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. PAW, CA

    Who are they calling? Those that are undecided? Those that are registered independents? Who could possibly have their head so far in the sand as to actually say, out loud, that they are going to vote for McCain?'s astounding. And as for those Hillary supporters that continue to rant.....are you done yet? I wanted her too....badly....but now it's

    OBAMA '08

    August 19, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. Obama Supporter

    LMAO!!! Get outta here with this trash. McCain is trash and he hasn't moved up past 45 percent since he got his party nominee. I love all you Obama haters trying to champion a poll taken in August. McCain is garbage and he'll cut the throat of this nation. If he gets elected I'll sit back and watch your kids come home in boxes

    August 19, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  3. C. B.

    Like I said, The DNC have made a big mistake. Obama need Hillary to win. Let him don't choose her as VP. Mc Cain will win this election. He need Hillary. I'm a Hillary supporter. I will not vote for him. If Hillary is not on that ticket, He can kiss the White House goodbye. Let him listen to the media,and pick Bill Richardson, Biden , Byaeh,or Kain. He will loose the White House,and we can blame the DNC,and the media for giving the election he have stolen. Can't even beat McCain. He need Hillary on this ticket. Obama , "No We Can't" if we don't have Hillary on this ticket.

    August 19, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  4. Taylor

    So, you CNN, and all the est of the medai outlets kept telling Americans that it was true when Obama said he was the stronger candidate and he could get her voters with no problem. Well, it was Hillary Clinton who warned us about Obama's weaknesses.

    There we went as democrats and nominated Obama because while we may have a great general platform as a party, we really suck at winnning.

    I am still praying that something changes at the convention.

    August 19, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  5. Selected not elected

    Oh well... the country is in chaos and Obama chose to play dirty and divide the party just for self-advancement.

    He hasn't got what it takes to unite the party, much less the country.

    August 19, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  6. Bob in California

    I find it quite revealing that despite the enormouse sums of money Senator Obama has raised and in turn spent, that he is so close in the polls. His campaign strategy seemsto mirror his policies of tax (take money from others) and spend. It would appear as though he is lacking in his abilty to spend money wisely and efficiently.

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

    McCain policies = Bush failed policies ......nuff said.

    August 19, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  8. Phantom of the Oprah

    The man that would be KING

    August 19, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  9. Focused

    Mac has never led, why not?

    August 19, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  10. Shannon

    We need a leader, not a wannabe rock star, it's not to late, we can still nominate Clinton. Wake up America, this man is an empty suit, supported by hate filled people who know nothing about his policies or how he voted. They depend on Oprah and other celebrities to tell them how to vote, and thrive of divisiveness not change, and certainly not hope. Obama has flip flopped on every issue he ran on during the primaries. Democrats had a chance to take back or country, but we blew it when this man was picked by the DNC to be the head of our party. They used disgusting racial and sexist tactics to defeat Clinton by the narrowest of margins, and some data shows Clinton won the popular vote. Dems need a leader, defeat this man who only has something to say when he uses a teleprompter.

    August 19, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  11. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    I'm not worried. He was on vacation last week. You just wait in the next few weeks it will all change.

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

    The hate and venom that comes off the keyboards of bloggers astounds me. What good does that do? Unfortunately you will be allowed to vote. If the media took its job seriously and stopped coddling McCain but called him out responsibly, the "polls" would look much different. And I cannot believe that with all the money Obama gets from individual donors that these people would contribute to his campaign and then vote for McCain. As for the debates, I think the doubting Thomases on the right will see an Obama that they haven't seen before. There will be no cone of silence issues. Btw, why didn't McCain just tell people when he sat down and was asked about it that he wasn't in the building for the first half hour of the forum? Because that would have been the honest thing to do. Win the battle, lose the McWar.

    August 19, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  13. Mary

    CNN did this when Obama was up against Clinton, trying to make the race appear close so that we viewers would tune in. I am a firm believer that CNN is to blame for the primary season lasting as long as it did. And now they want to get Obama and McCain neck and neck to sell more air time. Let's hope the American people are smart enough to vote on the issues and not on poll results. These two are so different it is an easy choice. OBAMA!

