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Gallup Poll update: Barack Obama and John McCain essentially dead even

We've paid a lot of attention to Gallup polls this week, in the wake of seemingly contradictory results by the most-famed brand name in gauging public opinion. By one Gallup measure, John McCain was up; Barack Obama had a solid lead in a different survey by the company and a narrower advantage among a third sample group.

Today, the Gallup daily tracking poll -- the rolling average of voter interviews conducted, in this case, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (correction: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) -- shows the race at almost a dead heat. Obama had a statistically insignificant one-percentage-point lead over McCain, 45% to 44%.

A week ago, in the midst of his much-heralded overseas trip, Obama began a spurt in the tracking polls -- on Sunday, he reached his peak with a nine-point margin, 49% to 40%. But since then, his edge has steadily declined.

Writes Gallup editor Frank Newport:

"The story of the election through the summer months has been a close race that simply does not seem to want to change. Obama has generally been in the lead, and it is significant that McCain has never held even a 1-point lead among registered voters in Gallup Poll Daily tracking since Obama clinched the Democratic nomination in early June.

Still, the relative stability of the race, even in the aftermath of such a high-visibility event as Obama's foreign trip (coupled, of course, with the McCain campaign's vigorous efforts to defuse its impact) continues to suggest that it may be the conventions in late August and early September that will offer the next potential timeframe for significant and/or sustained change."

Perhaps, but the Ticket and others will be watching the track closely over the next couple of days to see if what may end up as the most-discussed ad of recent vintage -- the McCain camp's spot tying, improbably to many, Obama with Paris Hilton and Britney Spears -- has a clear effect on either candidate's standing.

-- Don Frederick


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McCain's smear campaign seems to be working. I wonder if and when the democrats start shedding their ethics and launch a counter-smear campaign against McCain. There are enough things to exploit - the Keating Five, McCain abandoning his first wife and marrying a month later, and the Anheuser-Busch connection.

What seems amazing to me is that people will tell us Obama is a rock star and McCain is so dull.

So why are they dead even in this race? Why isn't Barack Obama way out in the lead?

John McCain a man who should bring back our country the way we remember during the Kennedy Days. Who won't put up with any nonsense and will surround himself with the right people..The Romneys,Huckabees

McCain is so dirty. the democrats are being lame for not going into his past, snooping around and coming up with the dirt that is there. keating five? my dad got a free boat out of that one as his bank that carried the note fialed and they got a 32 foot sailing vessal for 1200 bucks so i guess i owe Mccain on that one but what about the indians in arizona he had moved to help his buddies in the mining industries get their land.. pretty reprehensible
check this story...

John McCain should be reminded that Americans are already disappointed on him and his campaign.

Within a week they have accused Obama of all sorts of things including, treason sabotage.

John McCain even plays politics with injured troops even though he himself is an American Hero.

Shame on you McCain, Americans are yearning for the McCain of 2000.

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha... nice try media. those polls only add up to 89%. guess who the other "undecideds" are voting for??? give up. mccain. this is going to be one of the largest landslides in modern history. obama is the most liberal candidate in the history of any major party in this countries history, and you picked him dems - in february. remember, trying to bump out hillary way back. micky mouse would be up 20 points at this point, but the democratic party has been hijacked by the anti-war left wing of the party. that is why howard dean runs the party, nancy pelosi can't comprimise on energy (a little drilling for a little mid-west wind?), and harry ried are in charge. they don't work bipartisanly... oops, i mean that they might with mccain. mccain has a long record of working in the middle where most americans are, and doesn't just say he can like obama. obama - WALK THE WALK, DON'T TALK THE TALK.

If McCain has so much experience and so much more qualified, Obama is so inexperienced and less qualified(first term senator), why does he even have a LEAD over McCain.'s combination of all polls shows Obama steadily increasing his lead over McCain by 1-2 points/month since April 1 -- Obama moving up, McCain moving down. Gallup has, unlike almost all other polls, showed it virtually a tie the entire time

Never underestimate the stupidity of the American public. Few people in this country are involved/informed, and are too used to TV telling them what to do.

