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. mose

    Obama takes a big risk with little gain by picking Biden. Biden’s pick highlights Obama lack of foreign policy experience

    Agent of change – Washington insider?: Biden has been a U.S. Senator since the age 29. He has been in Washington 10 years longer than McSame.

    I predict that we will talk about whether Biden was the best pick for the next two weeks. I don’t think he should have picked Hillary but Biden’s pick is a complete mystery. I can’t image Biden as VP let alone as President. He doesn’t bring a new state or new voters.

    I’m very surprised by the VP pick. Biden’s own words make the best case against Obama as President. Biden has his own baggage. Biden barely registered during the Democratic primaries. His run was more like Jerry Brown’s run in 92 but much less successful.

    Biden is prone to gaffs. Even in his acceptance speech he talked about how hot his wife was before he talked about her Phd. It actually sounded chauvinistic. Plus, he was more of an advocate of the war than many of the other VP candidates.

    August 24, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  2. JoeBloe

    Of course the polls show a dead heat.

    When you ask leading questions, you get the result you wanted.

    I don't mind, it just makes sure that Democrats all get out to vote to make sure we don't get 4 more years of selling our country away.

    August 24, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  3. Jane T

    To mb-texas: what are you reading? CNN and all of the MSM have nothing but affection for Obama. They trash McCain at every turn. I am sick of it and sick of Obama adoration. Those idiots who vote for him will be crying in the watered down beer should he ever be elected. McCain is the stronger, more vetted, more experienced candidate. I don't care how many kitchen tables he has.

    August 24, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  4. Betty

    Hey Blitzer

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I'm 65 and loved Kennedy also – he was hope and change – like Barack Hussein Obama.

    Obama / Biden '08 ( get used to the funny name )

    Betty August 24th, 2008 8:38 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    A whining entitled woman caused this mess – quit blaming Obama

    Women have been set back 50 years by this entitlement by a clinton

    Betty August 24th, 2008 8:42 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Equal coverage next sunday? Bash McCain and tout RON PAUL

    You don't have gonads enough.

    August 24, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  5. Anne

    These polls mean nothing. They just put these out to make it seem like the race is close than it already is. That way, if the results are accidentally mis-tallied by the fancy voting machines (in FL, for instance, we get NO confirmation that our votes were received accurately – I just voted on our 'new' machines in our August primary) it won't raise as many eyebrows. The electoral college map has Obama winning...they just want us to believe it's close.

    August 24, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  6. I agree with the older woman who posted.

    I don't really give a crap what the youngsters in college think.

    They've never paid a mortgage, insurance, health care, nothing.

    So many think we're throwing it away by voting for someone other than Obama when really we're strong enough to stand up for something we believe in. It just goes to show you how powerful our votes are.

    What's interesting to me is a few years ago everyone loved Bill and Hillary Clinton AND John McCain. Now the hatred? Weird.

    August 24, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  7. ron bodin

    I I am college educated, earn over $75k a year and am an educator. A supporter of Hillary Clinton, I despise the Obama's handling of the senator and for the first time in my 57 years will vote republican in November. I am not voting for McCain: I am voting against Obama.

    August 24, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  8. RyanD.

    NEVER OBAMA said "if some smart person comes along and puts a hole in obama then we're stuck with Biden".

    How does this stuff make it past moderation? Check his IP address, sounds like a threat.

    August 24, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  9. Sean

    Most of these people claiming to be Democrats voting for McCain are full of it. They're closet Republicans starting trouble. Don't believe the hype.

    August 24, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  10. John Smith

    Be patient, I am, not done yet (Oh, I am close to 60 years old as of today– so listen to me):
    What I have learned, as an outsider, over the years:

    1. Republicans are MORE faithful to their party than Democrats

    2. Republicans are better at running campaigns, but terrible at running the nation; yet, Democrats can never figure this out!

    3. Republicans are smarter, probably with higher IQs than Democrats; just read their blogs

    4. Democrats are more emotional (celebs) than Republicans; just read their comments on the different blogs!

    5. Republicans are more "principled" in emitting their key messages (i.e., it is about the PARTY, not the leader even when he/she is dumb, senile etc) than Democrats.

