The candidate ahead in the Gallup poll 100 days from the Fall election usually wins. That means that Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States. This report comes from CNN's pollster Bill Schneider:
Right now, the presidential election is 100 days away, and as we saw only a moment or so ago, our new Poll of Polls shows Obama now nine points ahead of Senator McCain.
Let's bring in our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider. He's watching this story for us. I'm not sure our Poll of Polls does show nine points ahead. I think that was the Gallup poll that showed a nine-point tracking poll. Our Poll of Polls is a little closer, about six points, is that right, Bill?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: The Poll of Polls is six points, and the latest Gallup tracking poll which just came out about an hour ago shows an eight-point lead for Obama.
Well your question, what does it mean, 100 days out? As the one- time Democratic nominee, Al Smith, used to say, let's look at the record.
SCHNEIDER (voice over): They say a week is a long time in politics. A hundred days looks like forever. Everything could change. Or could it?
Let's see how accurate the polls were 100 days before the election for the last 50 years.
In three out of 12 elections, the 100-day-out Gallup polls were just about right. 1968, the midsummer poll predicted a close one: Republican Richard Nixon over Democrat Hubert Humphrey by two. Nixon won by one.
1972, the poll predicted a 26-point Nixon landslide. It was nearly that. Nixon beat Democrat George McGovern by 23.
2004, the polls showed a dead heat between George W. Bush and Democrat John Kerry. The election was close. Bush by three.
Six times the Gallup poll got the winner right, but the margin was too big. In 1976, for instance, 100 days before the election, the Gallup poll showed Democrat Jimmy Carter leading Republican Gerald Ford by 22. Carter did win, by two.
Only once did the 100-day poll understate the winner's margin. That was in 1984. The midsummer poll showed Reagan getting reelected by 12. He did get reelected, by 18.
Have the 100-day polls ever gotten it wrong? Yes, twice.
In 1960, Nixon led Democrat John Kennedy by six in midsummer. Kennedy ended up winning by less than a point.
In 1988, Democrat Michael Dukakis was 17 points ahead of George Bush in late July. The most famous blown lead in history.
Usually, however, the 100-day poll gets the winner right, but more often than not, the race gets closer. So where are we now? Barack Obama leads John McCain by eight points in the Gallup poll.
It looks like this one could be close.
SCHNEIDER: Why is this race different from all other races? In every one of the last dozen presidential elections, either the president was running for re-election, or the vice president was running to succeed him. Imagine what would be happening if either George W. Bush or Dick Cheney were running this time. But, they're not -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Which makes for some fascinating potential.