I c ould not agree more with Sanjoy Das comments about John McCain. The media and the Democrats should fight fire with fire and tell the voters that McCain is not simply a Viet Nam war hero but a nasty, short tempered, philanderer. His personal ethics are not at all to be admired!

Hillary Clinton tried to use the same sorts of tactics when she fell behind Obama, and saw some success by so doing. The reason we see negative campaigns in politics these days is that they work. Recall four years ago, when Kerry was ahead in the polls prior to the swift boat ads. The swift boat ads brought the race to dead even. I do not think that it was ethics that caused the Kerry campaign to be slow and ineffective in responding, I think it was poor tactics. In this election, Obama has created a campaign defined by ending the politics of division. Because of this, he cannot respond to negative campaign tactics in kind. Hopefully, before all is said and done, issues and character will be the basis of the decision made rather than innuendo and fear.

The explanation is simple: the American people are STUPID!!!

Polls are meaningless until the conventions happen. This Presidential race isn't going to start until then. All factions of both parties then united.

Some bent Hillary folks are answering the phone on those polls. People lie to pollsters

Ron Paul supporters tell their views to pollsters.

News organization using the most bent poll numbers sometimes. Polls aren't fair and balanced at all.

I'm barely watching TV, I don't know about anyone else. Nothing on tonight I want to see either.

Increasingly I'm not paying attention to the Presidential election.

They aren't paying attention to the bad economy issues or doing things in Congress.

Days will change going into fall. When Obama fills a NFL football stadium with supporters with football season in the air, that will be special.

At McCain's convention are scandal charged Republicans who have been rubber stamping Bush politics.

Which party has lead this country to more ruin in the last 8 years?

Crazy to vote for GOP and McCain in my estimation, because what will change?

Obama is an empty suit. There is no "there" there. He's another in a long line of airhead lefty/liberals. The Democrats just have too much negative baggage. Gay weddings. Weak foreign policy. Bad economic intentions. Etc. Etc. ad infinitum

I don't know why the pundits don't get it. The national poll is not very meaningful.

What matters is the state-by-state polling, which currently shows Obama way ahead of McCain. The media is just trying to create a race where one does not exist.

While we're on the media topic, why don't they report who McCain really is, using some of the things already mentioned here (Keating 5, wife abandonment, not a maverick in any way, but a party hack, etc.).

The biggest stuff they skip over is the fact that McCain called his current wife the "C" word with others present. If he did what he did to his first wife with this one, and then called her that, how can any female cast a vote his way.

McCain also will appoint more ridiculous judges to the bench. Our rights will continue to be stolen by these senseless fools, unless we stand up and vote for our rights and for what is right for all Americans.

In 2000 I thought McCain was a great candidate - noble, talking realistically about reform and improving America.

No he's totally flip floped on his beliefs. He's doing the Bush sleaze tactics - comparing Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Lying about Obama not visiting troops in the hospital - is he proud of that?

I'm surprised and saddened to the selling out of a once great American. I guess he figured Bush beat him so now he'll join him.

Obama is flat and McCain is starting to build some steam. Obama is mired in his associations and with Rappers spouting turning the White House into the Black House middle Americans are very concerned. It plays into the worst fears anyone can have about someone that seems to never be actually what he would like to portray.
Add in his wife not being proud unless the country wants her husband, a minister that spews hate for 20+ years and to top it off, he throws Grandma under the bus. He is change, but more important he is different in not a nice way.

From reading the blogs where Hillary supporters are told "we don't need you anyway", some of them may be taking that literally now. The second place finisher, especially an extremely strong second place is more often than not put on the ticket. There is a reason for that tradition which Obama is choosing to ignore. It is to bring a party together. Unity.

