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. Allan

    My family was for Obama. But after He play race card we going to go w/McCain. Just something hold us against Obama.

    August 6, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. Nija

    On all these polls, how come no body ever calls me.

    August 6, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. marianna

    Wish we had Clinton/Clark for 08

    But we don't,


    August 6, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. 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 without Major campaign 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. He is
    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 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. FATillery


    Frank Tillery
    One of U.S.

    August 6, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. Que Quedas

    there are 300 million people in the US least a third have a vote.....and they sampled 914 people probably in West Virginia or Arkansas........but more than anything that is less than 1% of the people.......please I have a poll for you CNN open your mouth

    August 6, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. Dave

    Its true I don't know if I can stomach either one. Maybe its time to take a serious look a third party candidate. Imagine that.

    August 6, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. SAT

    Enough with the polls already. Does the data mean anything anyway? Poll data didn't always prove accurate during the Democratic primaries.

    I'm tired of all the back and forth from each campaign anyway. It is time to debate.

    August 6, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Vig

    Roll the dice with Obama – that's what the American voter will be doing with this wannabe who changes is tune every day to score points. Americans are beginning to feel "had" by Mr. Change.

    August 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. eli

    just shows that nobody has faith in either candidate. there is only one real party; the republicrats.

    August 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. CitizenAJ

    Yeah, I agree with Sane John. Just stop period! Enough! By-the-way, all politicians are risky!

    August 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Polls are useless right now. Most people won't even make up their minds until the day of the election. We are getting hit from every direction with polls, opinions, the media and the candidates. No wonder we're all sick to death of it all. It all boils down to who is the better liar, actually.

    August 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. Michael Templer

    can we have a poll on Sacha, Malia & Meg McCain's approval numbers

    August 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. max a million

    Why dont you tell us the location of this bogus poll

    August 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. SAT

    I wonder who are pollsters are contacting. I've never received a call nor has anyone that I know.

    August 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. ClintonDem4Cynthia08

    NO more red/blue conspiracies!! Vote Green 08

    August 6, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. PC

    Every candidate is a risky choice. True courage involves making the best choice and having faith it will all work out. A McCain Presidency will likely be just as bad, if not worse, than Bush's presidency. The closer a falling object approaches the ground, the faster it goes. As a nation, our problems require new solutions, and McCain simply is not the man to offer them. The greatest risk for an Obama presidency would be if he lacks the courage to make unpopular but necessary decisions.

    August 6, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. Election Watcher

    Try and spin your way outta this one Mr. Flip-flop!
    Just say Nobama '08

    August 6, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Kevin, Austin TX

    I'm a poll addict buddy... give me my fix.

    At some point these polls are goofy. And I know they account for random or false answers in their margin of error, but on some polls I'd bet the margin of error should be around 30%!

    August 6, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Barack Obama is Our 44th president! YES WE CAN !

    The American people fully know that it's very risky to elect McCain, because it's a fact that nothing will change for the better. He is definitely full-throated 3rd term Bush.

    If the truth be told, those who say Obama is a risk are just afraid of REAL change – it's human nature to resists some – even though those people know in their heart their lives will change for the better when Sen. Barack Obama is president.

    So America, let's unite and do the right thing – choose REAL change, choose REAL leadership – and elect Barack Obama for president !

    August 6, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. George on Nantucket Island, MA

    Not too late to nominate Clinton!

    August 6, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. Ex-Republican for Obama

    If it's risky to change from the "tried and failed' policies of the past 8 years, then yes, Obama is riskier.

    We can choose McCain and fail with certainty (no risk, we know we will fail) or reach for a better tomorrow (a risk) by electing Obama. I'll take that risk, because if it gets any worse, we don't deserve to be a nation.

    Give me [America] self-respect or give me [America] death!

    Obama '08

    August 6, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. Al in Dallas

    Obama may be the riskier of the two, but that leaves McCain as the more predictable of the two. McCain has voted with the current administration 97% of the time. The current administration is what got us in the mess we're in; I'll take the "risk" and vote Obama.

    August 6, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. aware

    Obama would lead America right into a Depression! he is a risk America cannot afford. 🙁

    McCain 08! 🙂 He has the authenticity, integrity, wisdom and stability to bring health, safety and an economic surge to America. He also has the gravitas and the proven record to build long lasting relationships to our global relationships!

    August 6, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. Alex in MA

    Total BS

    August 6, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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