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. Prospectus Editor

    I'm an independent and a recent veteran. I've probably spent days upon days reading the backgrounds and policies of Obama and McCain. While I respect McCain, I have to concede he is filling Bush's shoes every day he steps into them. Somebody just posted that Dems should keep government out of people's lives. If McCain gets in office, government will be so corrupt, all of our lives will be affected. Regarding Obama, you have to give the guy credit for talking with Rick Warren; that's almost suicide for a Dem. Would you ever see McCain sit down to be grilled by a black church leader in front of thousands of black and latino dems? Hardly. He goes to a Harley convention. McCain is also a silver spoon child, just like Bush.

    August 19, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  2. well well now

    Clinton, no, wait, McCain Supporter August 19th, 2008 7:12 pm ET

    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!

    wow you sure are dumb

    August 19, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. A house divided

    I Warned against the intra-party vitriol for months but it was a staple strategy of Obama, his campaign, and his nasty spiteful following. It continues still, even as it does damage to Obama.

    Had Obama and his supporters observed and respected the democratic process, things would be very different now.

    Hating on other democrats and then trying to coerce their vote over to your man in the name of phony unity and hyped hope will NOT work.

    August 19, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. biffington, biff


    its ok.....

    you can say it....

    along with all of the other wrongs you mentioned...

    wrong RACE..... right?

    August 19, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  5. Stephen Eisenmenger

    Why do you conduct national polls when this election is decided by the Electoral College? Al Gore won the popular vote by half a million votes and that didn't make him President.

    National polling isn't really even interesting.

    August 19, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  6. Seth - that's all I can say. Nobody should vote for either Senator Obama or Senator McCain. Neither are serious about underlying economic issue; our floating currency system. Neither are serious about ending the War in Iraq or the war on individual liberties at home. Do not sanction either of these men.

    August 19, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  7. kayla


    August 19, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  8. J.P.

    Gee – maybe if Hillary had won the nomination, I would have told the pollster who called me that I plan to vote Democratic. Now, I plan to vote the best possible option... none of the above. Let the country wallow in the mess it has made for itself.

    August 19, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  9. BJ

    The Democratic Party needs to accept the fact that they made a mistke trying to shove this snake oil salesman down our throats!

    It's bad enough they teamed up with Barry O and the media to bully Hillary out of the nomination, when we, Hillary supporters knew all along she was THE ONE most qualified for this job!

    Now, be a man and admit you were wrong, Kerry, Kennedy and Dean! Pelosi, I don't what you can do to save yourself and the non-performing Congressional Dems... BUT MAKE IT RIGHT by giving Hillary the nomination!

    August 19, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  10. A Woman In California For Obama

    So many of HRC supporters have said "Obama supporters will be crying when he loses." He might. Anything is possible but I have news for you-YOU WILL BE CRYING EVEN HARDER. I myself will not be crying but I will be waiting. Waiting for 2012 to roll around to repay the favor. YOU WILL BE THE ONES CRYING THEN. CRYING for OUR votes and you can go to h$ll waiting for them. It will be another 20 years before another democratic president sits in the WH and I don't care what color HE is. It's not going to happen. You will need the "unimportant" black vote and the youth vote (which I've seen you put down). IT WON'T BE THERE THIS TIME. Just as YOU were not here THIS TIME. Trust me. In 2012 when HRC gets the courage to run against Jeb Bush it won't even be a contest and I will proudly support ANYONE who runs against her and her evil supporters (certainly not all of them). Go right ahead and cast your vote for JM in 08 and watch millions of us cast our votes in 12 AGAINST "old girl." If Obama loses in 08-she loses for life. It's your decision.

    August 19, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  11. janet, ohio

    Okay McCain voters, I will just say this: I don't care if the polls have McCain up by 50 points, DO NOT sit at home on election day thinking it's all in the bag! Polls do not win elections. He can't win if we stay home! Okay I'm done.

