Polls put Obama and McCain neck and neck

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Last Sunday Barack Obama hit a peak in daily tracking polls, pulling ahead of his Republican rival by a nine-point margin.

But the latest polls out today show that whatever bump the presumptive Democratic nominee may have scored with his trip overseas, has all but vanished.

The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update of national registered voters, taken from July 28 – 30, now has Barack Obama ahead of John McCain by just one percentage point, 45% to 44%.

In other words, the two candidates are locked in statistical dead heat with McCain gaining and Obama losing ground.

Such has been the back and forth of the 2008 election cycle.

According to Gallup’s Frank Newport, “The race has been very close before, with Obama holding a one point lead as recently as July 15-17, and the race tied for several days in late June.

“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 one point lead among registered voters in Gallup Poll Daily tracking since Obama clinched the Democratic nomination in early June.”

All eyes are now turning toward the party conventions in the coming weeks to change what has been a relatively stable dynamic in the 2008 race for the White House.

“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,” Newport says.

McCain’s gains on Obama come after a recent spate of more negative campaign ads from the Republican nominee’s campaign which began appearing this week.

The Obama campaign has responded by berating McCain for taking the “low road” of politics.

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