McCain’s lead


Of the two polls that take a daily, constant look at the race for President, Rasmussen is, in my opinion, the gold standard. With a sample size of 3000, it shows a running tally of the last 3 days of surveys of likely voters. Today, for the first time since Barack secured the nomination on June 3, John McCain leads.

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows the race for the White House is tied with Barack Obama and John McCain each attracting 44% of the vote. However, when “leaners” are included, it’s McCain 47% and Obama 46%.

It’s not a statistically significant lead, but it’s a break-thru nonetheless, and one that continues a tightening trend that has been going on for some time.

This is the first time McCain has enjoyed even a statistically insignificant advantage of any sort since Obama clinched the Democratic nomination on June 3.

The other daily tracking poll, by Gallup, operates on the same premise as Rasmussen, but it tests registered voters, a less carefully filtered pool, for whether they are the voters likely to be taking part in the voting on November 4. In addition, it uses a smaller sample size. As a result, it’s a bit more volatile. After having showed the race tied the last couple of days, it now shows Barack with a 3 point lead.

The three percentage point advantage for Obama matches the average since early June, when Obama clinched the number of delegates needed to head to the Democratic convention as the presumptive presidential nominee. Since then, Obama has never trailed McCain among registered voters, though McCain has tied Obama five times during this span, including Gallup Poll Daily tracking reports for last Friday and Saturday.

This is the second poll in a week that has put Barack in second place. A USA Today/Gallup poll that tested for registered voters and was released a week ago showed McCain with a four point lead.


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