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. Jim

    I don't think Hillary as VP is a good idea. Obama should really pick someone with more experience.

    June 6, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  2. Cory in Little Rock

    I love it!

    This picture is worth a thousand words! Transposing this image of these two GREAT AMERICANS on any situation we may face as a Nation gives me goosebumps!

    Dems '08

    June 6, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. Heather

    I will not vote for Barack Obama for numerous of reasons. He is extremely under-qualified and I, along with some reports that I've heard, agree that he isn't taking the war as seriously as he should. He believes that he will get all of the troops back home within one year...yeah right.

    I especially do not like his view on Roe vs. Wade. I'm a firm believer that abortion is murder and that people will have to pay the price with God. This man is completely insane when it comes to this topic...that's all I can say.

    Although Obama does have great speaking skills and manipulation techniques as every other politician, I do NOT think he is right for this respectable position. He needs more experience in my opinion. If he worked side-by-side with McCain, I believe he would learn a lot more than he thinks he knows now.


    June 6, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. no hold over me

    By your words... and by your hate... and by your actions have I left the democratic party after 35 years.

    Yes... there is a generational and gender gap.

    Yes... there is a difference in values. I abhore hate and filthy insults and denigrating other human beings from ANY walk of life.

    So since I am now an independent, I owe the democrats nothing.

    No Vote for the party- one vote for my conscience.

    June 6, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. Patty

    It must be really bugging all you Obama supporters about Hillary. YOU are the ones who keep talking about her. If you are tired of it then stop or don' t read about her. What makes you think that Obama sits up all night and reads your blogs and does what you say. This is politics and it really doesn't matter what you think or say. Quit the hate spreading and say something intelligent before you wear yourselves out.

    June 6, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. scott

    Voting for McCain 'cuz you're pissed that Hillary didn't win is equivalent to voting for Bush because you were miffed Dean didn't get the nom in '04. I'm not sure how many people actually did that (it's only June, after all – most saying they will now probably won't), but isn't it apparent what a mistake that would be?

    June 6, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  7. Vote McCain

    Al, vote dem, let the government continue to take care of you. Be a responsible person. Work for a living and quit asking, what can the Country do for me? Ask, what can you/I do for my Country?

    June 6, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. GM

    al wrote: "There is no such thing as a "McCain Democrat"…the real term is a white Republican who is afraid of change…if you really have voted Democrat all your life and suddenly have to vote for McCain to spite Obama, then you are quite simply, a fool…"

    Another lifelong Democrat here, al – or I used to be a Democrat when the party stood against racism (in all its forms) and stood against sexism.

    But when the "changed" Democratic Party decided to elect a racist/sexist/Marxist individual to represent it who – by his own admission – (1) didn't really know his pastor of 20 years, (2) didn't really know his first and biggest political supporter (who also conveniently purchased and then sold the lot neighboring his home to him), (3) didn't know his aide was talking to Hamas, and (4) didn't know another aide was telling the Canadian prime minister not to pay any attention to what he was saying to the American citizens – that his statements on NAFTA were just politically motivated in order to get elected and he really didn't mean them – this "idiot" decided to go with Maveric McCain and vote for Democrats (who don't have Obama's racist/sexist/Marxist proclivities) for Congress.

    June 6, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. Lisa

    I am a huge Hillary supporter and she should be the vice president of this nation to bring all races and genders to unite.

    June 6, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Not a puppet for Dems

    You know when I read these I just laugh. You guys are so pissed and so what, we are glad.

    June 6, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. Thomas

    "It's Democrat vs. Republican now, you can pine for the defeated primary candidates all you want, but they are now out of the picture…."

    NO NO NO

    its about extreme left = Obama
    ita bout middle left = Hillary
    Its about middle right = McCane
    its about far right = Mitt

    I vote Middle left Hillary is gone, so McCane is the closest to me and my voting style and he has worked with both sides unlike Obama!

    June 6, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. LB

    Mike, she lost. Time to move on and accept that fact.

    June 6, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. Ian

    Why would he want a loser like Hillary on his ticket?

    June 6, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  14. Brad - California

    The idiots who say they will vote for McCain or will stay at home in November are just as hypocritical and disrespectful of the American people as the Clintons. Does anyone really thing the Clintons respect Americans? The Clintons respect only the Clinton ambition. Please go home Hillary, don't let the door hit you on the way out, and take your lying has-been husband with you. Then you can both sit together and argue your lives away in New York. the Democratic party is no longer your personal posession.

