June 6th, 2008
07:25 PM ET
14 years ago

CNN Poll: McCain and Obama locked in a dead heat


(Above: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama talk backstage at AIPAC in Washington Wednesday. Photo credit: Callie Shell/Aurora for TIME)

The general election season opens with a neck-and-neck race between Barack Obama and John McCain, with more than one in five voters admitting that they might change their minds between now and November.

In the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted entirely after Obama became the presumptive Democratic nominee, he leads his Republican counterpart 49 to 46 percent among registered voters - a statistical tie, given the question’s 3 point margin of error.

The poll is the first conducted entirely after Obama became the presumptive Democratic nominee.

McCain and Obama aren’t alone: independent candidate Ralph Nader and Republican-turned-Libertarian Bob Barr are both vying with the two major-party candidates for independent voters.

But at this point, it looks unlikely either will play a spoiler role: the margin between Obama and McCain is virtually unchanged, with the Illinois senator leading 47 to 43 percent. Nader pulls in 6 percent, and Barr 2.

What would Hillary Clinton bring to a Democratic ticket? Answer: about three percentage points.

A hypothetical Obama/Clinton ticket would currently get 52 percent, compared to 46 percent for a hypothetical McCain/Romney ticket. And if she's not on the ticket? Sixty percent of her Democratic supporters would vote for Obama, 17 percent would vote for McCain, and 22 percent say they would stay at home in November and not vote for anyone.

“That's just one estimate of the ‘Clinton factor’ and it may not be an accurate predictor since it piles several hypotheticals on top of each other and asks people to guess their state of mind five months from now,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Nonetheless, it does indicate that unmotivated Clinton supporters may be a bigger risk to Obama than defections from the Clinton camp to McCain.”

The results are based on interviews with 1,035 adult Americans, including 921 registered voters, conducted by telephone on June 4-5.

soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. nowlin

    I am glad this is comming, no poll is going to help the Future, like real
    knowlege and hopefully a better America.

    June 6, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. captain

    McCain has been running against the Democrats for months now while the Dems. have been running against themselves, and yet he never seems to top the mid-40's in any national poll. He's running at 47% in West Virginia, which he should be leading by 20 and at only 50% in Arizona, of all places. Obama tends to rise in polls as more of the electorate becomes familiar with him. I focus only on McCain's numbers; As long as he stays mired in the 40-45% range, Obama will win.

    June 6, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. Search "the real mccain" on youtube

    Want to know more about this flip flopping old poop?Search "the real mccain" on youtube and enjoyyyyy !!

    June 6, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. PatrickTM

    Too early to mean anythng. No matter who (Obama or Cli\nton) ran against McCaine, the ultimate race will be change in the polls and will remain close up to the election. But we do know that Clinton isn't going to carry much for Obama. The latest polls show that Obama is winning 63-23% among Hispanic voters - so Clinton's wide win in teh primary isn't carrying over. And Obama hasn't even got into full campaigning as McCaine has been doing for 3 months, and McCaine hasn't been under attach from a fellow Republican for 3 months. - The campaign hasn't even started.

    June 6, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |

    McCain, the pundits and the Clinton-rejects are all in for a HUGE surprise in November–let's just say THAT.

    June 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. Setemup

    What is all this positive campaigning about anyway? Thats sooo nieve Mr. Obama. Can't you stop being so hopeful and looking for all these peaceful loopholes to jump through. Its insane to even entertain the thought that anything might be resolved without a war! I don't care if France hates us. Who is France anyway. We saved them in WWII. You're constant calm in the face of adversity is very sexist and will result in major loss of US casualties and the war you will not prematurely start with nations around the world. We need a leader with the strength and courage to commit adultery and cover up his wifes drug addiction and won't reveal where his money comes from. We need a leader who never snaps under pressue and can make clever war jokes based on 60's pop-hits! We NEED MCCAIN 08!!!

    June 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. Mike

    That is bad news for BO. The Democrats cannot even beat the Repubs after the shambles of the last 8 years? Pathetic. BO should be way ahead of McCain-not tied. The fact that they are in a dead heat is bad, bad, bad for Democrats in November.

    June 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. Craig A Texas Democrat

    I see the usual republican bots are up to their usual fear and hate tactics. When will you racists people learn that the only people drinking your hateraid are the uneducated. We democrats will educate them so pack your bags cause we dems are taking back the house.

    June 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. Enlightened Voter

    If we do another four years of repubs we will be a third world country. But hey, as long as you self rightous morons get your revenge vote right? That's all that's important, you fools.

    June 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  10. Nick


    Let's all vote for McCain!

    Let's go to Iraq!

    Let's get all of the Supreme Court Justices to be against abortion!

    Hell Yeah!

    Obama isn't a good enough democrat for us, so let's throw the country further down the drain!

    Hillary Clinton! Never Forget!

    June 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. you know it's funny

    Anyone else looking to hyperinflation and the rise of the worst poverty level we have ever seen?

    If you are, please vote for McCain or Obama... especially Obama.

