November 2nd, 2008
11:20 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama seven points ahead in CNN's final poll

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/02/art.obama.gi.jpg caption="Obama has a lead in CNN's final poll."]

(CNN) - Two and seven: With two days left until election day, a new national poll suggests that Barack Obama holds a seven-point lead over John McCain in the race for the White House.

In the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released Sunday morning, 53 percent of likely voters say they are backing Obama, a Democratic senator from Illinois, for president, while 46 percent support McCain, a Republican senator from Arizona.

Over the last month, Obama's lead has remained quite steady, ranging from five to nine points in the CNN Poll of Polls, which is an average of the national surveys.

But CNN Polling Director Keating Holland cautions against assuming the election is over.

"Keep in mind that this is not a prediction of the final outcome," Holland said. "That's not an easy task with two full days of campaigning to go in a country in which roughly one in ten voters tend to make up their minds in the last few days."

There are three major third-party candidates that are on the ballot in some states across the nation.

They are Independent Ralph Nader, Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, and Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney.

When they are factored into the poll, Obama's lead increases by one percentage point, to eight points - 51 percent to 43 percent, with Nader, Barr and McKinney combining for four points.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Thursday through Saturday, with 1,017 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The surveys' sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Obama also holds a commanding lead in CNN's Electoral Map.

CNN estimates that if the election were held today, Obama would win states worth 291 electoral votes - more than enough to capture the White House.

McCain would take states worth 157 electoral votes, while states worth a combined total of 90 electoral votes would still be up for grabs. A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win.

CNN's new poll suggests that a majority of Americans have a favorable view of both presidential candidates, with 61 percent giving a thumbs up for Obama and 56 percent for McCain.

But the same is not true of their running mates, Democratic Sen. Joe Biden and Republican Gov. Sarah Palin.

"Six in ten have a favorable view of Joe Biden, but the public is split right down the middle on Sarah Palin. And Palin's unfavorables have been growing - eight points higher than early October and more than twice as high as they were when she was first introduced to the public in late August,"
Holland said.

Sixty-four percent of those polled say life will be better for most Americans four years from now if Obama is elected, with 53 percent saying life would be better if McCain wins the White House.

"Americans... think an Obama presidency would be better for themselves and their families - six in ten say they are likely to be personally better off in 2012 if Obama is elected; just over half feel that way about a McCain victory," Holland said, adding: "An Obama presidency would face some great
expectations. Most Americans think it's likely that Obama will improve the economy, end the war in Iraq, increase respect for the U.S. in other countries, and reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil if elected."

That difference in public perception on Iraq is striking. Sixty-seven percent say it's likely the U.S will not be at war in Iraq in four years if Obama is elected, with just 47 percent saying the war will be over if McCain wins.

"This is the issue on which people see the clearest difference between the two presidential candidates," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.

McCain's insistence that Obama will raise taxes appears not to be convincing voters: 47 percent of Americans in our poll say their taxes would be lower four years from now under Obama, with just 36 percent saying that McCain would lower their taxes if he is elected.

McCain has one advantage in the poll : 62 percent say it's likely that the country will be safe from terrorism in 2012 with McCain in the White House; the public is evenly divided over whether the U.S. would be safe from terrorism under an Obama administration.

So how does this election compare to the last presidential election?

Four years ago, CNN's last poll before the election suggested George W. Bush was two points ahead of Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee. President Bush ended up winning the popular vote by three points.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Did the old fool think a shot on SNL would changer voters' minds? He's still a Bush stooge, and his selection of Boob Palin was a disaster.

    OBAMA '08

    November 2, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Reason

    If McCain wins, America is a racist country and there is no hope for the US. The economy is in a horrible hole. Don't fall for the republican hype people!!! That's what they do. They lie lie lie lie. Don't fall for it again. We voted for Bush twice already and look at where it got us. Don't fall for the republicans again people. PLEASE. Your kids will thank you.

    November 2, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. Jeff

    Could you consider for at least one moment placing the undecided voters in your articles?

    November 2, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. UNITY, not division.

    Hey folks,

    Let's leave any doubts about Obama because of the color of his skin behind. Let's support him if only because he represents change from policies and ideas that have been proven to not work for most Americans. Vote for Obama/Biden!!

