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Gallup Daily: Obama at 45%, McCain at 44%

Gallup Daily: Obama at 45%, McCain at 44%

Race remains close

PRINCETON, NJ -- Barack Obama has 45% of the support of registered voters and John McCain 44% in Gallup Poll Daily tracking for Aug. 16-18, as vice presidential announcements and the two conventions loom in the near future.

The current status of the presidential race in many ways represents the "calm before the storm", as the two candidates gear up for one of the most intensive two weeks of campaigning in recent memory. The Democrats will begin with Obama's pending announcement of his vice presidential candidate, followed by the Democratic convention beginning next Monday in Denver. Then, in short order, the Republican John McCain will announce his vice presidential candidate and the GOP convention will get underway in St. Paul, Minn., on Sept. 1.

At the moment, the race has tightened slightly, with Obama holding on to slim one percentage point margin over McCain. Based on past history, Obama should expect a bounce from his vice presidential announcement this week and the convention next week. McCain, of course, should also expect a counter bounce thereafter, settings expectations for what may turn out to be some significant ups and downs in candidate support in the weeks to come. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.) -- 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 general-election results are based on combined data from Aug. 16-18, 2008. For results based on this sample of 2,648 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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