August 24th, 2008
06:25 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN poll: Post-Biden poll shows dead heat

DENVER, Colorado (CNN) - It’s a dead heat in the race for the White House. The first national poll conducted entirely after Barack Obama publicly named Joe Biden as his running mate suggests that battle for the presidency between the Illinois senator and Republican rival John McCain is all tied up.

In a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll out Sunday night, 47 percent of those questioned are backing Obama with an equal amount supporting the Arizona senator.

“This looks like a step backward for Obama, who had a 51 to 44 percent advantage last month,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

“Even last week, just before his choice of Joe Biden as his running mate became known, most polls tended to show Obama with a single-digit advantage over McCain,” adds Holland.

So what’s the difference now?

It may be supporters of Hillary Clinton, who still would prefer the Senator from New York as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.

Sixty-six percent of Clinton supporters, registered Democrats who want Clinton as the nominee, are now backing Obama. That’s down from 75 percent in the end of June. Twenty-seven percent of them now say they’ll support McCain, up from 16 percent in late June.

“The number of Clinton Democrats who say they would vote for McCain has gone up 11 points since June, enough to account for most although not all of the support McCain has gained in that time,” says Holland.

Clinton and Obama battled throughout the primary season, with Clinton winning more than 40 percent of the delegates. She suspended her bid for the White House and backed Obama in early June, after the end of the primary season.

A majority of registered voters, 54 percent, think Obama’s choice of Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his running mate is an excellent or good decision. That number jumps to 73 percent when just asked of registered Democrats. But it drops to 59 percent when narrowed to Clinton supporters.

“It's not that there's anything wrong with the choice of Joe Biden. A majority of those polled rate the Biden selection as excellent or pretty good. Voters think he is qualified to be president, and with the exception of Al Gore in 1992, the public ranks Biden as the most qualified running mate in recent times," says Holland.

"A lot of Americans don't know who he is, but his favorable rating is 13 points higher than his unfavorables But Biden is not Hillary Clinton, and it's possible that is enough to have moved some of her supporters away from the Democratic ticket, at least temporarily."

Among all Democrats, only 38 percent say Obama should have selected Clinton as his running mate.

Will Biden’s naming as Obama’s running mate make a difference? Maybe not. Seventy-four percent of all voters questioned in the survey say it won’t have any effect on their vote for president.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted on Saturday and Sunday, with 1,023 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all voters. For registered Democrats, it is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points, and for Democrats who still support Clinton for the party's nomination, it is plus or minus 7.5 percentage points.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • Polls
soundoff (209 Responses)
  1. Bruce, Chicago

    America will get it right. We do not need a couple of left wing socialists running the country, not now and not ever. Go Senator McCain!!

    August 24, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  2. World Angel

    Why would you blame CNN for Obama's negativity, There's not too much positive to say about OBAMA. By now everybody has come to the conclusion that HE'S IS NOT CAPABLE OF BEING PRESIDENT. He says all the right things that people love to hear, but even he has come to the realization that "CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN" is CHANGE that he will not be able to bring about. So, I think the more people began to realize that his rating is going to decline even more. Believe it or not I AM an OBAMA SUPPORTER. But now I'm having second thoughts.

    August 24, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  3. Betty

    see what I mean? The poster above is already talking about putting a hole in Obama.

    HAPPY BLITZER/CNN ??????? stir stir stir stir

    August 24, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  4. E.C.Coleman


    August 24, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  5. Gayle Ca.

    Greg from FL. – I could not have said it better.

    August 24, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  6. Roy

    what i find so ridiculous is that these Hillat suporters will sacrifice everything that they believe in because they lost fairly & squarely. How shallow, how hypocritical. I'm sorry puma's this is about the future of our country not the high school prom...grow up already!!!

    August 24, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  7. Peter

    OMG stop with the polling. Why can't they poll... say... once a month... instead of polling multiple times per week.

    I must admit though, that the media does have a clear desire to have the campaign be as juicy and close as possible... which is why we have headlines like this (or the ever popular... "X 'slams' Y over Z" headline). I know it's not possible to be 100% objective, but try doing more reporting of news and less making of it.

    August 24, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  8. Nate Scott

    More CNN nonsense. This is just more of the same manipulative journalism by Wolf Blitzer & Company to appeal to the worst element of the American political psyche. Having watched the Obama-Clinton tussle and how CNN recklessly injected a strong heft of anti-Obama bias by constantly bringing up unsubstantiated allegations and so forth, one starts to get the impression of exactly where CNN is coming from. It's called "The Power Of Suggestion".

