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. fella from Chicago

    If we're still in a recession come November, I hope Americans realize that Obama increasing taxes will drive this country into a depression. Don't tax in a recession! On that note, when will we see another CNN Electoral College Map update?

    August 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. Tennisguypitt

    Experience doesn't mean crap if you follow the failed policies of the Bush Administration!!!

    Obama '08

    August 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. Sharon Kitchen

    I think anyone who writes a bill and has a president sign it into law,without the American people knowing about it like McCain did in 1997 to remove and relocate at gun point an entire race of people to live on a toxic radio active dump(2nd only to Cheranoble) where nothing grows and the water is toxic is VERY RISKY. This happened in 1997. Check out the presidental papers under Clinton. McCain wrote the bill,which backed the Morman Church's attempt at the same-the head lawyer and deacon for this religion did so so as to make folks rich....check out Peabody coal........If he will do in one group of people he will not hesitate to do in another.(sort of like...his way or else....who else does that sound like,....oh yes,.....bush and chenney.

    August 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. Vikram Patel

    Most of these polls lack objectivity because the organizations taking one are not objective enough. That is questions asked are designed to support their pre-determined conclusions.

    August 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. Mike Maggio

    The biggest risk is having another four years of the same failed Republican policies. My vote goes to Obama as a fresh, new and optimistic voice for change.

    August 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. PGB

    Poll people on how they are sick polls next.

    August 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. ProudToBeDemocrat

    CNN you guys are obessesed with the poll, It does not matter what the poll says our next president is going to be Obama.

    August 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. Justin (ny)

    This is the dumbest poll I've ever read about – seriously. EVERY CANDIDATE IS "RISKY".

    name me ONE safe choice for president of the united states of america... by definition ANYone would be risky... we're talking about the next leader of our country – OF COURSE theres going to be some risk

    that being said – i think obama is FAR LESS risky than McCain.

    obama 08!!!

    August 6, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Canadian black & white man for Obama.

    Obama doesn't only need the support of Hillary, but the support of all the democrats.
    One man can't lead a country as one tree can't make a forest.

    McCain is getting support now from those people who will not vote for him. It is not going to be easy to elect a mix Africa America male into Office without hard work.

    Obama is smart, young educated mix male, but it is not everyone are please to see him lead.
    Hard work prove of honesty, trusth and a good VP candidate with mistakes will get Obama elected.

    McCain is risky because he his losing his mind most of the time and he has cancer illness. He will take useless action to send the country to war without clean motive.

    Obama on the other hand, is risky because he want to change how Washington works, although it will favour ordinary Americans ,but people are not open to change and he is not a real white man.
    Mix and his funny name got most people confused.
    His state of thinking is very good and he will do anything to prove that he is good when he have the change to lead.

    100% Obama will be excellent president than McCain who have no clean reason why he wants to be president.
    He just want to be president to continue Bush policies, so why will you vote for him when he promise you the same thing that you might be tired of. ?

    August 6, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. Leslie

    But wait, Sane John - let's ask people what they think about your idea first!

    August 6, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. Jay from New Jersey

    If someone only has a little over 2 years of Federal experience compared to 20+, who do you think is more risky?

    August 6, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Angela Frazier, Memphis TN

    Do we want to risk McCain losing his temper and obliterating those who don't like or agree with American? With him as president, that would mean wiping out the rest of the world!

    August 6, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. PUMA in Training

    We're doomed with both of them. At least we know what we are getting with McCain (not that it's anything to brag about).

    August 6, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  14. Becky

    I have yet to be polled, and same with all my family and friends. So until one of us is polled maybe I'll take these polls more seriously...

    August 6, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  15. Becky Montgomery

    McCain is showing signs of memory loss and confusion. This probably won't get better and will probably get worse. We don't need someone with a hot temper and declining mental ability in for four years. McCain is risky. We don't want him to start a war when he can't keep the Sunnis and Shiites straight to the point of making three mistakes about them THE SAME DAY.

    August 6, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  16. joe

    Poll: What percentage of what the FBI Said today is true?

    1. 0 %
    2 0.1%

    Send your results to this page with explanations.

    August 6, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. CNN loves McCain

    Hey CNN, have you heard that 50% people polled believe McCain is blacker than Obama?


    CNN...your polls SUCK!!

    August 6, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. Michele

    As we hear more and more from both candidates, they both become risky choices for president because it's difficult to know where they really stand on the issues

    August 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. R.I.F.

    I agree with Sane John. These polls are becoming so silly that they are starting to contridict themselves. You guys have been beating us over the head for the past two weeks about Obama being a risker pick because some poll came out and now two weeks later a new poll comes out that says that they are eually risky. Maybe the media should joimn Obama in taking a one week vacation.

    August 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Steve R

    hey, why risk it?

    August 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. Arin

    John McCain is risky because of his age. When he volunteered his wife to enter the Miss Buffalo Chip contest, that really indicated that McCain is showing early signs of dementia. He is a big risk.... because he's old.

    August 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Yasriel

    I don't remember you (CNN) conducting similar polls when that frat-boy ran for prez 8 years ago.

    August 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. Patrick

    It's funny how risk isn't better realized with the guy from the party that has literally DESTROYED the United States as we know it. If the low information voters would LISTEN to Obama and understand he is a well spoken, highly intelligent 21st Century leader, these #'s will change over time, and they will.

    August 6, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. Mercedes

    Where are these polls taking place? I have never been polled for anything concerning the presidential election. I hope for Sen. Obama's sake this doesn't effect his possibility of becoming our president. WHAT ASHAME!

    August 6, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. joe

    We don't need a poll to know that Senator Obama is the best choice for president. To fix the economy and to keep us safe. It only takes good common sense.

    August 6, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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