Gallup Daily: Obama Holds 5-Point Lead

Momentum in his favor going into debate

PRINCETON, NJ -- Barack Obama leads John McCain, 49% to 44%, when registered voters are asked who they would vote for if the election were held today, according to the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update.


These results, from Sept. 24-26, are almost entirely based on interviewing conducted before Friday night's first presidential debate. This suggests Obama was moving into a slightly better positioning as the two met in Mississippi to debate foreign policy matters and the economic crisis. The five percentage point lead for Obama in today's update is one of his best in recent weeks, just short of the six-point advantage he had in Sept. 17-19 polling. McCain had been running ahead of Obama since the Republican National Convention earlier this month, but as the financial crisis deepened Obama regained the lead positioning he had enjoyed through much of the summer. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)

The initial impact of the debate -- and perhaps more importantly, the political spin in the days after -- on voter preferences will be apparent in the next few days of Gallup Poll Daily tracking, with Tuesday's report the first for which all interviews will be conducted after the debate. -- Jeff Jones


(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. 24-26, 2008. For results based on this sample of 2,759 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 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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