September 8th, 2008
12:35 PM ET
14 years ago

CNN Poll: Race dead even

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain and Obama are dead even in a new CNN poll."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll taken entirely after the end of the Republican convention suggests the race for the White House between John McCain and Barack Obama is dead even.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll out Monday afternoon has McCain and Obama tied at 48 percent each among registered voters questioned. Three percent of voters are undecided in the survey, which was conducted Friday through Sunday.

Read full poll results [PDF]

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll is one of three new surveys taken mostly over the weekend. The other two are a Gallup Tracking Poll and a Diageo/Hotline survey. When all three are averaged together for a new CNN Poll of Polls, the results have McCain up one point, 47 percent to 46 percent. That’s the first time in the CNN Poll of Polls that McCain has an advantage over Obama.

Watch: McCain, Obama deadlocked

The battle for the presidency also includes some minor party candidates, including Independent Ralph Nader, Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr, and Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney — but the poll suggests they don’t have any impact on the shape of the race.

When they are added to the equation, the race between McCain and Obama remains tied, at 45 percent each, with Nader and Barr at 3 percent each and McKinney at 1 percent.

Has the Republican convention and the naming of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate given McCain a bounce in the polls?

“Other polls are showing ‘convention bounces’ for McCain, but ours does not,’ says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “The reason is probably due to the fact that the CNN poll has had a very low number of respondents who say they are undecided for several months. Bounces tend to occur when undecided voters switch to a candidate, but with so few truly undecided voters in our polls, there was little room for a bounce for Obama or McCain.”

Holland also points out that despite a concerted outreach by the McCain-Palin team to former women supporters of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, women nationwide seem to be sticking with Obama – 52 percent of women are planning to vote Democratic, while 51 percent of men are in the GOP column.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was based on 1,022 telephone interviews. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (222 Responses)


    September 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. Kerry in VA

    I have heard both Obama & McCain speak. I received more out of Obama's speech than McCain. All I heard from McCain is the same old thing that Bush is doing. As for picking Palin I though this was a tactic used to fool America again. If McCain should die while in office, I do not beleive that Sarah Palin can handle the job. I am not sold on her. There are some disturbing things that are going on and I do not trust her. So far she is in the flip flop category. If the polls are tied, people are trying to get all the information they can get before making one of the most important decisions that we Americans have faced in a long time. There are questions when it comes to both of these tickets, but I am leaning towards the Obama/Biden ticket. The Replublicans have done enough damage to this country and I don't think I can afford 4 more years of the same. McCain and Palin have to do more and I mean more to convince to vote the other way.

    September 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. FactCheck

    All you folks voting for McCain/Palin, please don't come begging to us well-off folks for a hand out when you have lost your homes, your jobs and your healthcare. As a McCain supporter once said, your recession is mental and you need to stop being a nation of whiners.

    September 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Marianne

    So surprising that the race seems dead even. I am as convinced that John McCain will change Washington, as I was when Bill Clinton said he was always faithful...!

    September 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. Chris

    As we all know this poll means nothing! The polls that can provide some insight on the race is the state by state polling data, which you guys continue to ignore. Csn you honestly say that polling 1,022 represent the view of over 300+ million. I think its really silly you and other news organizations keep putting up these polls.

    September 8, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Ric Z. California

    Imagine that. The press attempts to smear McCain/Palin and the public becomes outraged over the obvious bias and unfair efforts by the likes of CNN and others to persuade public opinion. I guess you guys are so full of yourselves you didn't see it coming.

    September 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Steve in CA

    This would mean something if the President was elected by popular vote. However, since the President is elected via the electoral college, polls such as this have almost no relevance to anyone other than major news organizations who want to make the race appear to be close in an effort to maximize their ratings. Obama has been far ahead in the electoral map from the time that such statistics have been kept. In fact, the electoral map suggests that Obama is poised to compete and/or win in many states that Bush carried in 2000 and 2004 by double digits. The decision-makers at CNN should be called out for focusing on these kinds of misleading polls and not focusing on the only real numbers that matter: electoral map.

    September 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Brian

    I'm voting for the McCain/Palin ticket. It's just the right thing to do.

    September 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. Gary Sieburg

    CNN is still in denial, as usual. Can not say anythng to alienate its liberal audience. Factual headline would be: Mc Cain now leads! But the facts have never stopped CNN before.

    September 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. Joshua

    So I have a question. Who are they polling? I think this whole poll of polls nonsense is, well, ridiculous. The only poll of polls takes place in November. I have yet to be polled by CNN, and the same goes for everyone I know. I wish the media would just report the truth. Its like if you have a bag of marbles. One hundred are white and nine hundred are blue. If you pick one hundred and seventy five of them are white and the other twenty five are blue is that an accurate "poll" of the contents of the bag? No. Simply. No. Why anyone would even care about a CNN poll baffles me.

