August 19th, 2008
07:35 PM ET
14 years ago

CNN poll of polls: Obama lead cut in half


[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A new CNN poll of polls shows Obama's lead is dwindling."]

(CNN) - In what could be an ominous sign for Barack Obama just days before he is formally named the Democratic presidential nominee, a new CNN poll of polls out Tuesday shows the Illinois senator's lead over John McCain has been cut in half in recent days.

According to CNN's average of several recent national surveys, Obama's lead is now a slim 3 points over the Arizona senator, 46-43 percent - half of his advantage in a CNN poll of polls one week ago, and down from a high of 8 points in mid-July.

Election Center: Check out CNN's electoral map

The latest poll results come amid increased attacks from McCain on Obama's readiness to be commander-in-chief and the re-emergence of national security worries among voters in the wake of the Georgia crisis.

“Over the last week, we’ve seen Sen. Obama’s lead in the poll of polls cut in half,” noted CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. “This change was likely driven by a renewed focus on foreign policy after Russia’s invasion of Georgia, as well as by Sen. McCain’s willingness to launch more aggressive attacks against Obama on issues such as off-shore drilling."

A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll out Tuesday evening was the latest national survey to indicate Obama's lead is dwindling, putting the Illinois senator ahead of McCain by only 2 points, well within the poll's margin of error. The CNN Poll of polls also includes new surveys from Quinnipiac and Gallup.

But the recent downturn in the polls for Obama may not last - the Democratic White House hopeful is headed for a week of what is likely to be overwhelmingly postive coverage as he names his running mate and officially accepts his party's presidential nomination.

"The big question now is whether Obama can successfully regain control of the campaign agenda as we head into the Democratic convention," Silverleib also said.

soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. Todd

    Are these polls to people who own only land lines?
    Most people under 30 don't have a land line.
    Don't believe the hype!!

    August 19, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  2. Joe Kiloz

    B L A M E --Y O U R S E L F-–S H E E P I S H --A N S W E R S-–

    A N D--P O S I T I O N S--I N-–D E B A T E.

    S H O W I N G-M C C A I N--A T T R A C T I N G--C E N T R I S T S

    August 19, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  3. Nothing will stop me from voting for OBAMA!


    I am going to vote for the best person to lead our country.


    August 19, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. Scott L

    This is simple. Go to your browser search bar and type Exxon Obama. There you Dems will find numerous articles on how many many employees of big oil companies have donated MORE to Obama than McCain. Why? Because McCain wants big oil to spend their profits to DRILL DRILL DRILL and Obama wants them to do nothing while pursuing other wind solar and other 10-30 year out plans.

    When will you Dems learn that GOVERNMENT needs to stay OUT of our lives and stop interfering. Dems wants nothing more than government handouts and social programs to save those who DO NOT CONTRIBUTE. Someday if you are in line for a kidney and an illegal immigrant beats you to the punch, you will regret EVER being a Democrat. Think about that.

    August 19, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. Scott L

    Don't forget Kerry was up like 24 points this time of the election in 2004. Obama is going to get crushed. Dems it is not too late to select Hillary as your nominee.

    August 19, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. Soldier 4 OBAMA

    This CNN poll like all there polling before is been used as a head fluke on us, however it will work to get all Democrats and our Union supporters to the Poll. No not Labor Union, I mean the Union that Lincol started, read and understand History and you will know what OBAMA is doing, he is channeling President Lincoln and he will beat McCain by over 350 Electoral College Vote. The MSM like CNN is using the polling data for ratings instead of doing a good job, they are been helping to push a RNC/GOP agenda, but this year, this momemt, this period in History we will RISE UP like a mighty Choir of Angels to say, it is time to turn the page and build a stronger union for the 21st century!

    August 19, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  7. Lifelong Democrat

    Barack Hussein Obama is not qualified to be President of the United States of America.

    I have always said he is a fade, like the hula hoop.

    I am voting McCain.

    August 19, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  8. anonmouys

    know what youre going to say no clinton vp no votes for obama shut up already

    August 19, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  9. Scott Tucson

    I figure Obama's stumbling, mumbling answers in that question answer session may be another reason for his drop in the polls. People might be waking up to the fact that this guy as no experience in anything let alone public speaking.

    August 19, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  10. Turnabout is Fair Play

    It's okay, polls are just that, polls. When it's election time in November, that will be the only poll that matters and Obama will take it to the Whitehouse.

    August 19, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  11. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Obama, don't sell that house in Chicago yet. You'll be needing it for the next 4 years.