Obama has made it very obvious especially over the last couple weeks that he is specifically not considering Clinton for a traditional role, which some could interpret as humiliating to their candidate. Hillary followers in the forums are told there are out of line and immature. Meanwhile relatively lightweight politicians like Kaine are seriously considered. This may come back to haunt Obama by bleeding just enough Hillary supporters to throw the race. Obama supporters seem extremely confident that won't be the case. Hope not. We shall see.

Anyway, that's another hypothesis for what is going on with Obama being earthbound in the polls. It's not race (McCaine has a bigger prejudice anyway -- age), it's not rather silly ads by McCain. Instead could it be the simplest reason in the book, a fractured party?

I for one am tired of trying to reach the more passionate Hillary supporters at parties and reason with them about how important this election is... Obama and his supporters have made that task much harder than usual. Why should they believe me when others tell them "we don't need you anyway, insert derogatory phase here". Makes it much harder.

This is same Gallup poll that said Hilary Clinton was "far" ahead of Obama. Proving that a) They are liars b) They are racists or c) they dont have a clue whats going on as they are older than McCain.

Barack Obama might have turned off a lot of people during his recent, highly drummed up foreign visit. That's why it hasn't given his lead a bump.He did look presidential but he overdid it as if he was already in charge.

Obama needs to curb his hubris and look to be more into the main stream rather than seemingly aloft because of his arrogance.

Try it Barack. It might help you plenty if you show modesty. You can still be effective without being up there in your pedestal.

The best part of this is watching the hopey/changey zombies get all up in arms.

Face it kids, most folks realize this guy is a lightweight. Too bad the GOP candidate is McCain...

Voting for McCain would be voting for 4 more years of the current administration. He has proven himself to be cut from the same cloth -- lies, distortions, and mud-slinging ads that seek to malign an honorable man (Obama). McCain's own lack of honor can be found in his own past behavior (adultery), his notorious quick and bad temper, his connection with the Keating 5 Savings and Loan scandal, and his lack of support for an improved GI bill for the same troops he would keep on the front lines.
McCain does not deserve our votes but rather our condemnation.

It took OBAMA 20 years to realize that his MINISTER (Rev Wright) was a HATE-MONGERING RACIST.


OBAMA made a Land Deal with a CONVICTED FELON.


You should be asking journalists "How can this be?" For the last three weeks, the media has been reporting what a super Stud Obama is and how McCain is molting his cancer. No surprise there, the media is biased and likes Obama over McCain. Speaking of bias, for all you people who claim the media isnt biased. Perhaps you can explain why no one in the media is reporting that last month was the lowest number of Troop deaths since 2003? You have got to be kidding me if you think the media isnt biased. When we hit the record number of troop deaths, your liberal friends in the media ran that story for three days.

It is improbable but I'm seeing it again. The Democratic lead is being eroded by shrewd Republican ad campaign again, and the American public's image of the Democratic candidate is being shaped indelibly before our eyes. Al Gore was a flip flop and disingenuous. John Kerry was flip flop and unpatriotic. Now Obama is a shallow celebrity and a fake. Shame on Democrats on not knowing how to run a general election campaign. We need a third party because the Democratic party is a non-party as evident by these events.

gallup maybe professional, but is any pollster reliable today? based upon the results of the primaries, i would say no. perhaps the U.S. is 2 diverse for the sampling techniques now in use, or there is something in the water. swings of nine per cent in a week for obama? with that kind of results its possible for mccain to be one point up before breakfast and five points behind by bedtime.

Obama supporters are nuts. If you are not in love with the golden prince Obama then you are either a racist or a dump. Folks support McCain because they like McCain, period. It is not because of a smear campaign or a hidden racist agenda, or anything else. If you had fallen in love with Obama - fine, but don't expect other to do the same. By the way, I am a Democrat. And thanks, I am voting for McCain.

