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Gallup Daily: Election Remains a Statistical Dead Heat

Gallup Daily: Election Remains a Statistical Dead Heat

PRINCETON, NJ -- Barack Obama and John McCain remain nearly tied in Gallup Poll Daily tracking, with Obama favored by 46% of national registered voters and McCain by 44%.

Today's result, based on Aug. 20-22 interviewing, represents the last Gallup Poll Daily tracking update on the presidential race based on interviewing conducted entirely before Obama's selection of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate was announced early this morning.

The full immediate impact of that decision on voters will not be reflected in Gallup's continuous three-day rolling average results until Tuesday, however it will start to enter the data in Sunday's report. A recent analysis of the impact of past vice-presidential selections on voter preferences by Gallup Poll Managing Editor Jeff Jones, suggests a small but short-lived bounce can generally be expected.

Obama has not held a statistically significant lead over McCain in any Gallup Poll Daily tracking report since Aug. 13 -- or 10 reporting days. This is the longest stretch with Obama leading by no more than three percentage points since before Obama clinched the Democratic nomination in early June. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)

While Obama would clearly hope the publicity from the upcoming Democratic National Convention will help him break out of the present deadlock -- and historical poll trends show a five point bounce in support for a presidential candidate is typical after each nominating convention -- the fact that neither presidential candidate in the 2004 election received a significant convention bounce puts a question mark over the inevitability of that happening in 2008. -- Lydia Saad

Click here to see how the race currently breaks down by demographic subgroup.

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. 20-22, 2008. For results based on this sample of 2,665 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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