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. Jeffer65

    Once again the media is reporting on nothing. Trying hard to remind us how important they are.
    Is anyone polling all these new voters that the Obama camp helped to get registered?

    If McCain wins, there may not be a 2012 election.

    August 24, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  2. Mike Kaplan

    More NONSENSE from CNN.

    This is a lot of bull. Why does CNN have so much interest in stirring up trouble with former Clinton voters, and encouraging them to feel angry when there is nothing at all to be angry about?

    And what a NON-STORY this is. One day after the Biden pick is announced, the poll numbers are supposed to tell us what, exactly?

    And by the way, the post by "NEVER OBAMA" left at 8:18 PM is clearly offensive- he says "If some smart person comes along and puts a hole in obama...." What a disgusting thing to say. CNN, where are your moderators?

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

    I have nothing to do with US politics but being an international student here, I am surprised to see and hear the obvious effort CNN is trying to divide democrats. I guess they want make news

    August 24, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  4. Dawn, Nevada

    Get over it Hillary supporters! I wanted Hillary too, but if it isn't to be back someone who is in the same league with her! God forbid we have another four years of Bush policies because we were disappointed. If the dems. don't get together on this one, we have no one to blame but ourselves and we're the ones who'll suffer for it!

    August 24, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  5. Dan, Idaho Falls

    Looks like the Dems are gonna blow a "slam dunk" – again! Even when they got the House & Senate they did NOTHING. This is becoming a one party country – dictated by Rush Limbaugh.

    August 24, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  6. Rich

    What I find astounding is how Obama supporters are already making innumberable excuses for his inevitable loss this November and blaming it on Hillary, the media, racist politics, etc.

    They refuse to admit that Obama is simply an inferior candidate. It does not matter who he adds to the ticket. Americans have already heard enough of Obama and they've rejected him.

    August 24, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  7. Brad

    Blah blah blah....
    Obama just lost the White House....

    Boo hoo. Deal with it.

    August 24, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  8. Jeff

    "So what’s the difference now?

    It may be supporters of Hillary Clinton, "

    Please, it's within the margin of error. The real story here is after all of the bad press Obama kids, why can't McCain close the deal?

    August 24, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  9. johnny

    In the end Obama will win, the cable geniuses will be proven wrong. They are out of touch with the rest of us

    August 24, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  10. New Independent Writing in Hillary on November Ballot

    I don't think Obama's supporters "get it" and I don't think Obama himself "gets it."

    I am one of the many older white females who will (WILL) vote for Hillary in November.

    As long as Obama doesn't reign in his youngsters and teach them that they need to respect their elders, WE will not vote for him.

    Until you are age fifty, kids, what you have to say or think isn't of much importance to the rest of us.

    I voted for JFK and worked on RFK's campaign until the night he died. This means I have voted as a Dem since 1960.

    I switched to Independent because of Obama's bratty little followers who still haven't figured it out.

    August 24, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  11. Abe MI


    Another hit piece article about a poll which shows Obama tied or slightly ahead. Will the story "Why isn't Obama 500 percent ahead". Obama get's a lot of media coverage but it's overwhelmingly negative. Why is he not beating McCain in the polls? Because the Media continues to play up the right-wing attack charges instead of calling it out. I am tired of the headline about how "Obama can't close the deal" or "Obama has a problem with (insert random monolithic group)". MSM please stop willfully manipulating the elections by offering slanted coverage.

    August 24, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  12. sue calgary

    It is either Hillary Clinton's supporters get over her losing and get behind the Democratic Ticket or just hand over the election to McCain. Four more years of war, mortgage forelcosures, rising gas prices, a weak dollar, unemployment, high crime rates... and the list goes on. STOP AND THINK!! Stop being emotional and think about the well being of the country and it's citizens, WILL YOU????

    August 24, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  13. Joanne

    When John McCain is sworn in as the next President of the United States, you will come know the consequence of having a woman unsuccessfully run for President.