    November 2, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. TL

    O-BAM-A! O-BAM-A! O-BAM-A! 🙂

    November 2, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. maynard hopkins wi

    Dont believe it This is a C.N.N .Poll They have been trying to pick your next president who doesn,t know squat

    November 2, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  7. Tim

    I'm amazed that Obama is going to win. I think America has lost its mind. Do we hate George Bush so much that we're willing to drive off a cliff? God help us.

    November 2, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. Tony

    GO OBAMA / BIDEN!

    November 2, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. Jose Geromino

    No surprise here, as long as Obama stays focused on issues that matter, health care, jobs, housing crisis...he will win.

    November 2, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. Don

    OBAMA LEADING IN THE POLL MEANS NOTHING ..
    HE IS THE BUZZ AND EVERYBODY WOULD CLAIM HIM FOR THE BUZZ.....

    HE IS SO UNAWARE OF ALL EVENT IN HIS LIFE SUCH AS HIS DARLING ANTIE, AND DEAR REV.W RIGHT AND MORE RADICAL DANGEROUS FRIENDS' ACTIONS THAT IT REALLY IS RISKY TO HAVE SUCH AN UNAWARE PRESIDENT.
    WHAT ELSE HE DOESN'T KNOW, OR WILL CHOSE NOT TO KNOW???
    IS HE AWARE THAT FIDEL CASTRO IS A DICTATOR? OR PERHAPS JUST A LEADER IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF OUR COUNTRY?

    November 2, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. edd

    While it's not over til it's over, I look forward to saying President Obama.

    November 2, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. john F

    FOX News take note:

    CNN Poll: Obama up by 7 points!

    Zogby Poll: Obama up by 6 points and not 1 point.

    And please see wider margins in CBS and Washington post.

    To claim that the polls are tight or tightening is false! Obama is way ahead in both the natioanl and electoral map polls.

    November 2, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. susanne

    OBAMA-BIDEN 2008 /2012

    November 2, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. katiec

    Voters. We must be diligent in continuing to support
    Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
    With so much dirty politicking going on by the republicans
    and their now trying to suppress votes, we have to make
    them realize we have had ENOUGH!!
    We most certainly do not want or need people of their
    caliber leading our country.
    Obama/Biden are our survival.

    November 2, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. Corey, Maryland

    Obama Biden 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 2, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. Barack

    All we need to do is vote! Every single person needs to vote.

    November 2, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. Indiana Joe

    People this is not over... keep voting and vote early if you can! Say NO to BUSH 3rd TERM. We're almost there guys! Vote for real CHANGE, JUDGMENT AND EXPERIENCE! VOTE OBAMA / BIDEN '08..!

    November 2, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. Vic

    Go Vote For A New Direction America!

    Registered Republican "voted" Obama/Biden 08

    November 2, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. Will the Real Maverick Please Stand Up?

    Oooooooooooooooooooooobamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!

    VOTE!!

    Veterans for Obama!!!!

    One Vote.

    One Team.

    One Nation.

    Obama/Biden '08

    November 2, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  20. shay

    I am so excited and nervous at the same time.

    Go Obama Go

    People need to listen to Palin prank call and you be the judge.

    Socialist country, yes

    November 2, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  21. Michael watching from Canada

    Is success driven by division or unity?

    The greatest chance for success is when a country is unified.

    Please vote for the candidate that will be best for (1) unifying the US as well as for (2) unifying the US with the rest of the world.

    Please vote for Obama.

    November 2, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. Josh Syrop

    Let's hope it holds

    November 2, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  23. NE for BO

    Thank GOD. Its the last poll. GO VOTE!!!

    November 2, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Hey

    No wonder some states become into play as well as Boston, MA since Obama is bringing in Kenyans by the boat load. Here we have Zeituni Onyango in Boston and I image she is grabbing a ballot. Guess who Zeituni will vote for?

    I wonder how many more from Kenya are being imported into our great country, stealing jobs from hard working Americans? Are they going to the voting booth. Is this the change we want?

    November 2, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. A.J.

    LET'S DO IT, AMERICA!!!!!

    Cast your vote for the change that America needs so much!

    BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT,

    WITH A MANDATE FROM AMERICA!

    Electoral College....335!

    November 2, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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