    August 19, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  12. arjun jayaraj

    I think cnn's intense coverage of Obama is making the public dislike him.

    August 19, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  13. Ann

    Hillary on the ticket will help Obama tremendously.

    August 19, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  14. dan

    Where does this myth come from the John McCain knows anything about foreign policy? He backed Bush every step of the way in the last 8 years (go to You Tube to watch Honest John talk about how our troops would be welcomed as liberators). Yet, for some reason, people actually talk about him like he has some actual advantage over Obama in this area. It defies comprehension! How in the name of all that is good and holy does 8 years of demonstrating some of the profoundly worst judgment in American history get this guy credibility?

    This is the price we pay for having a mostly uneducated public I guess.

    August 19, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  15. From Phoenix AZ

    I am from Arizona myself and I do not trust my own Senator from Arizona, McBush because he is just another Bush's continuation of this current failed policy. He is good at cheating and fiip flopping, smear and fear. That's all they know. Instead of helping the American people how to uplift the failed administration's policy, he wanted to continue with the war in Iraq for 100 years. No, not me and not this time. Senator Obama for change that we can all believe in.

    August 19, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  16. Brad

    Let's see, almost everybody in America believes we are going in the wrong direction. Yet we are poised to elect another vacuous white moron president. And we wonder why most of the people in the civilized world think of us as stupid.

    Platitudes, one liners and outright lies. That's all it takes to win and the republicans know it.

    August 19, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  17. Lefty

    Everyone should remember how biased CNN was against Obama when he wins by 8 points in november. From Lou Dobbs' shrill monotone on immigration to its gushing patronizing of Hillary Clinton, CNN has run more viewers like me to MSNBC over the past 6 months and now they're going overboard trying to pick up Faux News right wingers by bashing Obama.

    August 19, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  18. HF in CA

    That's because everyone is finding out that Obama really isn't "change" embodied. He is a politician - a slick one at that - just like all the others. Why won't people realize that when you elect someone, it's politics? When someone is in office, they are a politician? Cut from the same fabric...

    ...change is a lie.

    August 19, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. PUMA-Darragh

    I keep hearing "it's shocking that he's not far ahead" from the "other" crowd but I say this... I'm shocked he's ahead at all!!! This is a black man running for the presidency of the USA. Are you kidding? He's also someone who took a beating from Hillary Clinton and still he soldier's on.

    While I am an avid supporter of BHO... I will say this... the country will get exactly what it asks for in November... and that includes the consequences of our vote.

    You are the change you seek... now vote for it!

    August 19, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  20. RufusVonDufus

    It is truly only a matter of time before Obama finds himself trailing in the presidential polls. It won't happen until just after the Republican Convention as both candidates will get a bump up just after their respective conventions. McCain will pull ahead of Obama just after the Republican Convention and he will maintain that lead into November. Obama stands no chance at all. Wrong person, wrong wife, wrong time,
    wrong church, wrong minister, wrong politics, etc.

    August 19, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  21. EDW

    Scott L: Many Exxon employees have donated small amounts to Obama's campaign. I work for Chase Bank and I have donated to his campaign. So What!!!

    Dems, check out Jack Cafferty's commentary today on McCain. He's my new hero.

    August 19, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  22. Obama is Trash



    HILLARY 08!!!!


    August 19, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  23. Clinton, no, wait, McCain Supporter

    Gee. All those people who criticize McCain for taking the weekend off. Barry's vacations – didn't he do this before? – not to mention his European jaunts (no votes there, Barry, or did you think they could??)
    All that time off (add Hawaii) make you look more like George Bush!

    I'm tickled, myself. I want to see you lose this election in the worst way. Your whining about perceived challenges to your personal patriotism is so so phony! You're a really good victim – you play the part to the hilt.

    When in doubt, play the victim card – works almost as well as the race card.

    August 19, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  24. ClintonDem4Cynthia08

    This is why we've got to get out and vote for Cynthia instead!! Go Green '08

    August 19, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  25. Drew Williams

    "In what could be an ominous sign ..." For God's sake, polling data and its meanings can't be tabulated by the second. What's cut in half today could soar tomorrow. Obama will name is VP pick in the next few days and his numbers will of course jump; does that mean Obama should be euphoric or McCain should despair? Of course not. At this point in '80, Reagan was down. If I remember correctly, he won. This moment-by-moment pre-November horse race garbage is just that ... garbage.

    August 19, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
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