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. angelitA

    DNC already asking me for money, and I told them not one penny until they run a fair and balanced election. Even if Hillary is on the ticket I still won't vote.

    Since my vote is my own I can do whatever I want to do with it, and that is I will not go and vote against my principles and cast a ballot for a nominee not selected by the people but selected through a hijacked election and a bunch of promissory notes. Super delegates better hope those notes have a cash value come November.

    June 6, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  2. Niccole

    If you want to start pointing fingers at the spouses of the nominees, then let's also look at Cindy McCain and her drug abuse and stealing from her own organization to feed her drug abuse. The fact that she didn't serve one day in jail for a felony offense is just amazing to me. I guess it helps to be rich and well connected.

    So please, let's stick to the real issues of this campaign!!!

    June 6, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. Bayou Joe

    Obama with Clinton as VP equals mild toast
    Obama without Clinton as VP equals burnt toast.

    Either way Obama is toast.

    No amount of manuevering by the Obama people will convince this non-white former Democrat now Republican to vote for Obama.

    He has no experience, no credibility and hangs out with the wrong people.

    I love my country. I served in Vietnam, My sons served in Desert Storm and my youngest is a U.S. Marine. I and my family wll not
    vote for Obama no matter who is on his ticket.

    McCain can pick Joe blow off the street and still beat Obama.
    One issue: Patriotism and Loyalty to the United States.

    June 6, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. Matt Canoga Park

    Obama do not even think you will win if you have Hillary on the ticket with you. She is a loser with a loser husband that will only tear you down.

    They want you to think you are getting a Kennedy/Johnson type team that no one can defeat. Wrong you will get a Adams/Jefferson type team. With your VP undermining all you do because you are they president and they are not.

    You can not win with her on your ticket. You will alienate too many democrates and unify everyone else against you. Don't forget over half of the US population does not like Clintons and do not want them anywhere near the presidency or a heart be away from it.

    Don't trust a Clinton when your life is on the line Barak. It would be your first act of stupidity and will doom your campaign. You ran your campaign by being NOT Hillary Clinton. Why add her to the ticket now. What does that say about all you campaigned for. Just a lie? Where will the change be then?

    June 6, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. skunkrat The Marine

    Anon! you are stupid. SHUT UP!

    June 6, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. rrgg

    STOP. Look at the state-by-state polls to figure out the electoral college. The media is obsessed with the national polls which are irrelevant.

    June 6, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  7. kristina

    I don't think obama needs Hillary I think this is a man whose time has come and regardless of who he chooses he is going to win, all the true heart democrates will vote democratic on Nov 2,

    June 6, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. Chicago Asian

    To Once for Obama:

    It's to bad that you are going to put the 18 mil plus voters in the same pool for a few nastly bloggers. There are plenty of bloggers out there for Clinton and McCain that are just as ignorant and say stupid stuff.

    I can't be help but questions, how your opinion of your candidate can be so easily swayed by other people's statements.

    Regardless of what other Obama, Clinton or McCain supporters blog...I will be voting for Obama!!!!

    June 6, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. defection

    Obama's strategy of agitating hate to stir up his followers, is now backfiring.

    They were counting on: "We can't afford 4 more years of Bush" to re-unite the party. So they freely bashed and trashed, and mocked and jeered and insulted away.

    They failed to recognize, that such a strategy generally has the opposite effect, and even Obama can not charm his way out of the chasm he created.

    And they failed to note that many democrats are actually fiscally BETTER served by the Republicans- I have 2 college degrees, earn over $120,000, own my home outright, have health Ins. I voted democratic because of the ideals of freedom and equality.

    This primary drove me out of this party. You do not represent me. I care not for hate and denigration and disrespect.

    And... many moderate to conservative Democrats can and WILL easily defect to the Republicans. Radical Left wing or moderate conservative? Guess which they will choose after the vitriolic nasty attitudes demonstrated by the Obama camp?

    June 6, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. Josh

    McSame is out of touch with most Americans. Most of this noise is operation chaos. quit buying into the false hype.

    June 6, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  11. Clinton Supporter

    Brian, Knoxville:

    You said it for me. I am copying your response above and sending it to everyone I know. You are fair, succinct and thoughtful. Thank you for sharing your comments here.

    June 6, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. After further review,Texas

    I will vote for the only True Repulican,Ron Paul and make sure McSame loses.Neocons are not republicans,they are corporate money baggers.

    June 6, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. Tommy

    Obama will win by landslide in Nov. People are sick and tired of the politics of the current president and his administration of Disney cartoon characters. This presidency has been the worst in the history of America. Some people who are posting that they will not support Obama because he beat Hillary should think about supporting a continuation of the Bush policies by voting for McCain. People like Brian Knoxville, Tn would be better served by analyzing the current presidents shameful treatment of the American people the last 7 years and channeling the anger he feels that Obama has won the nomination toward the republicans and helping to put an end to this truly disgraceful debacle.

