Politics

Gallup Daily: Race Still Close With Obama 45%, McCain 44%

No major change in structure of race, though Obama is doing slightly better

PRINCETON, NJ -- The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking average from Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday shows a race that is still close, with Barack Obama at 45% and John McCain at 44% among registered voters.

The latest three-day average (Aug. 24-26) shows Obama back with a very slight advantage after McCain edged ahead in Tuesday's update. Despite these minor changes, the race, from a big picture perspective, has not changed and remains statistically tied -- as it has for about two weeks now. A better night for Obama in Gallup's Tuesday tracking interviews, however, suggests that a convention bounce could develop. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)

Certainly, the presidential election is now in the beginning phase of an extraordinarily busy stretch with the Democratic vice presidential nomination last weekend, the Democratic National Convention dominating news coverage this week, and then the pending announcement of John McCain's vice presidential choice, plus the GOP convention next week. Changes in voter sentiment would not be at all unusual given the high-intensity flow of information into voters' brains.

So far, however, there has been little major change in the structure of the race. As mentioned, interviewing by Gallup on Tuesday night showed a stronger Obama performance, which could augur the beginnings of a bounce for Obama, as is evident more often than not immediately after a candidate's convention. Gallup's official "post-convention bounce" reading on Obama's support will be based on interviewing conducted Friday through Sunday. However, with the McCain campaign hinting that it will attempt to dampen an Obama bounce with a quick announcement of the Republican vice presidential nominee on Friday, any effect from the Democratic convention may be short-lived. -- Frank Newport

Click here to see how the race currently breaks down by demographic subgroup.

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 Aug. 24-26, 2008. For results based on this sample of 2,724 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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