PRINCETON, NJ -- Barack Obama has now cut the gap with Hillary Clinton to 6 percentage points among Democrats nationally in the Gallup Poll Daily tracking three-day average, and interviewing conducted Tuesday night shows the gap between the two candidates is within a few points. Obama's position has been strengthening on a day-by-day basis. As recently as Jan. 18-20, Clinton led Obama by 20 points. Today's Gallup Poll Daily tracking is based on interviews conducted Jan. 27-29, all after Obama's overwhelming victory in South Carolina on Saturday. Two out of the three nights interviewing were conducted after the high-visibility endorsement of Obama by Sen. Edward Kennedy and his niece Caroline Kennedy.
Clinton's lead in the three-day average is now 42% to Obama's 36%. John Edwards, who dropped out of the race Wednesday after Gallup conducted these interviews, ended his quest for the presidency with 12% support. Wednesday night's interviewing will reflect the distribution of the vote choice of former Edwards' supporters as well as the impact, if any, of Hillary Clinton's popular vote win in Florida on Tuesday.
These national numbers are a critically important indicator of the political environment when voters in more than 20 states go to the polls next Tuesday. At the moment, Obama has the momentum among Democrats nationally.
On the Republican side, the three-day average shows McCain with an 11-point lead over Mitt Romney, 32% to 21%. Rudy Giuliani, who will be dropping out of the race and possibly endorsing McCain, received 11%, well behind the third place Mike Huckabee. These GOP figures do not reflect the impact of McCain's victory in Florida on Tuesday night, and that, coupled with the departure of Giuliani, will have the potential to change the dynamics of the national pattern of Republican support significantly in interviewing Wednesday night. -- Frank Newport
Methodology: Gallup is interviewing 1,000 U.S. adults nationwide each day during 2008. The results reported here are based on combined data from Jan. 27-29, 2008, including interviews with 1,017 Republican and Republican-leaning voters and 1,271 Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters. For results based on these samples, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. 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.