PRINCETON, NJ -- The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking report shows Barack Obama continuing to lead John McCain, now by seven percentage points among registered voters, 50% to 43%.
These results, based on Oct. 12-14 polling, represent a slightly better showing for McCain than has been the case in recent weeks. His 43% share of the vote matches his high over the past two weeks -- roughly covering the month of October to date -- due, in part, to a stronger showing in Tuesday night's polling. Obama's 50% support level matches his average for October to date.
Obama has held a statistically significant lead, as large as 11 points at times, over McCain among registered voters since just before the first presidential debate in late September. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)
The candidates will engage in the final presidential debate of the campaign season tonight at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.
Likely Voter Estimates
Gallup is presenting two likely voter estimates to see how preferences might vary under different turnout scenarios. The "expanded" model determines likely voters based only on their current voting intention. This estimate would take into account higher turnout among groups of voters traditionally less likely to vote, but who may be inspired to vote this year. That model has generally produced results that closely match the registered voter figures as is the case today, showing Obama up by eight points, 52% to 44%.
The "traditional" likely voter model, which Gallup has employed for past elections, factors in prior voting behavior as well as current voting intention. This has generally shown a closer contest, though with Obama still ahead. Today's results show Obama with a three-point advantage over McCain using this likely voter model, 49% to 46%. That is slightly closer than the average five-point advantage for Obama among traditional likely voters since Gallup began measuring them last week. -- Jeff Jones
(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. 12-14, 2008. For results based on this sample of 2,785 registered voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.
For results based on the sample of 2,160 "traditional" 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 the sample of 2,319 more broadly defined 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.