September 8th, 2008
12:35 PM ET
15 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)
  1. Proud to be American

    McSame got a push from the RNC..... no big deal as long as Obama is still ahead .... nothing worth having comes easy..... we will fight the fight for America until Obama and Biden are in the white house..,. then.... the true fight begins .... to turn the Bush Cheney mess around for sake of America and the world

    September 8, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. McCain+Palin = Bush+Cheney

    If these polls actually included cell phone users, they may carry a little weight.

    September 8, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Spencer from VA

    Polls aren't accurate. Wait until after the debates are over and that's when you'll see a significant shift in the polls.

    September 8, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. the real Abby

    'Leaders need to be chosen from the most talented among us, not from the bottom of the barrel. And we shouldn't be afraid to say so.

    What kind of misplaced chivalry would keep the Democrats from calling Sarah Palin what she is? An ignorant, misinformed, inexperienced, bigoted fraud. And unless we find a way to do it, she will be running the country before we have time to turn around.'-Naomi Foner Huffpo blogger

    September 8, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |


    September 8, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  6. Tom in Delaware

    Two Words: Bradley Effect

    September 8, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. Dee Dee Lynn

    Which just shows that the USA Today Gallup poll that came out yesterday is a fantasy. No presidential candidate has won by a 10 point margin in living memory. I also wonder who was sitting at home by the telephone without caller ID during the weekend (when the poll was conducted). My grandmother was, but no one else I know. I know the Republicans are jumping up and down about it, but the results of that poll are as big a fantasy as the idea the McCain and Palin are maverick reformers. John McCain has lectured his party for years, but has never done anything to change it. And post 2004, he decided that if he couldn't beat them, he would join them. As for Palin, well it is already established that her "record of taking on special interests" is nothing but a narrative generated by Karl Rove.

    September 8, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. Debby

    Well of course CNN's poll isn't going to show a bounce for McCain thats obvious from being a left news organization, but I'll take the word on the other polls that do.

    September 8, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. Deborah

    I love the way the Left Wing Dem's are running scared!

    McCain and Palin are the "Real Deal"!

    They don't have to Lie or pretend they are moderate conservatives
    Because they are!

    I can't wait to watch ABC interview Sarah later this week!

    McCain/Palin-08-with a Landslide Victory!

    September 8, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. DWC


    GO GET PALIN!!!!!!



    September 8, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  11. eli

    I guess fellow citizens hasn't learnt anytin from the Bush admin...

    maybe you are stupid people. McCain had so figured you out it is scary!!!

    September 8, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. RJ, CA

    For the very first time in a very long time I am NOT afraid for my country — with McCain and Palin at the helm !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And I love PIT BULL women like Sarah Palin, with or without lipstick — we get things done — always have, always will!

    And I LOVE men who love us — REAL men!

    September 8, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. Former republican white man from california for Obama

    That is great if it is true that means will be a easy win for Obama as the 30 and under age group is not even polled in these things because they all use cell phones and not home phones. This radical right extremist trying to force there religious views on everyone else has got to come to an end

    September 8, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Cathy

    It dosen't matter what the polls show. We have to make sure that our candiate win on Novermber 4th. I feel that the Republicans poll are up only because of the female Palin. If John McCain keep her tight to his chest for another week then Palin will not be successful and start writing her own speeches. The public know that Palin don't know anything about what she is reading. The Republican can play dirty politics but it is up to the American People to realize that and stop being fool by this Repulbican new wave. If John McCain was a true Maverick as he and Sarah proclaim then they would be blowing up the airwaves and TV promoting their Marverick style. Now let's be for real, there is no Maverick but Bushmadrisk.

    September 8, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Mike

    After the Repub convention, I an satisfied with my vote for McCain. I really like the pitbull, I mean, Palin.

    September 8, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. Howdy

    Yes, true Hillary supporters will stay with Obama. And of course, white men will stick with McCain, oggling over Sarah Palin on stage. How pathetic! Come on media, dig into Sarah Palin's true record and see what you find. She is not the perfect politician everyone seems to think she is. And why is the McCain camp shielding her for so long? Because they know she is not ready to be VP. It was truly an act to get the women's vote. How insulting to all the women voters in this country!

    September 8, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. Raleigh

    What are the data from the electoral maps showing? That is the question?

    September 8, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. the real Abby

    Despite being discredited over and over again by numerous news organizations, the McCain campaign continues to repeat the lie that Sarah Palin stopped the Bridge to Nowhere. – team obama

    September 8, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. Tony

    It's even in large part because the McCain campaign will NOT let Palin be interviewed so that anyone can find out anything about her other than what they put out.

    Smart, but hypocritical and unethical. Typical republicans.

    September 8, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. Cherokee

    I am seeing more about Republicans than Democrates on TV these days. Viewers would like to see a balance. Let's hear about Joe Biden also.

    September 8, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Lewis King

    Dems in '08. Fired up and ready to go!


    September 8, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. marc from Indiana

    Oh boy, a CNN poll. Now there is an unbiased poll for you. NOT. Let's talk about what exactly is a community organizer in Chicago politics. Oh I know, he makes sure that all of the grave yards are represented and all of the votes are bought and paid for.

    September 8, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. Rob

    So if this Poll is correct. half of america thinks that the economy is fine and does not mind going to war for nothing? Really?

    September 8, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. Decided voter

    The media really needs to report on the secretaries of state in each battleground state and which campaign those people are working for.
    That's what REALLY determined 2000 (Harris, FL) and
    2004 (Blackwell, Ohio)
    These phone polls are really a waste of time and ink at this point.

    September 8, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  25. Sue

    Thanks to the GOP skill for instilling fear, McCain should have a pretty good lead built up soon. If Obama doesn't do something fast, this race will be over and McCain will win.

    September 8, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
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