Politics

Gallup Daily: Clinton Holds Onto Lead Over Obama

McCain has slim advantage in general election preferences

PRINCETON, NJ -- The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking shows Hillary Clinton with a five percentage point lead over Barack Obama in national Democratic voters' nomination preferences, 48% to 43%.

This marks the second consecutive day of Gallup Poll Daily tracking showing Clinton with a statistically significant lead over Obama, something she had not accomplished since Feb. 7-9 polling. Clinton's recent momentum has coincided with the controversy created by Obama's association with controversial preacher Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Obama made a major speech on Tuesday addressing the race issue in large part to help move past the controversy. While Tuesday night polling showed no immediate benefit for Obama, the Wednesday results were more favorable to him, as reflected in the slight drop in Clinton's three-day average lead. This suggests at least the possibility that Obama has stopped his losses. The tracking data over the next several days will be a crucial indicator of the lasting impact, if any, of the Wright controversy.

Currently, registered voters express a slight preference for John McCain rather than either of the Democrats for the general presidential election. McCain has a 47% to 43% lead over Obama, and holds a 48% to 45% edge over Clinton. Both sets of numbers are unchanged from Wednesday's release. -- Jeff Jones

Methodology: 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 March 15-19, 2008. For results based on this sample of 4,354 registered voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.

The Democratic nomination results are based on combined data from March 17-19, 2008. For results based on this sample of 1,219 Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, 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.

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