    6. Democrats are Losers, Republicans are Winners!!!!

    August 24, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  11. McCain's Military Records Haven't Been Thoroughly Vetted

    How can you release a poll without releasing the numbers and age breakdowns of age? Were these landlines only? Very key statistics needed to appreciate the value of the polls.

    Also all polls should include the wording of questions asked.

    August 24, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  12. Tom

    Elect Mccain elected, He will make US a thirld worl country.

    August 24, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  13. cecil

    Relax CNN!

    August 24, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  14. Jason

    What a worthless news company... no wonder america trusts jon stewart more than you hacks, you republicans pretending to be democrats.

    August 24, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  15. pro-clinton

    will never vote for Obama...i am a clinton supporter for life and that will never change...

    August 24, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  16. judy doucette

    I don't think CNN spoiled anything regarding Obama's pick for VP.
    CNN is just keeping the public informed!

    August 24, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  17. Peter


    August 24, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  18. akadoug

    The sampling error for Hillary supporters is plus/minus 7.5...that's a huge gap. What CNN could you only find 8 Hillary supporters to poll??!!??!! This is an extremely misleading poll and does not come close the other polls (Gallup, Pew, WP) that suggest Obama has a 5-8 percent lead! A 4-6 percent jump from Biden joining the ticket!

    Leave it to CNN to try to stir up trouble when there's nothing to stir up!

    August 24, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  19. John

    CNN loves to report the negatives but the old Clinton hacks Carville and Begala love to stir it up. If Obama does not win then the blame will lie squarely with Bill, Hillary and these political hatchet men that can's stand another 8 years of being out of the lime light. Begala whining that Hillary never got fully vetted for VP when he knows that she never wanted to get vetted. The last thing she wanted was Obama's people poking around Bill's shaky foundation money. Its all smoke and mirrors. If Obama loses I'm out of the fractured party and will only vote 3rd party candidates for the rest of my life. I will never waste another vote on any Clinton. They are greedy and shelfish and cold heartless people. Never think they care about you, they only care about themselves.

    August 24, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  20. JIM...TX

    Who cares about HRC's supporters!!! They're a bunch of sore loser, whiney, bitter and obviously mentally challenged zealots who regardless of what concessions the party makes to Hillary will not vote for Obama in any way shape or form!! The Dem's need to give up kissing their butts for a vote an concentrate on beating the crap out of McCain. There's no way they'll join the movement so quit wasting the time.......

    August 24, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  21. Betty

    HA !!!!!! Blitzer couldn't even make it 20 minutes

    August 24th, 2008 8:23 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    If Blitzer says Hillary Clinton ONE MORE TIME, I'll never vote for her even for dog catcher in 2012

    Put a sock in it !!!!!!!

    August 24, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  22. cecil

    Nice Job CNN, Why Not Run A Poll Every 1/2 Hour.

    No How About Every Minute.

    August 24, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  23. brad

    Cnn is a Fair and balanced news organization, though i prefer to see fox news.. i am voting republican, even though i am democrat. i just dont see much coming from the democrats except alot of rhetoric, best thing about hillary is discussing actual plans, but obama, just keeps talking, nothing useful to say, nor can anything about actual plans be obtained from his speaches... i will be voting for mccain, vets and servicemen come 1st and formost, but parallel with the economy rising..

    McCain/Romney "08"

    August 24, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  24. Russell, NC

    How can Obama deliver his message on "Change" while dragging an old guy around with him?

    August 24, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  25. mike may

    I am a democrat who have voted for HILLARY CLINTON . I will not vote for OBAMA . I have never voted for a republican but in november I will cross over . It's not because we are democrat we should vote for OBAMA . I don't think BARRACK respect THE CLINTON . He lied in my face when He said HILLARY would be in anybody 's list . She got 18million of vote . BIDEN got 9,000 vote. We would be in fire knocking door to door for a DEMOCRATIC sweep. My part ,I will try to get people to the poll for JOHN McCAIN . It's pay back time .

    August 24, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
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