    August 19, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  14. MaryanneAZ

    Don't buy the CNN spin! The election is based on the states' electoral count, not any national polls. In case anyone has forgotten, the media did not think thta Obama would close the deal and win the Primary, and that turned out to be untrue. This campaign knows exactly what it is doing and is poised to win the General Election. That is CHANGE you can take to the bank!!!! Obama '08

    August 19, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  15. Sheila

    Polls are wrong!

    Arkansas is a Red State. Most people here have always voted Republican.

    Ok, once we voted Democrat but the guy was from our home state.

    Anyways, people here in Arkansas are leaning towards Obama. Watch McCain loose Arkansas!!!!

    August 19, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  16. Wondering GI

    Its funny how many folks want MCshame as POTUS but you folks have no clue what is like to be sent to war....Try saying goodby to your kids at 3AM not sure if you are comming home, and this WARmonger wants my the way more military did donate to the Obama campaign, you want to know Y...war sucks..

    August 19, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  17. We'll See

    I think the slip we're seeing in the polls is due to the debate. McCain was in full game, and Obama does not do well without a prepared speech. Not bashing, merely pointing out. Also, the "misrepresentation" of his born-alive infants protection act, in which he voted against, but accused the group denouncing for it of lying. His camp later came out and said he was in error.

    August 19, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  18. Roxanne

    Clinton, no wait, McCain supporter...2 words- you're stupid!!

    I don't think taking 2 weeks off in the last year and a half no where nears Bush and his 'time off' Get a clue, find another reason not to vote for him, not his 'vacations'. Stupid people– it's no wonder this country is in the state it's in– stupid people!!

    August 19, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  19. Phil-Texas

    People are finally waking up to the fact no experince no vote. You have to have substance not just talk

    August 19, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  20. JB

    McCain's Rove campaign is working but it is still early.

    Obama needs an ad like Lyndon Johnson's about Goldwater. McCain should be labeled "Quick draw McCain." Recently it came to light that McCain wanted to invade Iran as we were invading Iraq. He is scary.

    Did anyone listen to him in Orange County? He speaks without thinking. His answers were direct, but without depth. He is frightening to me and I used to like him. I think his quick draw approach should be pointed out ASAP. A commander-in-chief should have some restraint. With McCain we will be going to war everywhere.

    In some ways McCain is worse than Bush. Very aggressive without any thought. I worry about this country under his leadership.

    August 19, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  21. biffington, biff



    (yes, i know that 'is' HALF)..


    August 19, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  22. well well now

    it is sooooo funny to me that people are really considering voting for McCain...the war "hero"refuses to release his military records. the candidate who flip flops like a fish out of water, the candidate who can be bought by big oil, the candidate who lies and steals stories from other peoples lives to try to make himself like able, the candidate who has missed more votes than any other Senator, the candidate who erupted in scandals ranging from the USS Forrestal to Keating 5, the candidate who cheated on his wife just to marry his mistress, the Bush candidate who hangs with crooks like Phil ENRON LOOP HOLE Gramm, the polls are showing how gullible some Americans truly are. so so sad

    August 19, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  23. K.T.

    doesn't matter who is up or down. both these guys are the absolute pits. and, the whole "most young people don't have landlines" routine has not mattered with any candidate popular with the youngins' - howard dean, ron paul, etc, etc. don't hold your breath that a segment of the electorate that repeatedly fails to show up to the polls is going to save the day.

    August 19, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  24. Sacto Joe

    Who cares? McCain started slinging mud WAY too early. As the mud sluces off because he's done nothing but lie, lie, lie, then he will be seen as just another poitician willing to say or do anything to win. At that point the numbers will reverse – and there won't be a single thing McCain can do about it!

    August 19, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  25. Sarah in Ohio

    oh please CNN! Enough of the fear-mongering Republican headlines! Why is it that every time the polls change and Obama's lead drops a few points, it becomes a huge story on CNN? Tomorrow when you do another poll, he will be ahead again, but you probably won't make that a big story. If anyone pays attention to these polls, they know that they can change on a dime. And change drastically within a matter of days. And while I'm at it, please stop reporting on Hillary's campaign "whine fest" to get her hard earned millions that she lent herself back. No one really cares about that either....

    Obama 08

    August 19, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
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