    June 6, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. Not a puppet for Dems


    Your poll is wrong! Look at Rasmussen today's poll – Obama leads McCain by 9 points. Whe you put Clinton on the ticket – Obama loses from McCain by 4 points… !!!! That's the truth! Stop manipulating! Such ticket would be a disaster for democrats and it will NEVER HAPPEN, CNN. Barack is smarter than this.. and will not make McCain president by taking that thing HRC as VP!


    June 6, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. Larry in TX

    Post-election US:
    an Obamanation

    June 6, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. Charlotte

    Obama did not vote for the war. Of course he was unable to vote at the time. Since he has been able to vote as a US Senator, he has missed 40% of them, including the Iranian issue. I think, based on the lies at the time, I would have voted to use force also. With that said, how do we get out, with at the very least a smigen of honor? I do not have the answer. My grandson just returned from Iraq and told me not to believe the media, the average Iraqie is glad we are there. I think I'll take his word for it. He joined the Marines to serve his country and serve he did. I am grateful he returned safely, many more have not. I pray everyday for them and their families. I doubt very seriously McCain wants to be there any longer then is necessary. His out of context "100 years" did not mean he wants to fight for a hundred years. We have bases in a lot of countries and have had for many years. We never left Japan or Germany. That was over 60 years ago!

    June 6, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  18. Cam

    There are just so many idiots in here...
    Obama wasn't my first choice as candidate, but as the field narrowed to just him and Hillary I realized that both of them were good candidates and EXTREMELY similar on the issues. I am a DEMOCRAT because the party more closely reflects my ideals and REPUBLICAN ideals horrify me. Also, recent history CLEARLY indicates that we as a country are WORSE off due to the leadership of the REPUBLICAN party. A vote for McCain is a vote for continuing down the same path we've been on for 7 years. If you're voting for McCain because Hillary isn't the DEMOCRAT nominee, you are a STUPID IDIOT!!!

    I followed the campaign with great interest and both candidates fought hard and did so in the style that best suited them and the situation they were in. It would have been nice if both parties could have ran things cleaner, but if they had, the race probably would've ended earlier.

    It does not matter who you supported during the campaign, the nominee has been selected. You can be bitter about the results, but it changes nothing. You may think the results were rigged or otherwise tainted, but you're delusional - The results are legitimate.

    There's a huge amount of bad blood between the Clinton and Obama camps and it is a direct result of the campaign and how it was waged. Is there a point in perpetuating the bad blood? Not when you realize that at the end of the day, it's just bitterness.

    To both Clinton and Obama supporters, the war is over. What was done / said in the past no longer matters because we have to bury the hatchet and move on. If we don't, the next 5 years will look and feel a lot like the past 7 and I don't think any of us really want that.

    June 6, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  19. Tim

    Sounds like Republican propaganda Dude.....
    Obama is the leader the world needs right now.Not the extreme right wingers who have gotten rich off the oil biz.

    June 6, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  20. PUMA_PartyUnityMyA.s.s.

    Let’s all unite?
    Let’s all come around our rightful nominee??

    Here’s a little something for the DNC:


    And here’s another little something:

    Let’s help put Alaska Gov Sarah Palin as McCain’s VP! She’s brilliant…she’s honest…and she’s a straight talker!

    palinforvp.blogspot dot com

    This Democratic Party doesn’t speak for me!!!


    June 6, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  21. PS for Obama

    CNN why my comment is not posted?

    June 6, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  22. Ken

    Having a Obama/Clinton ticket would give the Democrat Party a SLAM DUNK at winning in November and taking back the White House. Along those same lines, any of the Senate or Congress would get a great boost to making sure that the Democrat Party would get the White House, along with the majority in the Senate and House.

    Obama/Clinton 2008

    June 6, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  23. I wish

    I Wish Hillary would have started her own party named "Reagon Democratic Party". The way democratic party is handling things is not good. They are going far left and reaching the edge, if not careful, they will fall of the left edge.

    Clintons are more centrist and it will be good fight between McCain and Clinton.

    Left ----------–Center |Center---------–Right.
    Obama Clinton McCain Bush

    June 6, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  24. Sue Marie, MI

    I wonder whether Obama's closed door meetings today will alienate the media enough to start weed-whacking him the way they did Clinton. That would be fun to watch.

    June 6, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  25. Mars

    I never voted before these current elections. Obama, Obama, Obama .. it's unfortunate that the Republican's (insiders) have posted on this website ............ get lost and join the old man who loves war and knows, "nothing" about the economy ..... scarey but true ... from the mouth of the horse himself .. oh, "the economy is in good condition" FREAK OUT!

    June 6, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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