Today's release of the Gallup Daily Tracking Poll shows Barack Obama extending his lead over John McCain to a full seven points, 49-42, up from five points just yesterday.
The pattern of voter preferences in September -- with McCain's post-Republican convention lead slipping away after the extraordinary Wall Street failures that began in mid-September, and Obama's lead expanding to as much as eight points -- suggests that Obama has benefited from Americans' intensified economic anxiety during this period. Obama's advantage on this issue was evident in Gallup's post-presidential debate polling on Sept. 27, when the poll found Obama receiving much better scores from debate watchers for his performance on the economy than McCain.
The troubling new jobs report will most likely only reinforce, if not deepen, Americans' economic concern in the coming days. McCain and Obama's presidential debate this Tuesday could thus prove to be a critical opportunity for Obama to either cement his advantage on the economy, or for McCain to turn it around.
Today's results on this three day tracking poll do not factor in the Palin/Biden debate at all. Saturday's results will have one day of post-debate results, Sunday's results will have two days, and only on Monday will we know the full effect of the VP debate on McCain and Obama's poll standings.
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