    June 6, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. Too much

    A good primary fight- that's okay.

    But when you cross the line into hating and bashing and throttling one candidate.

    When you mock, demean, jeer, ridicule and insult that candidate's supporters.

    Well... other things- integrity, honesty, fairness, equality, respect- will trump a similar (but not as good as ) political platform.

    Beware of the damage your hate has done. Think not that we will march to the Obama tune just because you snap the whip.

    June 6, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  15. dan

    Hilliary supporters, are you whine about is how obama supporters are so mean and that makes u want to vote for McCain.

    Well im sorry, that makes you weak. That you will vote for someone that is completley againts your beliefs because obama supporters are "sniff" meanies "sniff"

    Good riddance, and please do vote for McCain. We dont need soft people like you on the other side.

    June 6, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  16. Xavier, St. Louis, MO

    I can't believe people are willing to vote for McCain. People are you nutts or what? Are you happy with the way our economy is, the pointless war in Iraq, foreclosures, high gas prices, unemployment and the list goes on an on. Do you really want four more years of this insane administration? Voting for McCain is like cutting off your head to stop a headache.

    I don't know if its because Obama is black or because he fairly beat Hillary. Hillary would tell you herself that voting for McCain will be a major life change mistake and will get more of our soldier killed. Whatever you have against Obama, you need to put those mole hill issues aside instead of voting for McCain who will turn your issues into mountain.

    June 6, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  17. Armoni

    I remember when many posted 'Obama is toast'
    Today, Obama is presidential NOMINEE

    Now, many are singing Obama will lose to McCain
    Just think how many were clueless about his appeal

    I project Obama will be PRESIDENT! I said it first!


    June 6, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  18. Patrick

    I agree completely with Brian from TN. It makes you think twice about joining the Democratic Party instead of remaing independent!

    If Americans had found out about Rev. Wright and Father screwball in December or January, Obama wouldn't have made it past super Tuesday in February. Now we're all faced with the spector of serveral months, or worse four years of Black Liberation Theology straight out of inner-city Chicago and the troop that comes with it.

    Would you vote for a white candidate who stayed in a racist church for 20 years?

    June 6, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  19. Butch

    Hillary voters can't elect Obama (in good conscience).

    Hillary voters: your vote will be counted in the GOP.

    McCain '08

    June 6, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  20. Peter FROM NJ

    A strong democratic
    I had voted for the democratic straight line all the time for whoever was in the ballot.
    I want my vote to count.
    I have a brain and I will cast my vote or not for the person I believe is the most qualified and prepared to be President. I refuse to vote for the person that other people tell me to do so.

    June 6, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  21. Johnny T.

    Obama hasn't accomplished jack in his career and he's just power hungry. Why should anyone vote for him? He brings nothing to the table.

    I seriously doubt he will win over a war hero like McCain who attracts more moderate votes.

    June 6, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  22. Rob

    Rev Wright mentions in interviews that James H.Cone is a great teacher of Black Liberation Theology and an inspiration to him. In Cone’s book he states “Black theology refuses to accept a god who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If god is not for us and against white people then he is a murderer and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill gods who do not belong to the black community. Black theology will accept only the love of god which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in black power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless god is participating in this holy activity we must reject his love.” That is what Rev Wright preaches. Obama has been listening to this garbage for over 20 years. Wright and Obama also have ties to Louis Farrakhan who has called whites “blue-eyed devils” and the “anti-Christ.” That is not the type of politician I am looking for.

    June 6, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  23. Proud American

    Dems lets rally and move em (Republicans ) out!!!!!!

    June 6, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  24. TonyInKentucky

    Democrats for McCain are just the element that the party needs to be rid of.

    It is also my thought that they are a very small but overly vocal minority. They have the least interest in policy of any contingent in politics that I am aware of. They only believe in rule of law when it benefits them, they believe in a very subjective view of reality, and they promote fear and intimidation. I think they will be quite comfortable as Republicans and should be invited to dedicate themselves to those that align more closely with their world view.

    June 6, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  25. Too much Hate

    CNN never post me:
    The obama people can demand it and try to force it and scream for it.

    We will still not give Obama our vote.

    We deserve respect and we have the right to vote as we please.

    Your own hateful arrogant insulting disrespect for others is what caused this divide.

    McCain and his draft may teach you dicipline and respect and maturity and give you all a chance to SERVE your country.

    Stop it with Roe vs Wade, or the draft, or the Supreme Court...I am too old to care. It will be you young people who will have to fight that fight now. We DID our marching and protesting. One final protest in Nov.

    You killed the warrior. Now take up the battle without Her and without us.

    June 6, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
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