August 6th, 2008
03:50 PM ET
14 years ago

Poll: Obama, McCain both risky options

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A new poll takes a look at which candidate is riskier."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - More than half of registered voters say electing Barack Obama is slightly riskier than choosing John McCain, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. Poll released Wednesday.

In the poll, conducted July 27-29, 57 percent say Obama would be a risky choice, while 54 percent say the same of McCain.

When asked whether Obama would be a “very risky” choice, 31 percent agreed - while only 21 percent said the same of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

But when asked which candidate is “somewhat risky,” 33 percent chose McCain; 26 percent said Obama would be.

The poll is based on interviews with 914 registered voters, conducted by telephone on July 27-29. The margin of error for both questions is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Though slightly more registered voters find Obama a riskier choice, the race continues to remain tight.

A CNN “Poll of Polls” released Tuesday shows just five points separate the two candidates - Obama's 48 percent to McCain's 43 percent, with 9 percent undecided.

While “risk” is not defined by a single issue, one issue in particular may help Obama ease fears over the course of the campaign season.

In a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Wednesday morning, 48 percent of those surveyed said McCain and Obama’s economic policy would be the most important issue when deciding who to vote for this fall.

But when it comes to deciding who is the better choice to fix the economy, Obama is their pick by a 54-43 percent margin.

That poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The CNN "Poll of Polls" consists of four surveys: CNN/Opinion Research Corporation (July 27-29), AP-IPSOS (July 31-August 4), USA Today/Gallup (July 25-27), and Gallup tracking (August 2-4). The Poll of Polls does not have a sampling error.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (208 Responses)
  1. Sane John


    August 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. bill for barack

    Every Presidential candidate is a risky choice and at times the American voters have made wrong choices.
    But for every Hoover, Nixon or Dubya, we've also elected a Lincoln, A roosevelt.
    The only option to risk is the sure thing. You really want another 4 years of Dubya ?

    August 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. Bayou Joe

    Obama is riskier for a different reason and it has nothing to do with his inexperience. The risk with McCAin is his age, not his dedication to American principles. Age is a non factor when you consider that his
    VP will be younger, but have the same values. "America First"

    August 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. Ted - NYC

    Why are all the polls aimed at helping McSurge out? Why not do a poll that asks the questions, who has better judgement? who has smarter policies? who is likely to bring change? who has more leadership? can make the polls say whatever you want to hear, that's what we're seeing now. Even Gallop produced two polls on the same day once they realized that the real poll favored Barack. I smell manipulation with these polls.

    August 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. Franky

    By the way, it is The Republican Party VS The Democratic Party, right?? Or is it the Democratic party VS the Democratic Party??? I don't know, where is the GOP???


    August 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    At least with McCain you know what you will get, the same failed policies of the last 8 years.

    August 6, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Wisest one of All

    Hussein Nobama is FAR riskier. He is a racist. Him and his wife both hate the US. Knowing that Nobama and his wife are racist and hate the US is further proof that his supporters either have the IQ of a rock or else they are traitors who hate the US as well. Proven fact!

    August 6, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. Texican

    Neither one of these two has the ability or control to fix the economy. The economy is driven by market forces and fear. Fear has taken control over the past 2 years and is being fanned by the Liberal Press.
    Take the press out of it and we the American People will do just fine.
    Governments and Presidents have no power to control the economy.

    August 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Michelle, PA

    Let's see, there are the people who are scared of Mccain because he is old, senile, sexist and is proving himself to be downright sleazy.

    There are people who are scared of Obama because he's popular, young, black, or supposedly the Antichrist.

    Does that about sum it up?

    August 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. RealityKing

    Yeah, but Obama is a risky LIBERAL. The last thing we need in an economy like this one...

    August 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Anne

    Why are stories like this important? Tell us how the candidates feel about the issues and let us decide. I don't understand why the media finds it necessary to tell voters how we feel.

    August 6, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. Rob

    Let me hazard a wild guess. As in the first Poll about Obama's media coverage. I bet a gallon of gas that Democrats think that McWar and his never ending Iraq occupation is the risky candidate and Republicans think that the young black guy with the funny name Obama is the risky candidate. Polls are so less than worthless.

    August 6, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Brina

    Oh My another poll in seems like CNN could find something eles to focus on.

    August 6, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. sherry for Obama

    That makes about as much sense as a box of rocks.

    August 6, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. joe hollins

    your polls are useless, and dumb, i have seen two of your polls
    those polled said they have seen to much of Obama and not enough of Mccain, why? because every day you the media start you program of Obama ' White voter problem Obama,White woman Problem Obabma Hispanic Problem, Obama Clinton Problem, Obama Race Problem, So i understand their view of the FEW you Polled and where you POlled them, i could do a poll and get a totally different reading it would dpend on where and whom i polled, you pundant think the electered is stupid we are not.

    August 6, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. MIA in Miami

    Didn't someone take these "risky" polls already? Talking points!

    August 6, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. Charlie Brown


    August 6, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. Mark G

    "The devil you the devil you don't" Well I guess that saying is true in a lot of people's minds, but I can think of no riskier move for me and my family's economic future than to have four more years of the same failed policies. Ask the troops what is riskier to them...16-18 months or 100 years? Obama is riskier only if you are looking for the same old same old. His views and policies are only risky to those who want to keep things the same. The only risk is to the Big Oil's record profits.

    Sure...things could be worse. But after so many years of not having enough money despite increases in my salary, so many years of lies and manipulations, so many lives lost fighting the wrong war, I'm willing to put my vote on the line for change.

    After all..."doing the same thing you have always done and expecting different results is insanity"

    August 6, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. Marilyn

    Yes, they are both risky choices. But Obama would be a disastrous choice!

    August 6, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. Scott L

    Obama will get crushed in November...wait and see my friends! The silent majority will also reduce Dem own house and senate because they have FAILED and in the two years they have run things, gas has skyrocketed and strained our economy. Oh, I am sorry you are struggling to pay your bills....please vote Dem so they can raise your taxes even higher and reduce the security of this great country!

    August 6, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. RealVoter

    Polls are meaningless. I think they relate to brainwashing or overreacting.

    August 6, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. swaizey

    McCain is riskier, he is too old for the prerssure of the presidency, take a look at his Campaign, he really can't control that, hw does he expect to be able to lead this country. He wld be 72 pretty soon, dont u think that is way past the retirement age? With the issues he is wrong, with the age, it does not favor him best, anywayz let us decide, we dont want to have to be treating a president for memory lapses secretly in the white house besides the idea that he has the skin cancer at the age of 72, America shldnt vote for him.

    August 6, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. v.a.

    of course he's riskier becaues he represents CHANGE. there's always fear of the unknown. mccain is more of the same, another washington insider with his pockets lined by big oil.

    August 6, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. Curtis

    The polls somewhat matter but this race was over when Bush was reelected.

    August 6, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. JJ

    I'll take my chances with Obama. I trust him far more than I trust McCain.

    August 6, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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