PRINCETON, NJ -- Gallup Poll Daily tracking from Oct. 8-10 finds Barack Obama holding a sizable lead over John McCain in national voter preferences, as he has continuously for the past six days. Today's report puts Obama ahead by nine percentage points, 51% to 42%.
An additional 1% of registered voters say they will vote for another specific candidate in the race, leaving just 6% who are totally undecided with 24 days left before the election.
Obama has led McCain by close to 10 points for each of the past six days, and by a statistically significant margin of at least four points for more than two weeks. It has been a full month since McCain held a significant lead over Obama, the last time being from Sept. 8-10 when he led with 48% of the vote, to Obama's 44%. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)
McCain and Obama will face off in the third and final presidential debate this coming Wednesday, Oct. 15, with the economy scheduled to be the major focus. Gallup's post-debate reaction polling after the first two debates found Obama the perceived winner in each case.
Among Americans who watched or heard the first debate, 46% thought Obama did the better job while 34% picked McCain. Obama won by an even bigger margin following the second town hall style debate in Nashville last week, with 56% of the viewing public saying he did the better job, versus only 23% naming McCain. -- Lydia Saad
(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 Oct. 8-10, 2008. For results based on this sample of 2,773 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 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.