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. Barb

    I think the cell phone kids are going to give a real suprize in this election as no one is polling them.

    September 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. tuff Col. Oh

    the only poll that matters is in nov, besides there are more demc, than repubs, and most indepandebts will not for mcsame

    September 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. Get Real

    I guess the media has to keep this going to get ratings, since they can't interveiw Palin to get the ratings.

    i work from home and I have never been polled!

    September 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. Joyce

    Palin is so backwards that the modern women will not continue to exist. Hillary she ain't!

    September 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. Patrick Henry, Fort Myers

    We the people....have lost the capability to conduct objective discourse.

    A nation divided....will not stand.

    Politicians and political parties are only our own instruments. WE the people....should expect more from them and ourselves.

    September 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. Roberto

    The race is dead even- turnout and the debates will determine who will win. My prediction: Obama-Biden 52%, McCain-Palin 48%.

    September 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. Patriot

    It is clear that McCain is now the "inevitable" winner of the general election.

    Just like last year when everyone said Hillary Clinton was the "inevitable nominee."

    Wink, wink

    September 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. McCain + Sarah = empty suits

    Why are Americans so idotic.
    Get ready for world war III when McCain is elected President.How gullible are

    September 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. shauna

    These CNN polls taken on the weekend are bogus. People who go out on the weekends are the ones who will vote for Obama.

    September 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. Selected not elected

    Well... he travelled pretty far on just rhetoric, race-baiting, and dirty politics.

    No other candidate this unqualified and inexperienced would have made it this far. The celebrity bandwagon did all the work for him.

    He strategized and used a tactic that many despised- inspire hatred and vitriol in your supporters and unleash their vile, vulgar, name-calling insults against the BETTER candidate. Divide the party, while pretending to be a uniter.

    Eliminate HRC at all costs and by any means- cheating at caucus, throwing away the Fl and Mi votes, derision and misogyny- and then coast to the presidency on race and party affiliation.

    September 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Michael

    If Obama had picked Hillary, or if the DNC had picked Hillary, the party would not be in this mess.
    The DNC thought Obama would be the novel candidate, but the Republicans had the foresight to select someone that is easier to embrace. Come hell or high water, the DNC, for whatever reason, perhaps to make Bobby Kennedy's prophesy come true, wanted Obama. Now they must live with their decision.

    September 8, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. Brian

    How about in the important states? Obama is cruising to a huge win in IA, MN, OH, MI, WI, NM, MT, CO, NV and PA.

    September 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Louis

    PLEASE REMEMBER: The ONLY statistics that count are the electoral college numbers. This is how the we decide who gets elected president–each state is "winner take all" and the first candidate to 270 is our President. Go to or many other websites for estimates of these numbers. Currently, Obama has a definite lead in potential electoral college votes.

    September 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. Lopas

    CNN polls are not accurate. Any way, who wants to know about a poll every day?

    September 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  15. Ken in Dallas

    The McCain campaign's counting on the american people to be bad at math, because you have to work with the numbers a little bit to see how bogus their positions are.

    Unfortunately for us, McCain's making a pretty good bet. Count the Americans dumb enough to play lotteries as Republican voters, and be afraid for our future.

    September 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. Bebee

    I can't believe after the last 8 years people really think a republican president is the best solution for the country right now. But hey, the US doesn't always get the best president but we always get the one we deserve. Hilarious!

    September 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. david

    Also, again we must reiterate that those people who only have a mobile phone as their main phone are not included in this poll.

    That is a majority of African Americans and young voters under the age of 30.

    The "poll of polls" doesn't hold as much clout when it's not even reaching the majority of one parties base.

    September 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. Guy

    I guess Obama needs to throw out trash as the republicans do. He needs to fight dirty and not try to hold the higher ground. Americans are stupid and trash works with them.

    September 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    September 8th, 2008 11:14 am ET

    John Ridley's entry on the Huffington Post is a gem:

    Up in the Twin Cities area folks are speaking a new language. Or, should I
    say Palinguage. It sounds sorta familiar because it's Latin based. But
    different from the plain English we're used to speaking, in Palinguage
    recognizable words take on new meanings. Won't you take a moment to learn
    some Plainguage so you can talk like a hypocritical conservative?


    If you're a minority and you're selected for a job over more qualified
    candidates you're a "token hire." If you're a conservative and you're
    selected for a job over more qualified candidates you're a "game changer."

    If you live in an Urban area and you get a girl pregnant you're a "baby
    daddy." If you're the same in Alaska you're a "teen father." (Actually,
    according to your own MySpace page you're an F'n redneck that don't want any
    kids, but that's too long a phrase for the evil liberal media to take out of
    context and flog morning noon and night).

    Black teen pregnancies? A "crisis" in black America. White teen pregnancies?
    A "blessed event."

    If you grow up in Hawaii you're "exotic." Grow up in Alaska eating
    mooseburgers, you're the quintessential "American story." Similarly, if you
    name you kid Barack you're "unpatriotic." Name your kid Track, you're

    If you're a Democrat and you make a VP pick without fully vetting the
    individual you're "reckless." A Republican who doesn't fully vet is a

    If you say that for the "first time in my adult lifetime I'm really proud of
    my country" it makes you "unfit" to be First Lady. If you are a registered
    member of a fringe political group that advocates secession that makes you
    "First Dude."

    A DUI from twenty years ago is "old news." A speech given without proper
    citation from twenty years ago is "relevant information."

    And, finally, if you're a man and you decide to run for office despite your
    wife's recurrence of cancer you're a "questionable spouse." If you're a
    woman and you decide to run for office despite having five kids including a
    newborn… Well, we don't know what that is 'cause THAT'S NOT A FAIR

    They also forgot one we discussed yesterday:

    If you're a White Republican and went from rags to riches and got into all
    Ivy League schools, you're a "brilliant," "driven," "over-achiever" and
    "living the American Dream." If your're a Black Democrat who did the same
    thing, you're an "uppity" "elitist" and clearly an "affirmative action

    September 8, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. susan

    How tiresome!
    Another poll of 1,000 Americans out of 300 million.
    This is hot news?
    Two weeks ago, the hot news was that they were dead even before the Democratic Convention, Obama got a bump afterwards and now McCain gets a bump after his.
    It all means nothing.
    November 4th is the day when polls count.

    September 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. Frank Omar

    You headline of a "dead even" race is a bit misleading. MCCain is up 10 points today in the USA/Gallop pole. Effectively an 18 point swing considering Obama was up 8 points just last week.

    Please consider reporting the entire story.

    September 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. Bernie Moore-Knowles

    Trust me, the Palin nomination not only has become a rallying call for the Right Wing – it has angered and rallied the Left.

    Down with the McCain/Palin Idiot Ticket.

    Bernie Moore-Knowles
    Papa'aloa, Hawai'i

    September 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. Kara

    Any ole woman will do.....Hopefully Palin will be to answer the midnight call. God help us all. GO HOCKEY MOM!

    September 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. Cindy

    Women are not stupid... They will vote for the campaign whose issues thjey agree with not just because one of the campaigns decided to select a skirt for a VP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Woman for Obama!

    September 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Ian Minneapolis, MN

    Question....has anyone here been polled? just wondering, becuase I haven't met one person that has been polled.

    September 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9