PRINCETON, NJ -- Just one percentage point separates Barack Obama (45%) and John McCain (44%) in the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking survey or registered voters' presidential election preferences.
That slim Obama advantage matches the average gap between candidates over the past week, during which Obama has averaged 45% support and McCain 44%.
Obama had enjoyed a slightly larger three-point average margin over McCain from the time Obama clinched the Democratic nomination in early June through the Aug. 11-13 tracking results. Over this time period, Obama's mean level of support was 46% compared with 43% for McCain. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)
As a result, the candidates are poised to enter an unusually intense period of high-profile campaign events, with both candidates' vice presidential candidate announcements and both parties' national conventions taking place over the next two weeks. These events have brought shifts in voter preferences in the past when they occurred, but usually were separated by several days or weeks. It is unclear if their impact will be as great this year since they will occur in such a compressed window of time. -- Jeff Jones
Click here to see how the race currently breaks down by demographic subgroup.
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. 18-20, 2008. For results based on this sample of 2,680 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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