Rasmussen: Obama 52/McCain 45 (Obama +1)
Intrade odds: Obama 86.7/McCain 13.0 (Obama +2.6, McCain -2.6)
Ryan - which poll seemed to be the most accurate from the last election? Was it Rasmussen?
In '04, most everyone fell over themselves at the last minute to call the race for Kerry and came out looking pretty dumb. (Particularly Zogby.) Rasmussen's final tracker, however, called the race nearly exactly. So that's why I'm following them this time. Past performance is no guarantee of future results, but the outcome last time was impressive.
And what is up with the AP poll 44-43?
Fivethirtyeight.com had a good writeup on that. It seems to basically come down to the assumptions they make about who a "likely voter" is.
Among other things, the AP "likely voter" filter appears to be wildly oversampling evangelicals, as well as excluding new voters. So the real takeaway from that poll is that if only people who voted in 2004 vote in 2008 (thus negating Obama's big voter registration successes) and evangelicals double their percentage of the voting public, Obama still wins.
I think the 1-point polls are clearly outliers, as are the 15-point polls. Obama's got a solid 5-8 point lead right now. McCain made some noise about closing in after the third debate and Plumbermania, but that's starting to evaporate already after the Powell endorsement/smackdown, the backfiring of the "socialist" attacks and further Palin embarrassment.
Even worse for McCain, the electoral map looks grim for him. He has to win about half-a-dozen states that's he currently behind in (outside the margin of error). He has to win all of them. All Obama has to do is hold his lead in one of them. McCain has a hard task ahead.