PRINCETON, NJ -- The impact of Tuesday's primary and caucus elections on national Democratic preferences for the nomination seems to be a swing toward Barack Obama, although it is not enough to make him the party's front-runner.
According to Gallup Poll Daily tracking interviews conducted Feb. 5-7, Hillary Clinton now leads Obama by seven percentage points among national Democratic voters (including Democratic-leaning independents), 49% to 42%. This is down from her 11-point lead in Feb. 4-6 tracking (51% vs. 40%), and from her 13-point lead in Feb. 3-5 tracking. The Feb.5-7 three-day average includes two days of interviewing conducted after Super Tuesday. An analysis of day-by-day percentages shows that Clinton maintained a modest lead among national Democratic voters on Wednesday and Thursday.
Current national Democratic preferences for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination are similar to where they stood at the end of January and into the first few days of February.
With Mitt Romney now out of the Republican race for president, support for John McCain has increased. Support is also up for some of the remaining Republican contenders, but -- importantly -- not for Mike Huckabee.
According to interviews conducted Feb. 5-7 -- with Romney included in the ballot on Feb. 5-6 but removed on Feb. 7 -- McCain now leads with 46% of the Republican vote (including Republican-leaning independents). Romney's average support is 18%, which includes Feb. 7 interviewing when he was removed from the ballot, and therefore received no support. By Sunday's Gallup Poll Daily tracking report, Romney's support in the three-day rolling average will be at zero.
Support for Huckabee remains about where it was in yesterday's report. (Huckabee receives the same level of support in interviews conducted Feb. 7 as he did Feb. 5-6. He had received higher support on Feb. 4, but those interviews have now dropped out of the rolling average.)
With no substantial movement toward Huckabee following Romney's departure, McCain's position as the clear front-runner appears preserved.
Support for long shots Ron Paul and Alan Keyes has increased slightly. -- Lydia Saad
Methodology: Gallup is interviewing 1,000 U.S. adults nationwide each day during 2008. The results reported here are based on combined data from Feb. 5-7, 2008, including interviews with 1,022 Republican and Republican-leaning voters, and 1,215 Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters.
For results based on these samples, 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.