PRINCETON, NJ -- U.S. voters are closely divided in their 2008 presidential preferences, with 47% favoring Barack Obama and 44% backing John McCain.
Obama's three percentage point advantage over McCain in today's report, based on Gallup Poll Daily tracking from Sept. 20-22, is within the margin of error for the survey. Obama led the race by a slightly greater margin of four and six points in each of the previous five Gallup Poll Daily election updates (starting with last Thursday's report).
McCain achieved a five-point lead after the Republican National Convention earlier this month, and Obama's lead has, at times, stretched to eight or nine points. However, the current support levels for both candidates are about average for what each has received since early June, when Obama secured his party's nomination at the end of the Democratic primary season.
Obama has averaged 46.3% support from registered voters since June 6, similar to his current 47%. McCain has averaged 43.5% over the same period, similar to his current 44%. The three-point lead for Obama in today's report precisely matches the average positioning of the candidates across the entire post-primaries period to date. -- Lydia Saad
(To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)
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. 20-22, 2008. For results based on this sample of 2,740 registered voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones (for respondents with a landline 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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