Gallup has released the first daily tracking poll of the presidential campaign season. It shows Mitt Romney leading Barack Obama by 47 to 45 percent, basically because Romney carried the independents in the sample by 45-39.
The polls will be coming thick and fast from now, and (of course this is the nature of a tracking poll) Gallup will post a new horserace number every day (check Gallup.com any day that you feel starved for fresh poll numbers and I suspect you’ll see a link to that day’s tracking numbers).
The numbers are a little surprising, since most, but not all polls I’ve seen recently had Obama ahead, including a non-tracking poll by Gallup released last week. The Romney lead is within the margin of error and polls taken in April don’t tell us much about what will happen in November.
(In case you are new to this stuff, here’s how a tracking poll works: Gallup is making about 400 fresh interviews every day. The most recent number will always be the combined showing of the five most recent days, so every day the most recent numbers will replace those from five days earlier.)