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Gallup Daily: Obama Maintains Slight Edge Over Clinton

Democrats, McCain tie in general election matchups

PRINCETON, NJ -- The race for the Democratic nomination remains close, with Gallup Poll Daily tracking showing that 49% of Democratic voters nationwide prefer Barack Obama and 46% Hillary Clinton.

In recent weeks, Obama usually held a slight edge. However, he held a statistically significant lead in only a few of those releases. One of those instances was Friday's release, when Obama led Clinton 50% to 44%.

A major focus of Friday's media coverage of the campaign was controversial remarks on race made by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's pastor, which Obama repudiated. Clinton fared better in Friday night interviewing than in prior days. It is unclear if the Wright controversy is affecting Democratic preferences, or if the latest results are just a return to the more normal state of affairs -- a statistical dead heat between Clinton and Obama. Clinton dealt with a racial flare-up of her own in recent days over remarks made by fund-raiser Geraldine Ferraro, who resigned from her position in the Clinton campaign as a result.

The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update on registered voters' general election preferences for presidents finds an even race, regardless of which Democrat is matched with Republican John McCain, with Obama and McCain tied at 45% and Clinton and McCain tied at 46%.

Those results are based on interviews with registered voters nationwide conducted March 10-14. Since Gallup began tracking registered voters' general election preferences earlier this week, the races have been statistical dead heats each time, with precise ties between McCain and the two Democratic candidates each of the last two days. -- Jeff Jones

Methodology: Gallup is interviewing no fewer than 1,000 U.S. adults nationwide each day during 2008.

The general election results are based on combined data from March 10-14, 2008. For results based on this sample of 4,398 registered voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.

The Democratic nomination results are based on combined data from March 12-14, 2008. For results based on this sample of 1,201 Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

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