Polls don't scare us Barack Obama supporters and neither will all the lies and tactics Karl Rove Republicans can throw at us. We know in our hearts that our man Obama is the one with the greater intellect, the greater integrity,and the better proposals for how to change our country for the better. The days of George W. bush and his buddies is soon over Thank God..


just looks at Obama's friends ..... Rekzo, Wright, Nation of Islam, the rapper Ludacris, Hamas, can always tell a man's character by the his friends. I'd really like to know what Hillary really thinks of Obama; probably would make my ears burn.

No surprise to me. Remember, Obama was voting "present" only 4 years ago in the Illinois state legislature. He has zero experience and no record of accomplishment. Indeed, one journalist wrote about about as law professor in Chicago; he failed to distinguish himself and did not write even one paper according to this source who attended that school. This has reached the point: fool me once, shame on Obama; fool me twice, shame on me. People are sooo tired of this emptiness.

gallup maybe professional, but is any pollster reliable today? based upon the results of the primaries, i would say no. perhaps the U.S. is 2 diverse for the sampling techniques now in use, or there is something in the water. swings of nine per cent in a week for obama? with that kind of results its possible for mccain to be one point up before breakfast and five points behind by bedtime.

The Paris Ad is right on taget.

Obama and the girls have same kind of characters, high on apperance and low on quality and substances.

There are plenty of relevant negatives within Obama's past life and they need to be known throughout the voting public. It is not at all clear to me why many of Obama's past statements, those of his wife, and his associations with fanatics and racists such as J. Wright, W. Ayers, L. Farrakhan, and others should be considered off-limits.

Barack's campaign of hatred has failed. Hatred of America and senophobic comments about McCain backfired! Now McCain is picking up steam among African-Americans who see him as the correct path to wealth!

Look, try to get it straight on this suspect poll.

THIS is Thursday. The poll was not conducted today. Got it?

I mean, really, boys. I know Hillary lost and you can't stand Obama, but get over it.

>Today, the Gallup daily tracking poll -- the rolling average of voter interviews conducted, in this case, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

yes, by stark choice of words, it would seem a fitting description, to say they are both 'essentially dead,' even.
as both would-be nominees have sold their soul to new world order global tyranny, and seek to bring about the end of america, and mislead the people to call for their own enslavement.

The more people learn about the true Obama, the more his numbers will decline. He is desperately hoping that most Americans remain in the dark until November and/or fall for his high priced propaganda ads. Obama is a dangerous, arrogant, inexperienced, deceptive and divisive politician, and must be stopped.

Definition of Arrogance: The attitude displayed by Barack Obama during the 2008 Presidential campaign, as exemplified by the following statement:

A witness told the Post's Dana Milbank that at a closed-door meeting of House Democrats, Obama said, "This is the moment . . . that the world is waiting for," and, "I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."

Excuse me while I vomit!

Gallup must be polling at GOP fundraisers or something...

(Mostly from his biography in wikipedia, i assume its correct since his campaign hasn't been editing recently) McCain graduated at the bottom of his class, crashed at least 3 airplane in non-combat situations, committed adultery on his wife (after her debilitating car accident) with a woman 20 years younger, has a horrible voting record for veterans rights and the environment. He admits (sometimes) that he doesnt know squat about economics, and his (former?)chief economic advisor thinks the current economic situation is all in our heads and that america is a nation of whiners. Not very respectful of women.. when at a campaign event one of his supporters asked "how do we beat the b**tch" (referring to Senator Clinton) he laughed and said her question was "excellent". He thinks pakistan and iraq share a border.
He thinks he is the only one that can win the war on the inanimate object. And lately, he spends all of his time attacking Obama instead of putting forth any ideas of his own.

In contrast, "Obama's popular so maybe he isnt ready to lead", his preacher is a nutjob, he doesnt always wear a flag lapel pin (not part of my daily attire either, i admit). He sings along with national anthem instead of putting his hand over his heart (i thought you were only supposed to do that with the pledge of allegiance?).

