Gallup Daily: Race Stable With Obama Leading

Obama continues to lead by five to 10 points, depending on voter definition

PRINCETON, NJ -- Gallup Poll Daily tracking from Friday through Sunday finds Barack Obama with a five percentage point lead over John McCain, 50% to 45%, in the presidential preferences of likely voters using Gallup's traditional model. He enjoys a more ample 10-point lead, 53% to 43%, using Gallup's expanded model.



Today's traditional likely voters result, based on Gallup Poll Daily tracking from Oct. 24-26, is identical to that reported on Sunday. Obama's five-point advantage falls at the midpoint of the lead he has held with this voter model over the past nine days, ranging from three to seven points.

Obama's 10-point lead among expanded likely voters matches his largest leads on this basis. It also ties his standing among all registered voters, who now favor Obama over McCain, 52% to 42%. (To view the complete registered voter trend since March 7, 2008, click here.)


There are now eight days left before the election. History offers few examples of a trailing candidate mounting a successful comeback in the last week of the campaign. Gallup Poll presidential election trends since 1952 point to 1980 as the only case in which a candidate (Ronald Reagan) was behind in the Gallup Poll a week before the election, but went on to win the presidency. In 2000, Al Gore overcame a pre-election poll deficit in the final week to win the popular vote -- but not the Electoral College.

Campaign and political events occurred in both the 1980 and 2000 races which, arguably, could explain the late breaking shifts. Without such a "you know it when you see it" issue or event emerging in the next few days, a McCain victory would be without precedent. -- Lydia Saad


(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 Oct. 24-26, 2008. For results based on this sample of 2,797 registered voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.

Results based on "traditional" likely voters (based on the model taking into account current voting intention and past voting behavior) include interviews with 2,446 voters, and assume a turnout of 60% of national adults. The likely voter sample is weighted to match this turnout assumption, so the weighted sample size is 1,819. The associated maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

For results based on the sample of 2,343 "expanded" likely voters (based on the model taking into account current voting intention only), the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points. The expanded likely voter model does not make any assumptions about turnout level.

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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