Gallup Rasmussen Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby Polls: Obama Maintains Steady Lead Over McCain

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama continues to maintain a steady lead over Republican candidate Sen. John McCain in a trio of major polls out today. They show a race with some minor movement but seemingly now fixed into a holding pattern.

One key to what’s happening: Obama has made inroads among independent voters.

GALLUP POLL:

Barack Obama leads John McCain among registered voters across the country by a 50% to 42% margin in Gallup Poll Daily tracking from Oct. 3-5, the 10th straight day in which Obama has held a statistically significant lead.

This 10-day stretch of a significant Obama lead is the longest since he became the presumptive nominee back in early June, and the longest for either candidate at any point in the campaign. (To view the complete trend since March 7, 2008, click here.) Today’s result includes interviewing conducted Friday through Sunday, after the Oct. 2 vice presidential debate between Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Joe Biden, and after Friday’s passage of a revised economic rescue plan to help alleviate the Wall Street financial crisis.

The results suggest that neither of these events had a significant impact on voter preferences.

Looked at broadly, Obama’s percent of the vote has been within a very narrow range of 48% to 50% over the last ten days, and McCain’s has been within an equally narrow range of 42% of 44% over the same time period. These results suggest that aside from normal sampling error, the underlying dynamics of the race have become quite stable, and underscore the degree to which there has been little meaningful change in the race in well over a week.

The word is “stability.” Can tomorrow’s debate shake things up and put McCain on the ascent as he was after the Republican convention? Here’s more polling to factor in:

Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby:

Democratic Party presidential nominee Barack Obama moved outside the margin of error in his race against Republican John McCain, leading now by 6.2 percentage points in the latest edition of the Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby daily tracking poll.

Obama’s overall edge is linked to his strong performance among independent voters, where he retains a substantial 17-point lead. Both Obama and McCain continue to do well in winning support from voters in their own respective parties – Obama wins 86% support from Democrats and McCain wins 87% support from Republicans.

..Liberal voters support Obama over McCain by an 85% to 10% margin, while McCain leads among conservatives by a 72% to 19% edge – but it is notable that Obama is winning 19% of the conservative support. Among moderates, 61% support Obama, while 32% support McCain.

Among those voters who said they have registered to vote in the last six months, Obama leads McCain by a 53% to 37% margin. Among those who have already voted – about seven percent of the sample – Obama leads by a 52% to 42% edge over McCain.

RASMUSSEN:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday once again shows Barack Obama attracting 50% of the vote while John McCain earns 45%. That’s the third straight day with identical numbers and the nineteenth straight day that Obama’s support has stayed in the narrow range from 50% to 52% while McCain has been at 44% of 45%.

State polling data released last night shows Obama with a slight advantage in Florida, Missouri, Ohio, and Virginia while the candidates are tied in North Carolina. All five of those states were carried by Republicans four years ago but have become battleground states this year. See an overview of last night’s Battleground State polling.

Currently, Obama has the edge in every state won by John Kerry four years ago. However, of the states won by George Bush, McCain is trailing in four and five others are considered a toss-up. As a result, Electoral College projections now show Obama leading 255-163. When “leaners” are included, Obama leads 300-174. A total of 270 Electoral Votes are needed to win the White House.

An analysis by Scott Rasmussen suggests that McCain will need a couple of breaks if he wants to keep things competitive down to the wire. Obama is now viewed favorably by 56% of voters, McCain by 53% ….

But there are still three weeks to go until Election Day. The race has changed dramatically before and could again. These polls, however, show that some voting preferences may be solidifying. So a change is possible, but more difficult with each passing day.