So maybe im missing something, because im not seeing how this is even a contest yet, as im sure we will find out in November. Maybe its the experience thing, but our "experienced" leaders havent been doing so well for the last 8 years, and im still waiting for someone to tell me exactly what experience it is that sufficiently prepares you to be president...

It's the policies, stupid! The reason Obama is falling in polls is because he has no energy policy, no foriegn policy, no economic policy, but he promises to raise taxes and spend a lot more taxpayer dollars. Why would anyone want him
Beyond that, he was Rev Wright's protege and Michelle has "never been proud" of this country.
What's a matter with you people?

You Obama fans are pathetic. He has had the most favorable media coverage in political history and your afraid of a McCain ad? Maybe your inexperienced socialist leaniing candidate isn't as popular as you think?

From anecdotal comments, McCain appears to have a lock on what one might diplomatically call the less than cognizant, non-cogitating section of the American public. A very large and vocal, if not exactly coherent and logical, part of the population that has to be considered well by Obama and his crew. Their support has been the bread and butter (or Coors Light and hot wings) of Republican campaigns. The good news is that they respond well to shiny objects, flags and bold statements that make no logical sense.

Eight more years! Eight more years! Eight more years!

Obama has taken the high road and McCain the low, it's true but I still think McCain is the better qualified candidate. I think he needs to get out his ideas and credentials and let the public see Obama's empty suit themselves.

What's humorous about McCain's weak, laughable attempt at comparing Obama to the likes of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton is that both Spears and Hilton supported Bush in the last election. So the proper comparison of Spears and Hilton would be to McCain, a republican just like Bush, JUST LIKE BUSH IN EVERY WAY. McCain's attack ads are juvenile. They reveal McCain's lack of character and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that his actions are not the hallmark of someone prepared to be the leader of the free world. At best, McCain is delusional. At worst, he's as delusional and dangerous as George W. Bush has been the last 8 years. And we know what the last 8 years has been for the U.S. -- awful in every way.

OMG! The election is 3 months away, and the Obamorrhoids are ALREADY making with the alibis! I LOVE it! Even with all of obama's millions in questionable donations (that WILL be pursued!), and all his groupies in the press (some of whom seem to be edging toward the exits now!), McCain has ALREADY caught him, and is starting to pull away! Nobody thought that would happen 'til 2-3 weeks before the election! Ya got a choice about why, are people realizing what a fantastic record McCain has in service to his country, both in the military and the U.S. Senate, or are they just wising up to Obama? Ten to one it's wising up! High Five!!
The Obamorons are behaving just like rats cornered by oncoming pit bulls! DAMN, it's beautiful! Can you say "0 for 3!"? Can you IMAGINE the debacle in the "democratic" party in the next 4 years?!! There won't be anything on TV as good as that, I guarantee! Here's hoping they tee up another liberal extremist/socialist/marxist for us again 4 years from now! How about Fonda/Moore in 2012?!!

Obama will continue to falter because of his friends including Ludicris, Rev. Wright, the Weathermen and John Edwards. The Dems wish Hillary had won. What a loser with the american people.

the TRUTH is our subliminal nuanced sense of bias....about the "OTHER";
so dastardly veiled and coded messages from the "liberal media",
and Low Road Express candidate...
desparate, devisive,delusional...
running Empty !

It's become obvious that BHO really is a rock star. That is, someone worshipped by immature juveniles, but not well liked by the more mature populace at large. Remember, with age comes wisdom. The cheering crowds that made Obama appear more popular than he really was were just young teeny boppers that were screaming for the new incarnation of Shaun Cassidy.

When does laying out a message in a way that cuts through the information overload out there become negative? I think the issue of Obama's cult-like following which obscures an objective look at his policies and experience is a perfectly reasonable item to discuss.

its clear that the Mccain camp know that . if they don't scare the people about Obama they won't 'win. Most of obama's policies for America are better than mccain's. but the problem is some people don't know obama that much so the mccain camp are defining obama for the people using negative adds.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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