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. Sandy

    What people don't realize is that while people may find Obama riskier, they are still going to vote for him. Lets see, do we pick the same as the last eight years, or do we take a chance? Guess what, times are hard, people are prepared to take a chance. They may not know what will come with Obama, but they definitely know what will come with McCain, and that is enough to drive them to Obama.

    If a man is starving and you show him one hand that is empty, but you don't show him the other hand (which may contain food), which will he choose? It's not certain, but it is a LEAST, a chance.

    August 6, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. aware

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

    Vote for 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 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. Lillie

    Pollsters take a break and enjoy the Olympics!! Enough is ENOUGH! And who are you polling anyway? After all the polls taken thus far, no one has ever called ME!!!!

    OBAMA 08!

    August 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. A house divided

    The Goldilocks is missing from this picture.


    August 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. Anita from Arizona

    I'll take the risk, thank you. Change is good.

    August 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. punch-a-pundit

    Obama should run an ad featuring McCain singing "bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb Iran" and have it morph into Bush saying "bring'em on" and then ask the question if McCain is too reckless to be president.

    August 6, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. MLH

    Read his positions – there is nothing risky about Senator Obama. He is a democrat, and not a terribly liberal one at that. I am not complaining – I support his candidacy, but he is not 'risky.' On the other hand, I would suggest that anyone who doesn't care how long we are in Iraq, and does not think we should leave the minute the Iraqi government asks us to, is too big of a risk to lead the country my children will inherit.

    August 6, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. Rob indetroit

    Obama would be a GREAT PRESIDENT.

    August 6, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. Campbell

    i don't know which part of the country your polls of polls are being conducted, but everyone is in for a big surprise if there are relying on the finds of your polls!!!

    I beg to differ. The questions being asked sounds so very leading .. one can only provide one type of an answer.

    August 6, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Hans-Erik Iken

    This is a nonsensical poll with leading questions. Who dreams up this bs?

    Where are the guys and girls that put together a poll on the issues?

    August 6, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. TC, Fl

    Risky? Obama? Of course not. Though, in his own words

    From Dreams of My Father:
    'I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race.'

    'I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa , that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself , the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela.'

    AND From Audacity of Hope:
    'I will stand with the M u s l I m s should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.'

    Think about HIS words, America

    August 6, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. Michigan for Obama

    McCain would just be straight dangerous, and Obama is leading in the polls pretty hardcore right now and solid, so CNN you guys need to continue what you used to be like since you guys are clearly shifting to the right. McLame's negative campaigning clearly isnt working

    August 6, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. Pat in Cali

    McCain would be a disastrous BLUNDER, mistake.

    But then again America has been bamboozled for 8 years. I guess Republican do take pride in being ignorant.

    August 6, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. Rob indetroit

    Risky ? MCnut's is old, senile,and angry. Vote Obama 08.

    August 6, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. HC

    Just hold the polls for two months. We've had enough polls already

    August 6, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. Willy

    I'll take wisdom over a "Flash" in the pan anyday.

    August 6, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Shari, NY

    The job of President of the USA is a tremendous one and no one leader will be able to do everything that each individual expects of him.

    All we are saying is forget the polls and give peace (and smarts) a chance!

    August 6, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. Canadian black & white man for Obama.

    Ohh does that means that Muslim Americans can't vote for McCain either? Obama has campaign member that recruits all race, and religion for our reach. That means he wants support from all America whether be you Jew, Muslim, Christians, Native, Sing Idian, Chines, Japanes, White, and Black Americans.

    Obama campaign have the same out -reach as McCain and it not the candidate themselves recruit their volunteers.

    So, for you dump a-s please think with your head not your typing. If it was easy you could have run for the president yourself.

    August 6, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. Allan

    HE said that He was hit on the head ,so run for PRESIDENT. SOOOOOOOO DUMB. SO run obama,run. Another rock after you. Run to Chicago fast.

    August 6, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. Brian Riback

    I am so sick of these polls. Let's be clear, keeping the same thing we have is the most risky. I'm an Obama supporter but even I'd admit at least McCain offers some change. Seriously...I'm tired of hearing about Obama's far has Bush's or Chaney's experience gotten us? Seriously. I want someone new. i wish they didn't even have a Politician running. I'd take an entrepreneur who started with nothing and built a successful company because what we need to do is start over and from the ground up.

    August 6, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. Jim

    No Risk Candidate....Dems should nominate Hillary at the convention!

    August 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. dr. yes we can

    i'm not putting my money on old white-haired wrinkly dude.

    August 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. ben

    Bad news for McCain, as he has been doing his best to make Obama's riskiness the main reason to vote for McCain...

    After his negative ad barrage, he is seen as nearly as 'risky' as Obama.

    August 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. ND, Boston

    If Barack's economic plan is a tire gauge, then McCain's economic plan should be a pillow. He's going to sleep through the crisis and tell us to stop whining.

    Not the man for the job and definitely not the man for America. He's too old, too rigid, and too angry. I say prop him up in Arizona and let him rest.

    Crist and Romney are fools; I gather the party line is to laugh about the Spears/Hilton ad. Every time someone mentions it, they put this phony, fake smile (you can tell they don't think it funny) on their stupid faces. Liars, they know that ad was below the belt.

    August 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. pa

    yes they are
    sent them packing

    August 6, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
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