If we really [are] back to the pre-convention numbers, this is not a good development for McCain going into the debates. He needed the tie to hold until the debates. The last thing he needs is for the debates to be another moment where he has to catch up rather than solidify his lead. Because after the debates, there really are no more chances to move the race.

The last three weeks have been the most surreal I can remember in any campaign, centered, of course, on the on-going farce of the Palin candidacy. But if you had been on another planet for the past month and had been asked to predict it, you would have guessed two convention bounces almost identical to the ones we have seen and the race returning back to a small but clear Obama lead. I think white racism means that Obama needs more than a small but clear lead to win. But still: from afar, no real change after the last month. Advantage: Obama.

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