PRINCETON, NJ -- Voters' presidential preferences remain closely divided between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, with Obama maintaining a slight edge, 46% to 43% in June 21-23 Gallup Poll Daily tracking.
This is the fifth straight day that neither candidate has held a statistically significant lead, although Obama has consistently polled a slightly higher number, as he has since the start of June. On this long-term basis, it seems clear that Obama has a significant, albeit slight, advantage in the race.
The story behind the election numbers is that far more voters associate themselves with the Democratic Party than the Republican Party, most recently by a 14 percentage point margin, 50% to 36% (including independents who lean to either party). The remaining 14% consider themselves to be politically independent and express no partisan leaning. The Democrats have held an average 13-point lead over the Republicans on this measure of party affiliation since the start of Gallup Poll Daily tracking in January. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)
Given this, McCain is performing well in the national preference polling relative to the general political environment, in part due to his appeal to independents and conservative Democrats. -- Lydia Saad
For the Gallup Poll Daily tracking survey, 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 June 21-23, 2008. For results based on this sample of 2,587 registered voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell-phone only).
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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