    "Heav'n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn'd,
    Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn'd." William Congreve

    August 24, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  14. Betty

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    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 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  15. Fort Collins,Colorado

    CNN, Clinton did not win the nomination!!!!!! Your reporting is as insane as some of her supporters thinking. Do you really want another four years of Bush. Which is what we will have if McCain is elected. Give it a rest and move on. Obama and Biden is the ticket and it is not going to change. You give the Clintons to much credit!!!!!

    August 24, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  16. Realist

    Irrelevant... the only polls that matter are state polls that highlight changes with the electoral map. Biden as VP may have swung more in the South to McCain.... in states that were already going to McCain anyways.

    Why these national polls are given any attention is beyond reason.

    August 24, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  17. Andrew Fairhall

    My wife & cousin teach junior high school history – they've added civics into their curriculum. They are doing a time line on CNN's having gone from impartial to biased. They have done a good job of showing their students how political influence, money and possibly fear have made CNN look more like FOX over the years.

    CNN is joining the corrupt and bought out media in US in an incremental fashion – sad.

    August 24, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  18. rob

    How bored the punditry must be. Is it really necessary to analyze poll after poll, attempting to explain away the tiny variations in poll results that are found every day? This is just manufactured news. You take a poll, have an "expert" try and explain the dramatic public sentiments that must have driven the results, and voila, you've filled up a slot in your daily agenda and wasted 5 minutes of every reader's time. This attempts to make news out of what we've known for months: Obama and McCain are neck and neck. As if polls before conventions really man anything, anyway. We probably won't know where this election is really going until late September. Until then, Mr. CNN Political Director and Mr. CNN Political Expert, go find real work.

    August 24, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  19. What's Best for USA

    Do Clinton supporters care about what is best for the next generations or just women in power? Greg-Fl called it right, they are self-centered with no vision for future generations. God forbid we have another Republican President to sell us to our enemies as they have done the past 4 years while lining the pockets thicker of the wealthy. Wake up America China is going to own us soon if we don't get a grip on our economy.

    August 24, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  20. What more can Obama Do?

    Hillary can do a lot more to alleviate all of this tension. People keep saying over and over that Obama needs to do more. What more can he do for these people, Does he need to paint his self white? Bill and Hillary Clinton has criticized Obama continuously, and in light of the criticism he has tried to reach out to them both, but Bill rejects him. Why would you want someone that does'nt want you. Futhermore, Why would he want any opinions on a VP pick, that's what the VP vetting team is for.

    August 24, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  21. deliziosa

    CNN has become so negative toward Obama in recent months. I'm trying to watch convention coverage and all I can hear about is how Obama is losing and how he can do nothing without Hillary! Clinton this, Clinton that! This is crap! I know you guys need a story, but it's the DNCC isn't that story enough for now? I could see if you were equal with your negative coverage but this is so one sided. That's how I can't understand why people say Obama receives such great coverage from the likes of you guys. Sure you dwell on every thing he says or does, but you do it in such a way as though you wait in want for him to fall. I might as well watch Fox News!!

    August 24, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  22. Raisy

    Now CNN reports its own polls and says that Barack Obama is tied with McCain. Todays they argees this is because of Hillary supporters; wow is no the first time that CNN says is adding that ingredient again and again.

    Lets be impartial. We are waiting for seroius polls!

    August 24, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  23. Alonso

    By not chosing Mrs. Clinton Obaba will lost presidential election.

    August 24, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  24. Alan NYC

    Obama's doing this text message thing is ridiculous – just another technique to get some buzz around his campaign. Anyway, I just remember Biden is a well known plagiarist and he lied about his background. As for Obama, he's just an empty suit. No resume, no accomplishments, no original ideas, no understanding about the economy or the world. He is dazzling everyone with his suits and smile and Americans are once again buying this garbage. This is what our nation of 303,824,646 people can come up with?

    August 24, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  25. bellabella


    August 24, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
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