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. abby

    Obama is not qualified to be president. The luster is off and people are sick of him. Please make him go AWAY!!! McCain is solid. Hillary is solid. Obama is a joke. The Democrats are really freaking out now that they realize Hillary was the stronger general election candidate all along.

    August 19, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  2. California Gold

    Pre-election polls are fluid. They constantly change.

    The only polls that count are the voting polls in November.

    August 19, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  3. Rich

    Amazing...all the positive media coverage in the world can't get done what the liberal media mogals want – Obama as the next president. Not to worry for all you Obama fans, CNN. NBC, CBS, ABC, NPR, PBS....they are ALL pulling for your man! Unfortunately for you, the clear thinking American public is not (thanks goodness)!!

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


    August 19, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  5. Marc PDX

    Well Obama is most popular when there isn't so much on the line and he's reading from a script. I'll admit that he is a great orator, and is very handsome. But without a script he falls into a halting speech pattern while he tries to quickly guess the right answers to questions. He comes across like he is not speaking from the heart but rather through a filter designed to gain the most possible votes. And that comes across as disingenuine and contrived. And it certainly appears like he doesn't know his own positions.

    Right now in the world (and for many years to come) we have some major and very dangerous problems. Russia's re-emergence as a country of aggression. Iran working on a nuclear weapon and Israel on the verge of attacking it. An energy crisis where most of the suppliers of crude oil are not friends of the USA. Just to name a few of the bigger, more dangerous problems.

    Obama has not gracefully reconciled with Hillary Clinton, either, as the DNC convention nears, caving in to all of her demands. He looks weak.

    The freshmen senator from Illinois is looking less attractive or ready with world affairs as the backdrop heading into fall.

    August 19, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  6. Doug

    Is anyone surprised?
    This country is not ready for a radical...

    August 19, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  7. Chickens coming home to roost

    And it will plummet not bounce after the convention.

    America does not like boastful braggarts... even those who thought they did and voted for Bush, realize their mistake.

    They won't repeat that mistake of falling for the charismatic and cocky swaggering know-it-all with no resume, track record or experience.

    I did not vote for Bush twice- I will not vote for Obama either.

    Lots of other choices- Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader or even the last resort McCain.

    August 19, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  8. webster208

    It is not the more aggressive political advertisements that's causing people to become disaffected with Obama, but his tentativeness and flip-flopping (his supporters say "evolving") on important issues. He gave unimpressive answers to Rick Warren, and he even said he does not have an opinion on when life begins because it is above his pay grade. Was that an attempt to be cute while discussing an important social issue? Does this guy with a much- vaunted superior judgment ever really get it?

    August 19, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. Walt

    I noticed, recently, you are beating up Obama, not by what he says or stands for, but by covering the negative ads the Republicans are posting and also the negative speeches by McCain.
    They get a lot of coverage.

    Why don't you just TELL THE TRUTH about both candidates.

    a fan,

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

    Great news here. FINALLY, people are waking up. Thank goodness most of the Obamabots blogging here are just teenagers without the right to vote yet. Look, kids, this isn't American Idol. Obama is not qualified. This Paris-clone needs a few more years to season before he has the right to run for President.

    August 19, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  11. Antionette

    Keep believing the polls all you non-Obamaites, cuz we're not scared of you or the media that only uses these polls to keep things interesting. I have researched these "Poll of Polls" parameters, and confirmed that cell phone users (most people under the age of 30) and "unlikely" voters are not being surveyed. Neither are first time voters in some polls (nor, obviously, people that do not answer their land line when they see an unknown number pop up on caller ID).
    GO OBAMA!!!

    August 19, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  12. Linda

    Backtrack Obama? NOPE, not this dope.

    Hillary as the nominee
    Or McCain it will be

    August 19, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  13. DrMan

    My god. How many times are we going to hear "these polls aren't valid B. Hussein's flock doesn't use land lines." What an excuse! Your Obamessiah doesn't walk on water and people are finally seeing it.

    August 19, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  14. Jill-IN

    Who gets called for these polls. We have had the same phone no. for 16 years and no polls have called our home. The only people I know who answer phones during the day are elderly folks who pick up the phone every time it rings. No poll calls to our cell phones during the day either!

    August 19, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  15. ana

    Stay strong PUMA – let's make sure this clown doesn't get elected -EVER!!!!

    Do not listen to another word he says – he doesn't have anything fundamental to talk about anyway. When he or Michelle speak at the convention turn off your TV's and do something more productive. Send the message loud and clear to the DNC – we don't want him, don't want to hear or know anything about him!! We are DONE with him! We are SICK of him! And we will NOT vote for him.

    Remember in November – send the message loud an clear with your VOTE!

    Hillary or McCain '08

    August 19, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  16. Voter

    Obama is leading in the polls and will lead the US as president.

    August 19, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  17. Tim

    This is the type of reporting the media does when they can't come up with a Real Story!

    We all know it's a close race. Over the past 2 months the difference has ranged between 3-8 points in favor of Obama. Sometimes it's 3, sometimes, it's 6, and sometimes it's 8.

    Are you going to make a big story out of every little change????

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

    I would wish for someone to tell me how these polls are conducted, I have never been asked about the presidential candidate in my 30 years of voting.

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

    Mr. Obama is likely to continue losing momentum as the election nears. After his timid response to the Georgia / Russia crisis and his incredibly weak performance at the Saddleback Forum, it is becoming increasingly clear that Mr. Obama has little to offer the United States.

    Lacking the ability to answer straightforward questions, make decisions and stick to a position are just a few of the problems that have been bubbling under the surface of the façade that Mr. Obama and the O-DNC have built…the façade is beginning to crack.

    America is not ready to elect a trainee to the Presidency, we need a qualified individual who can step in and take charge, and Mr. Obama is simply not ready.

    August 19, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  20. Nia Hussein- Phoenix, AZ

    Polls lie...especialy during the summer, when non of the candidates have had a chance for an actual face no Hill-Billy will not help the ticket...

    August 19, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  21. no name

    All americans who votes for Mcsame are stupid. Go Americans vote for mcsame and bring your country to the poorest level.

    August 19, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  22. Sprayem [youtube name]

    Actually Obama is up 20 or more. Most of us who will vote for him dont answer the phone if we dont know who it is, or dont use landlines all together.

    August 19, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  23. Chickens of justice

    He peaked by falsely inflating the magnitude of puny caucus wins and by playing the race card.

    Now he keeps disappointing.

    He actualy OVERplayed the race card and lost many of his original supporters.

    The spiteful ANTI-Hillary venom that he encouraged and still continues to split the party did him a big disservice as well.

    McCain proves he still has got it... and surprises people in a positive way.

    August 19, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  24. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    August 19, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. norom

    .Obama is Trash

    If the Dems lose this year-Hillary is finished, for good.

    PUMA-Pathetic Uninformed McCain Apologist

    August 19, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
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