    September 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. susan

    I will never believe again what cnn has to say. Your news coverage of the polital race is so slanted that I could just puke. If you people can slant the news on this issue, you slant it on other issues. Who do you people think you are? God.

    September 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. obama supporter

    I think Mc Cain and Palin need to go back to the washington rock they crawaled from under, during McCains speech he did not mention healthcare at all and he also voted against programs for the war vets and his mini-me protage' cut the funding for special needs children untill she ended up with a special needs child. her daughters pregnacy was not planned it was unplanned like all the other young pregnant mothers in this world and the father has probably been paid off by the palins not to tell the rest of the family dirt. McCain america dose not need your wifes exspensive slothing taste or your many mini mansion homes we need change for the american people we need american jobs we need health care and our country needs to feel secure OBAMA is the man for this job!!!!!!

    September 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. MeMe

    I am worried about the legacy that we are leaving our grandchildren. All of the slamming and name calling does not let us know what the qualifications or real issues are. Palin is a cute cheerleader and while I have a beautiful, talented, educated and smart daughter the same age as her, I would not want her running my country. Wake up American people and demand that our political leaders be accountable.

    September 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. matt

    So uhhhmm I guess all that talk from all the Barackistanis that it's all over was wrong. I know you folks can't admit it (after all your candidate doesn't admit when he's wrong either), but you shouldn't count your chickens before they hatch. The arrogance of some of you to give the White House away without the election being over is typical of the Barack Hussein Obama camp.

    September 8, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. go away mongers Ventura ca

    I can not believe that people of this country could even consider voting for the party that got us in this mess. The last eight years has proven what their "change" brings!

    September 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. Scott, West Chester, OH

    A great speech by McCain and the outstanding VP pick of Sarah Palin has made this a whole new ballgame. Obama's support is wide but thin.

    September 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. pat barrett

    I think the republicans have crossed the line by saying that Mr. Obama is "uppity". As you know this is a racial term that was used doing the 50 and 60 when they were lynching us and burinng crosses in our front yards. some have forgotten but you cannot forget where you came from. Sure we are a different time but some have not moved past the old mind set and it beginning to come out. There was only one black speaker in the republican convention, and he was used as a token and was to blind to see that he was only a token. Mr obam will not go there but I will. It needs to be said. this cannot be just glossed over and pushed under the rug. They would have you to believe that sexism is the buzz word and nothing is said to take your attention off what is really being said out loud in the face of every black person. I have heard said by members of the Jimmy Swaggart ministry that Barack is the worst person in the world, why because he is black and running for president, he only said it was the way he feels. Sure everyone has an opinon but when it becomes obvios that it is racial someone has to speak out. You research how this word was used then and you tell me. It has a different tone now from then.
    Outraged in Mississippi

    September 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. asportsdad

    Senator McCain demonstrated with the selection of Gov. Palin that he is willing to abandon his prior policy positions for those of the religious right in a attempt to win an election… so much for integrity.

    In the June video reported by CNN today, Gov. Palin said that the war in Iraq is “God’s task” for America and that its "his plan". Sen. McCain is apparently okay with this. The cost of the war is catastrophic in terms of human life lost (oh yes, she’s pro-life), damage to the environment (bombs, wreckage, pollution), and our economy (over $2 trillion added to the national debt and our currency devalued). I wonder what war Gov. Palin believes should be next in “God’s plan” for America… Iran? Russia?

    Should the Republican ticket win and Sen. McCain’s health fail, we will find ourselves with a President who believes that war is God’s task for America. Think about it!

    September 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. Robert Andrews

    Your poll is at odds with the other major polls coming out today (9/8). Worse, your "explanation" indicts your own methodology.
    Can you give a more rational explantion of the difference in your poll and Gallup? If it is inherently skewed, start over.

    I respectfully suggest that while your polls may have had fewer 'undecideds', that has not been the case–although that number will certainly decrease.

    September 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. Silence Dogood

    The DNC thought they could just coast in with a weak candidate. This election was in the bag until an Elite Preppy Attitude got involved.

    Check out your favorite "other" party website to see just how similar Obama and McCain are. Get educated on this!

    September 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. David

    Can someone tell me who answers their landline phones anymore?

    September 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. Jan

    Uh, how many registered Republicans, or god forbid, actual conservatives, were polled?

    When these polls actually make an attempt at fairness, I'll pay attention. Until then, they're all just playing air guitar.

    The only poll that matters is November 4. On that day, Obamabots will be saying, "Gee how could this happen? I don't know anyone personally who would vote for McCain."

    September 8, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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