PRINCETON, NJ -- Voter preferences in the presidential race continue to be generally auspicious for Barack Obama's election prospects only three weeks ahead of the eve of Election Day. Obama leads McCain by 10 percentage points, 51% to 41%, among all registered voters, according to Gallup Poll Daily tracking from Oct. 10-12.
The percentage of registered voters favoring Obama has been 50%, 51%, or 52% in each Gallup Poll Daily tracking report since Oct. 4. Support for McCain has been a steady 41% to 43% across the same time period. Thus, although the gap between the two candidates has varied from seven to 11 points in recent days, voter preferences have, in fact, been quite stable. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)
Among typical "likely voters" -- the subset of registered voters who appear most likely to vote on Election Day according to their current voting intentions and past voting behavior -- Obama's lead is a slightly narrower seven points, 51% to 44%. This assumes that about 60% of the voting age population will vote, slightly higher than the 55% who turned out in 2004.
Among a more broadly defined likely voter group that only takes into account current voting intentions -- not past voting behavior -- Obama's lead is the same 10 points as among all registered voters, 53% to 43%. This group represents approximately two-thirds of the general public, a significantly higher proportion than has turned out in any recent election. -- 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. 10-12, 2008. For results based on this sample of 2,783 registered voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.
For results based on this sample of 2,133 likely voters (based on the model taking into account current voting intention and past voting behavior), the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.
For results based on this sample of 2,284 likely voters (based on the model taking into account current voting intention only), 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.