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Gallup Daily: Obama Opens Up 51% to 42% Lead

General election matchups remain close

PRINCETON, NJ -- Barack Obama has reopened a significant lead over Hillary Clinton among national Democrats and now leads by a 51% to 42% margin, according to Gallup Poll Daily tracking from May 14-16.

Obama's current nine percentage point lead is based on a strong showing for the Illinois senator in Gallup's Friday night interviewing. For the past few days, news coverage of Election 2008 has been dominated by the back and forth between Obama and the presumptive Republican nominee John McCain regarding various comments and positions on dealing with Iran and Hamas in the Middle East, and attempts by Obama to underscore the link between McCain and President Bush.

Also implicit in this news coverage has been the assumption that Obama will be the Democratic nominee, with much less news coverage of Clinton -- despite the fact that she continues to campaign against Obama as Tuesday's primary voting in Kentucky and Oregon approaches. Some news accounts suggest that Obama may "declare victory" after the voting next Tuesday.

Both Obama's strong attacks on McCain and the Bush administration and the fact that Clinton has in some ways been shoved aside in news coverage of the campaign may have contributed to Obama's strong performance among Democrats in Gallup Poll Daily tracking on Friday night. (To view the complete trend since Jan. 2, 2008, click here.)

Meanwhile, the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking data on the national election, from May 12-16, finds McCain remaining slightly ahead of Obama, 47% to 44%, among registered voters, while Clinton -- despite the widespread assumption that she will not be the Democratic nominee -- is doing better than Obama against McCain, with a slight 2-point advantage over the Arizona senator, 47% to 45%. -- Frank Newport

Survey Methods

For the Gallup Poll Daily tracking survey, Gallup is interviewing no fewer than 1,000 U.S. adults nationwide each day during 2008.

The Democratic nomination results are based on combined data from May 14-16, 2008. For results based on this sample of 1,237 Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

The general election results are based on combined data from May 12-16, 2008. For results based on this sample of 4,385 registered voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 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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