    August 19, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  12. john

    The polls are worthless and do not reflect the true election numbers on election day. You people are fools to take seriously what 1000 people think at any given time in an election. This just makes for headlines and is an attempt to shape American thought but we are not going for it this time. AMERICA WAKE UP AND THINK FOR YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA 08/12
    OBAMA 08/12
    OBAMA 08/12
    OBAMA 08/12
    OBAMA 08/12
    OBAMA 08/12

    August 19, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  13. james

    John Mccain=WWWIII

    August 19, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  14. Jamie Bloomfield

    No doubt there are many the world over praying for a Democrat victory for the White House. As I see it, George Bush Jr has been a complete and utter failure both domestically and internationally. His Administration seems to be wrought by lies, deceit and possibly corruption, particularly over the illegal Iraq War. I would love to see an African American as the US President, but I believe that Barack Obama is not the man. For someone who has been in politics for only a short period of time, he comes across as very arrogant, very full of himself, and attempts to emulate and portray himself as the next Martin Luther King Jnr. He doesn't even come close. I believe that the Democratic Party has fatally wounded it's chances by selecting him as their Presidential candidate. In my opinion, Hillary Clinton was their best chance with Obama as VP. Unfortunately, I believe that McCain will win the Presidency and that the US and the world will have to suffer and endure much the same as they have under Bush, which is a shame. I hope I am wrong.

    August 19, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  15. Thomas

    CNN only releases these polls on days when it suits them. They want the story. The last few polls showed that Obama was holding steady at a six point lead. Then when they could make a headline by saying that he was only ahead by three they make a big deal. These polls mean nothing. It was too early and last time I checked the Electoral College not the popular vote decided the outcome of the election. Obama appears to have a fairly solid lead at the moment. However, CNN as all other networks most promote this as a close race for higher rarings.
    I am sick of the supposed media bias. Does anyone have any problem hearing both sides of any arguement. If the media was so left-wing why did they all go to sleep when Bush was making the case for war. Where was the left-wing media than. The media exists to make money period and they will do whatever furthers their agenda regardless of political affiliation.
    While I do feel that this race is close. I do not think that it is as close as we are led to believe. The reason this race is close at all is because Barack Obama is black. Bottom line end of story but no network wants to have an honest discussion about that. If Barack Obama were a white guy named John Smith and everything else about him was the same he would be 15 points ahead.

    August 19, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  16. jp,michigan

    Finally, some Obama vetting is going on. Read , the books and start surfing the net to find out the real story , his legislative record and why a man who speaks so highly of South Side of Chicago did noting to stop some of the violence and political corruption while in the Illinois house?

    August 19, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. biffington, biff

    right about now... is where someone comes along and says what mean posts Democrats make.....


    August 19, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  18. Even the Dems don't want him

    There aren't many choices left for VP because everyone has said "NO". They don't want to be a part of a losing ticket. BTW, I thought Obama was going to announce his VP choice to his sheep first.

    August 19, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  19. Kathy

    He is still ahead and he will win this presidential election!

    August 19, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  20. Walter

    Beginning to look like filthy politics still works.

    That's the only thing keeping McCain's head above water, and the national media is complicit in the crime.

    August 19, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  21. Danny

    I like Hillary, Not Omaba.... out of the 2 left to Run..... I'll take McCain.

    August 19, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  22. Scott L

    Obama doesn't care about the presidency. All he cares about is the book and speaking tour where he and his wife will make millions.

    August 19, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. Lisa

    I've tried to explain this to the Obama's supporters, unfortunately they have to learn from experience.

    August 19, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  24. Rick McArthur

    Obama is an empty suit that is trying to appeal to the hard left, the independents, and Republicans. He has no core values and cannot answer a question directly. He's outstanding with a teleprompter and hand written speeches. Put him in a debate format and he's stuttering dunce.

    August 19, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  25. Devon Spencer

    Choosing a running mate and the Democratic convention going on in a few days will bring those numbers up.

    Obama '08

    August 19, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
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