Gallup Daily: Obama 47%, McCain 42%

Preferences have been stable last few days

PRINCETON, NJ -- The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update finds Barack Obama with a 47% to 42% lead over John McCain, when registered voters are asked for whom they would vote if the presidential election were held today.

These results are based on a three-day rolling average of interviews conducted Aug. 6-8, with Gallup polling roughly 900 registered voters nationwide each night. The numbers for each of these nights have been similar, suggesting preferences are stable.

Generally speaking, the structure of the race remains as it has been since early June, with Obama holding a modest advantage over McCain. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)

Obama has begun a weeklong vacation in Hawaii. It is unclear what impact his absence from the campaign trail will have. On one hand, the country's attention may be consumed by the Olympic games and the candidates might not get much attention anyway. On the other hand, to the extent voters are tuned into politics, McCain will have the stage to himself. -- Jeff Jones

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 general-election results are based on combined data from August 6-8, 2008. For results based on this sample of 2,686 registered voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line 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.

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