Historically, President Obama is in a solid position to win re-election, if the Gallup tracking poll of the presidential race is any guide.
Wednesday's release of Gallup's 7-day tracker puts him at 50 percent to Republican candidate Mitt Romney's 44 percent, which is well above the trend in the 2004 and 2000 elections. Those elections were dead heats. The current Gallup tracking poll has a 2 percent margin of error, which means Obama's lead is statistically significant.
The chart below shows the position of each candidate in the last nine elections going into October and the sprint to the finish line — where they were in the Gallup poll a little more than a month out and then the final result.
Many comparisons have been made between the current election and the bruising contest between President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) in 2004 — an embattled incumbent president with both a strong base of support and a strong opposition. Bush and Kerry were tied on Oct. 1, 2004 at 49 percent.
Ed Note: The chart reflects the closest Gallup poll of likely voters to Oct. 1 in a given election year. Polls reflecting registered voters are denoted as such. In some years there was no data available for that exact date. See their entire presidential election polling history here.