Politics

Gallup Daily: Obama Maintains 3-Point Edge

No change from Tuesday’s report

PRINCETON, NJ -- Barack Obama is maintaining a three-point, 47% to 44%, edge over John McCain among registered voters in the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update for Sept. 21-23, unchanged from Tuesday's report.

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Obama had moved to as much as a six percentage point lead over McCain last week in the midst of the intensive news coverage of the Wall Street financial crisis, but the race has, in the last several days, settled back to the same type of slight edge for Obama that typified the race for most of the summer prior to the political conventions. Meanwhile, separate Gallup tracking data show that Americans continue to be very negative on the U.S. economy, including the highest percent rating the economy as "poor" (53%) so far this year.

The major news story of the day continues to be Congress' deliberation of the massive bailout plan proposed by the Bush administration and, in particular, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. It is unclear what effect the ultimate fate of that legislation will have on the presidential race over the next several days. Both presidential candidates are U.S. Senators and will be required to vote on the bill (or miss the vote, which would have its own consequences), underscoring the possibility that their ultimate support or opposition for what develops as the final legislation could be significant.

Meanwhile, the next planned event with the potential to shake up the race is the first presidential debate on Friday night at the University of Mississippi. -- Frank Newport

(To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)

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(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 Sept. 21-23, 2008. For results based on this sample of 2,712 registered voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones (for respondents with a landline 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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