Gallup Daily: Obama Not Yet Pulling Away

Democratic nomination preferences remain evenly divided

PRINCETON, NJ -- According to Gallup Poll Daily tracking, Democratic voters remain closely divided in their presidential nomination preferences, with 48% favoring Barack Obama and 46% backing Hillary Clinton.

These results are based on May 6-8 interviewing, with roughly two-thirds of the interviews completed after the results of the North Carolina and Indiana primaries were known. The discussion among political experts following Obama's big North Carolina win and Clinton's slim Indiana victory has centered on when, not if, Clinton will drop out of the nomination contest. With just six smaller state primaries remaining, it is unlikely Clinton can overcome Obama's lead in pledged convention delegates.

Despite this talk, Obama remains in a statistical dead heat with Clinton for the 16th consecutive day. (To view the complete trend since Jan. 3, 2008, click here.) After a stronger showing in Wednesday's interviewing, Obama just barely edged out Clinton in Thursday interviewing, leaving him with just a two percentage point advantage in the three-day rolling average that also includes Tuesday's night-of-primary interviewing. Saturday's update will be the first to include completely post-Indiana/North Carolina interviewing.

Obama and John McCain have run within one point of each other for the last four days of tracking of general election voting preferences. In the May 4-8 data, 46% of registered voters say they would vote for Obama if the election were held today and 45% would pull the lever for McCain.

Clinton fares slightly better against McCain, 48% to 44%. Ironically, that four-point advantage is her best to date since Gallup began tracking general election voter preferences in early March. - Jeff Jones

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Survey Methods

For the Gallup Poll Daily tracking survey, Gallup is interviewing no fewer than 1,000 U.S. adults nationwide each day during 2008.

The Democratic nomination results are based on combined data from May 6-8, 2008. For results based on this sample of 1,234 Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

The general election results are based on combined data from May 4-8, 2008. For results based on this sample of 4,348 registered voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 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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