The trend: remains the same:
So, compared to a week ago, the count shifts towards Obama.
But first: I told you Michigan was true blue--as McCain apparently concedes. I said Obama could pocket New Mexico--which even Rasmussen reflects. I foretold North Carolina was close--it's now a virtual tie. The state I know best--Florida--is either tied or leaning Dem.
I said financial instability favored Obama--scooping even the New York Times! So it has, agrees Basball Crank, "the credit crisis that has been the financial equivalent of the Madrid train bombing, working naturally against the party in power in the White House"--though that could shift now that the bailout is law.
Since then: Palin debated Biden. I thought Palin won, in view of Biden's numerous factual misstatements and repeated misreading of the Constitution. But the media ignored Biden's gaffes, and others saw it differently--Rich Hailey's reaction was best: "Joe won his debate, totally eviscerating President Bush. Unfortunately, Bush wasn't actually at the debate, so it was kind of an empty victory." All of which suggests the debate didn't sway uncommitted independent voters, meaning no obvious effect on the electoral count.
So, the states: Pennsylvania remains out of Republican reach. Ohio's turned purple, and might be bluing. New Hampshire looks increasingly Democrat. Colorado will be close, but Omama's ahead.
Don't believe the Mason-Dixon poll putting McCain ahead in Virginia--Mason-Dixon historically overstates Republican strength. I'm turning pessimist about Nevada (Nevada!) and West Virginia, though McCain leads in the latter state. But McCain is running stronger than expected in Minnesota.
The changes: The Dems pick up Virginia and Ohio, hang on to Minnesota; McCain retains Florida, North Carolina and Nevada (barely).
The bottom line: Obama/Biden at 306 electoral votes, well more than the 270 needed. McCain/Palin drop to 232, and would have to retake Ohio (20 electoral votes), Virginia (13), plus capture Minnesota (10), or some similar blue state, to win. Or, if McCain wins Ohio, Virginia and Colorado while losing Nevada (or takes New Hampshire and Nevada while failing in Colorado) . . . a tie. Can you say "12th Amendment"?