Latest Poll Shows Bush and Gore Continue Tight Race

By Bob Melvin | July 7, 2008 | 8:26 PM EDT

( - Republican nominee George W Bush and Democratic nominee Al Gore continue neck-and-neck in a close presidential race in a national tracking poll released Saturday.

The CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll indicated that Gore held a three-point lead on Bush, 48 percent to 45 percent. However, the poll had a margin of error of plus-or-minus four percent, which means the race is virtually a dead heat.

Meanwhile, a Newsweek poll released on Saturday also showed the race within the margins of error with Gore slightly up on Bush, 47 percent to 45 percent.

Gore's support has slipped within the last week. He had been up 10 points in the CNN-USA Today-Gallup tracking poll earlier in the week, and he was up by eight points in the last Newsweek poll, both among likely voters.

New state polls in Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan highlighted the trend that the race in those battleground states has tightened with a Bush surge among likely voters. In other battleground states, Gore retained a slight lead.

Polls in Sunday editions of the Chicago Tribune looked at the race in five of the largest battleground states from New Jersey to Michigan. The polls found that the races in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan were very close while Gore has a lead in Illinois and New Jersey as was reflected in prior polls.

Those polls taken September 11-17 showed the race more competitive in Michigan and Pennsylvania than in other recent polls, reflecting the tightening of the race nationally.

A series of nationally televised debates - three presidential and one vice-presidential - within the next three weeks are expected to be decisive for each campaign.

Those debates will kick off on Tuesday, October 3, with the initial presidential debate at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.