July 30, 2008
Poll shows Obama's trip didn't change race
Posted: 04:13 PM ET
Obama's trip abroad did little to alter the presidential race.
(CNN) — It was a weeklong trip that drew blanket media coverage and sharp criticism from Republicans, but Barack Obama's recent tour abroad did little to alter the standing of the presidential race, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows.
According to the survey — the first national poll conducted entirely after the Democratic presidential candidate's trip to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East, and Europe — the race for the White House has remained virtually unchanged since late June, with Obama holding a 51-44 percent edge over Sen. John McCain.
In a similar poll conducted one month ago, Obama held a 5-point lead over the senator from Arizona , 50-45 percent.
The CNN poll of polls, an average of several recent national surveys, tells the same story — a single-digit lead for Obama (48-45 percent) that keeps McCain within easy striking distance of his Democratic rival with less than 100 days before voters weigh in at the polls.
The new survey also suggests the trip — carefully designed to burnish Obama's foreign policy credentials — did little to alter voters' perceptions of how the Illinois senator would handle national security issues.
"Did Obama's trip help his standing with the public on foreign policy issues? Not really," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Obama has not picked up any ground against McCain on foreign issues and some 52 percent think McCain would do a better job than Obama on the war in Iraq — virtually the same number who felt that way in April."
The poll also shows the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has an edge on terrorism, Iran, Afghanistan and the Middle East — in fact, every foreign policy and national security issue addressed tilts toward McCain. (Terrorism, Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Iran, and Immigration.)
But in what is good news for Obama, the poll suggests few of the McCain campaign's criticisms of the trip have stuck — especially charges Obama was presumptuously acting as if he had already won the election, and claims he nixed a visit with injured troops because members of the media could not accompany him.
Instead, more than two-thirds of voters surveyed said the trip was appropriate for a presidential candidate, and 72 percent think Obama cares abut veterans and the troops currently in Iraq.