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. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    And then he'll be up by 12% after the DNC and back to a 3 point lead after the RNC. Only poll that counts takes place the first Tuesday of November...

    August 19, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  2. ryan

    I can see that happening, especially after that Saddleback gathering. McCain was much more straight forward with his answers, didn't stutter like Obama did.

    August 19, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. Brian Seattle

    I do find it curious that Obama is not further ahead in the polls. Ah that's right, only Clinton was affected by Operation Chaos. Republicans only voted for Clinton in the primaries, not Obama. Right?

    It's not to late to nominate Clinton!!!!

    August 19, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  4. Matt

    All that matters is the electoral college and this time Obama has the considerable edge. McCain might be crushing Obama in the red states – thereby narrowing national poll gap – but solid margins in the big electoral vote states in obama's favor are enough to maintain his electoral lead. Get as excited as you like mccain backers – it's going to be tough for mccain to win the necessary electoral votes.

    August 19, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  5. Debra

    Obama is still ahead and always has been.

    August 19, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  6. mdrift

    Sorry, but most people under 30 do own lan-lines. They also run either ADSL, FiOS or even naked ADSL, but they do have a lan-line.

    They most likely don't have a long-distance plan, but don't forget that over 50% of the US doesn't even have access to DSL subscriber lines and are still on Dial-up.

    If you stop thinking everyone lives in an urban hotspot you'll discover that the bulk of this country is still using V.92 56kbps speeds to surf and check email.

    August 19, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  7. Sharon

    I supported Hillary during primary season, but would not vote for a Dem ticket with Hillary on it unless she was running as president. I would write in Hillary's name for president before I'd vote for an Obama/Clinton ticket.

    August 19, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  8. Akinola - Houston

    Am I the only one getting dizzy on these polls...enough already!!

    August 19, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  9. Scott L

    @Brad, if you don't like it, please move to another country. My how Democrats quickly toss aside all our fore fathers who built us into the strongest nation on Earth. Please show some respect. Don't forget Bill Clinton was another "vacuous white moron" as you put it and he wasn't that bad as a President.

    August 19, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  10. rr florida

    Yeah! NOBAMA!

    August 19, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  11. Justin in CA

    Wait till they have a real debate on the issues and not a church litmus test for presidential candidates, which I am offended they even had in the first place.

    August 19, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  12. Scott L


    So why do you Dems keep calling him Exxon John??????

    Please explain...

    August 19, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  13. Walt

    Why doesn't the media help your viewers understand EXACTLY what off shore drilling will do for the Country?
    Perhaps a lot of people would change their minds about off shore drilling.

    Don't the oil companies already have leases where they can drill?

    also, don't oil companies ship oil to other countries, where they can make more money?

    What did the Alaskan pipe line do for California? We were promised more gas, cheaper gas.

    IA fan,

    August 19, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  14. Jim McCall- Tennessee

    History tells us that election eve polls had Thomas Dewey beating Harry Truman in the 1948 election; Wasn't good ole Tom Dewy a great Prez?
    Polls are just that...they are ficke and change hour to hour and day to day.
    Jim from Tennessee

    August 19, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  15. Mike

    O verhyped
    O verconfident
    O verly biased media
    O verwhelmingly unqualified

    O ver

    August 19, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  16. stan

    do you realllllllllllllllllllllllly want obama's picture on a five dollar bill, come one, we are not ready for him, he is a left wing radical liberal, without any experience at all, 140s day in the senate, come on, no major or even minor legislation for him, what was he doing, oh, yes, he was running for president, of what, the us, you have got to be kidding, who are his friends, rev. wright, mr. ayers, and who else,

    August 19, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  17. Crispus Attucks

    Save the life of an innocent child! Vote for McCain!

    August 19, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  18. Marie

    The process will likely play out several times before the election. Obama was on vacation in Hawaii , and he was "out of sight and out of mind"....and now is sliding a bit in the polls. Obama will go back up after the Democratic Convention. But Mccain will catch back up after the Republican Convention. In the end the only "poll" that will really matter is the one that takes place in the voting booths, on election day. But as a Democrat, I feel the party should be a bit nervous because it looks like it may be too close for comfort, especially given the landslide that is expected.

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

    It's not the attack adds... it's his wish washy lame excuse for answers the other night....

    ummm... duuhhhh... arrgggghhhh.... I'm mean ahhhh..... you know... wellllll.... That answer is above my pay grade....

    YEA.... real leader.... He's done... and with more debates it will get worse...

    Hillare would be a fool to attach herself to this loser now... and you know he will ask her... because it's all this empty full of it suit has left.

    I'm rolling... actually rolling on the floor laughing.... shame on the DNC

    August 19, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  20. Joseph, Los Angeles

    I'm not at all concerned with these weekly polls. Nobody's ever polled me and I've been a voter for over 35 years.

    Obama 08 – I truly believe America is ready for a change.

    August 19, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  21. John

    Why aren't we concerned that McCain is losing in the poll?

    August 19, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  22. Ed from Richardson, TX

    As a dedicated Obama supporter I am not dismayed or worried about these premature polls. I think if the election were held tomorrow Senator Obama becomes President Obama, by a large margin. I believe in the intelligence of the electorate to get it right and have no doubt the American people, no matter what the dividing issue, know that this nation cannot withstand four or eight more years of the arrogance and failed policies that have us in the mess we're in right now. Amazing how the crisis in Georgia happens at this very sensitive time in our political cycle; I'd swear it was staged to help McSame but I would just be a paranoid Democrat wouldn't I? Vote out the village idiots (who are also war mongers) before they do even more damage to our fine country. Go Obama!

    August 19, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  23. Scott L


    Couldn't agree with you more! Dems have made a mistake by selecting Obama as their nominee this election cycle. Such a wasted opportunity.

    August 19, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. Whatever!

    Lifelong Democrat August 19th, 2008 7:07 pm ET


    August 19, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |

    It's called OBAMA FATIGUE. We have been saturated with endless coverage by the major networks (except Fox, but their far outweighed by the rest of the news networks) and people are going to get tired of Obama real quick.

    Also, Obama is being propped up so much by the media as some sort of "hero of change" that when he really begins to have to discuss the topics people are going to see him for what he really is...

    A great SPEAKER, not a great LEADER.

    August 19, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
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