    Obama will tell people "tough" if gas is $10 bucks a gallon... he'll say that's the price for hurting our planet. Then he'll blame Exxon some more... instead of the interest groups that BAN US from drilling.

    Meanwhile, no other country on this planet is supporting global warming, and any efforts we do to curb emissions won't matter at all..

    Obama supporters yell at Republicans for the trash they started, well I can't wait to see all of these smarty pants far left control freaks do to our country...

    buy gold

    June 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. No More Clintons, CA

    With Obama's superior organization and brilliant strategy, Obama can defeat old fashion, third-Bush-term McCain!

    June 6, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. African

    Republicans tactics will scared Republicans.

    June 6, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Sam, NE

    Please dont vote for Mcpoop ! He represents everything evil that Bush is and more.And don't forget the INABILITY OF MAKE CORRECT JUDGMENT DUE TO EXCESSIVE OLD-ERNESS !!!!!

    Want to know more about this flipflopping old poop, Search "the real mccain" on youtube.

    June 6, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. KE

    About "Racial tention"

    The media has become a breeding place for racism and sexism and the all king of bias talks.

    Whatever decision our candidates makes should be respected.

    One thing bothers me alot is that the media has allowed only one particular demographic to speak loud in the media. And although it has nothing to do with Sen. Obama's race, they have twisted every arguments people had about Sen. Obama's candidatecy into racism.

    I feel sad that somehow many African American leaders put their all hopes in just one man instead of sharing their glory and their pride and their works with all the other accomplished individuals. The African American community has put one man on the top and the rest unseen with propagenda. And their issues has become more personal and important than the rest of the issues. But I doubt that's what the all African American feels that way. Women will vote for man or woman.

    June 6, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. Michelle

    Yes, Barry is behind– because any strong Democratic
    candidate would be trouncing the Republicans in a
    year of recession and unpopular incumbent.

    Sure, sure, blame Hillary.

    But the painful truth is: Barry cannot cut it.
    Many Americans do not trust him.

    June 6, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. Lisa from VA

    I am a Republican who voted for George Bush twice, but this year I am voting for Barack Obama. Its the only choice that makes sense for me. I simply CANNOT tolerate 4 more years of the same and I can't imagine how anyone else could. I went to see him yesterday in VA and the response to him from everyone there was simply amazing. It was just awesome to witness. His supporters love him, I can tell you that much.

    I think that the democrats who are refusing to vote for him need to at least listen to what he has to say with an open mind before they make their final decision to embrace McCain and 4 more years of what we already have. I strongly things can only get worse with McCain. I believe with Obama, we have a real chance for change....hopefully for the better.

    June 6, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Independent in New Mexico

    For the first time since I voted in my first election (1964) I will be able to cast my vote according to way the canidates stand on the issues. (To this point I had not so much voted for one canidate as against the other. ) I'll make up my mind between now and November....

    June 6, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. martin

    obama's numbers will go up, the more mccain uses that fake smile ,when hw wants someone to applaud.

    June 6, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. RYAN

    MCBUSH supporters just wait till Hillary endorse Barack you all will see the poll jump...Hillary's supporters 're emotinally down now, but at the end of the day they will all join Barack movement..
    Americans need Barack we can't afford gas @5.00, 1 million houses foreclosure, Billions of dollars and thousands of lives wasted on a war full of propaganda, liars, high cost of grogery, under republican president. Republican in the senate, reps, and state govs start packing your belongings it is all over by Nov......We 're turning the page in American history.................

    June 6, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. Atanu

    Once Senator Clinton and Senator Obama start appearing together and campaigning; this lead will grow – beyond doubt.
    Also, let Democrats be very clear about it's policy matters and transparency, let Senator Obama spearhead the campaign with his economic revival plans and lowering gas price.
    I am so happy to hear Obama's plans about robust transportation system, which Americans deserve so rightly, as in Europe.

    June 6, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. Black Veteran For Obama

    All you misguided people who are acting like spoiled brats, go right ahead and vote for McCain....................."GOOD BYE"!

    June 6, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. Ed

    Hey any Democrat who want to go and vote for McCain ..should do so and stop threatening everyone ...just go away !!!

    June 6, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  24. Gene

    Democrats will all unite no what...is is a matter of time???? NO...NO...NO..MCBUSH........

    June 6, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Judy

    The General Election is Barack's to win or lose. For all the people who keep threating to vote for McCain - just do it already and be quiet. No one has ever received 100% of the electoral votes. Oh yes by the way the GE is not a popular vote either it the electoral college remember. And since many of you don't understand delegates you won't understand the electoral college either(it's much more complex). There is no one to one correspondence of the vote in the GE. So vote for who you want and stop trying to black mail others if they don't vote the way you want. This is a FREE COUNTRY I can do what I want with my vote. You HRC people want to take away others right to vote just because they don't feel the same as you. America the land of the free and brave, it seems Barack and his backers understand that even if McCain (today he said the Prez don't need approval for wiretapping) voters do not.

    June 6, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9