PRINCETON, NJ -- The Sept. 14-16 Gallup Poll Daily tracking update shows Barack Obama regaining a slight, although not statistically significant, edge over John McCain, 47% to 45%, among registered voters, marking the first time since the week of the Republican National Convention that McCain has not held at least a one percentage point margin over Obama.
From a broad perspective, the race remains a statistical tie. But there has been a general drift towards Obama since McCain moved to a five-point lead over Obama through the weekend after the GOP convention.
Today's report includes two days of interviewing conducted after reports of the collapse of Wall Street financial institutions and changes in the stock market began to dominate the news on Monday. Gallup Poll Daily tracking data show that in each of these individual days (Monday and Tuesday) consumer ratings of the U.S. economy have become more negative. Similarly, in each of these individual days' interviewing, Obama has led McCain in election tracking. There is thus a correlation between the bad financial news and Obama's gains, although the data do not allow us to conclude definitively that there is a causal connection between the two. Throughout the campaign, Obama has generally held an edge over McCain when voters are asked who could best handle the U.S. economy, although McCain gained on the economic dimension in polling conducted immediately after the GOP convention. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)
It is also worth noting that Gallup tracking shows the percentage of Americans who report being happy without a lot of stress has now fallen to the lowest level measured this year. -- Frank Newport
(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 Sept. 14-16, 2008. For results based on this sample of 2,787 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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