows his leadership on race, he is come back in poll, most all he is restablishing even more stronger connection with voters who were distracted by media and paster' comment, at the end, voters are looking at what Obama believes where he stands, because you can't be respondseble for what your pastor says. both Clinton and John McCain have their own controversy pastors as well. voters are smart enough to use their own brain and heart and mind, Obama is the only one has sound judgement, the only one has not take any lobbyists money who will drain out the voices of America people, he is the only one didn't doesn't and will not embrace Bush' policies.

    March 23, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. Sue, Michigan

    The truth is beginning to surface about Obama and his beliefs, and people don't like what they are hearing, nor his weak attempts to call this man his "family" but whom he disagrees with. OK, so where were you when he was preaching this stuff for 20 years? Right in the pews, Senator. Of course the poll numbers are down. And you can't blame Hillary for this mess.

    March 23, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  24. Dan (TX)

    As expected during a 6 week pause in the Democratic primaries.

    Let the mud-slinging continue! Nothing else goin' on. šŸ™‚

    March 23, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. Bill, Covington

    When is the Obama going to advise us as to the position in his administration that he will be holding for the grand and glorious Jeremiah Wright.

    March 23, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
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