    August 24, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  9. Wanda FL

    So often the media comments on the number of Democrats (particulary Hillary's supporters) who will vote for McCain instead of Obama. Is the media aware that many life long Republiucans, like myself, will vote for Obama? Our country and our people deserve more than fhe failed policies of Bush and by extension, McCain. I very proudly will vote for Obama.,

    August 24, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  10. KateyGreen

    Democrats are panicking. Already they are blaming the amorphous group of Hillary supporters, and setting Hillary up to take the fall for Obama's shortcomings and other things that may lead voters to McCain that have nothing to do with Hillary. Obama supporters are demanding that Hillary campaign as hard for Obama as she would if she were the candidate, a concept that is unprecedented. This does not speak well for what Obama supporters think of Obama, in a year when Democrats should be on Easy Street. Hillary's presidential aspirations are gone, whether or not Obama wins. But to blame Obama's problems in the polls on Hillary is ludicrous and a reflection of the panic in the Obama camp.

    August 24, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  11. Danny - Northern VA

    If McCain wins, both Hillary and her supporters will go down in history as the major contributors to the continuation of the worst policies ever and the biggest missed opportunity in American history. Way to make history Hillary voters...whether it be by proactively voting for a Republican whose views are radically different than Hillary's...or by sitting home and allowing him to win instead of voting for Obama whose policies are only about 3% different than your own candidate. idiots.

    August 24, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  12. kyra

    OBIDEN 08!!!!

    August 24, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  13. Just what the country needs.

    Another old white man with fake teeth and bad hair plugs.

    Thanks Obama. I see the change already.

    August 24, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  14. Mark

    Hey CNN! WE get it! You want to keep the race close for the purpose of ratings. Did you notice the ABC poll that has Obama with a 4 point lead?

    Have you noticed the Zogby polling that has Obama winning the battlground states of Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania by at least 5 points.

    Why do you point ALL of the stats, CNN. Instead of the ones that benefit you.

    August 24, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  15. thomas


    August 24, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  16. johnny

    I think CNN is trying to catch up to FOX in anti-Obama coverage. Pathetic coverage led by a bunch of second raters led by Wolf and Democratic strategists who made millions off of the c\Clintons.

    August 24, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  17. Democrat for John McCain

    All democrats are blinded. Barack is nothing. Barack is all hype and no substance. Truth will always prevail. He is not qualified to be our President. Period.

    August 24, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  18. Chris in VA

    The "Change We Can Believe In" has a 32-year Senator as his Number 2? And here I thought that Biden was just another career politician. Who knew he could stay in hiding for so long. Brilliant disguise!!

    August 24, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  19. bev

    get over it clintonistas!!! who wants
    great grandad as pres in the new millenium
    who promotes war over peace
    a soldier in office with a quick draw that wants to fight for 100 years
    rather than a diplomat to sit down with rationality.
    personally, i choose the latter-and that's sen obama.

    August 24, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  20. Voter from Delaware

    From my perspective, Obama has done a favor for me and my neighbors. DE apparently needed an excuse to get rid of ole Joe.

    Ha! This is "change"? Without Joe, DE is hoping for change in its small world finally.

    August 24, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  21. Robert - Minneapolis

    I can't see how some Clinton Supporters will vote for McCain. Clinton and McCain's policies are day and night. This is why a democrat will not win. With republicians no matter their differences, they stick together, unlike democrats. The democrats whine too much. Sounds like a lot of sour graps. Four more years of republcician regime this country does not need. And for CNN; i'm sick and tired of all their polls and more polls. They are just as bad as Fox News, especailly Wolf Blizter, when is he going to retire.

    August 24, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  22. Californian for Obama!

    Why is CNN trying to create hype and literally create news rather than report it? This makes no sense. Just yesterday the Clinton supporters for Obama were at 50%. Now they are at 60% and CNN doesn't report the one day increase, rather they report a decrease from an earlier date when tensions were still high.

    AS A FORMER CLINTON SUPPORTER, I poo poo your story CNN, as my whole family has recently come around in the last week.


    August 24, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  23. BS VA

    Greg, were you responding to MB? Because MB's post was actually saying–if I read his unique typography correctly–that CNN seems to be biased _against_ Obama.

    What would drive a person who WOULD have voted for Obama if Clinton was the VP to INSTEAD vote for McCain JUST because Clinton isn't the VP? What is their thought process? On the surface it seems they're just voting against Obama in retaliation for his choice of VP, which is exactly the kind of bitter, self-centric thinking that ruins elections.

    August 24, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  24. mk

    So the poll shows a dip, not a bump, from the VP announcement. Imagine if he had pulled the party together. How disappointing.

    August 24, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  25. Former democrat because Hussein

    I hope Obama and all his mindless butt-wipes all realize the consequences of their actions.

    McCain 08 should have been Hillary 08

    August 24, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
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