CBS News / NYT Poll: O 48, M 42

The topline numbers are good for Obama: he's slightly ahead of Sen. John McCain outside the margin of error, and 63% of self-declared Clinton supporters say they're certain to vote for him. (13% of Democratic women and 11% of Democratic women say they'd support McCain, but those numbers are fairly typical.) 22% of Clinton supporters are willing to tell pollsters that they support McCain. 59% of all Democrats (including three quarters of Hillary Clinton's supporters), are enamored with the idea of a joint tocket.

INDEPENDENTS -- currently favor McCain by 8 pts (46 to 38) but note that many formerly self-described independents have begun to identify as Democrats, so the pool of independents is not as dispositive.

COMMANDER IN CHIEF -- 62% of Americans think Obama would be an effective commander in chief compared to 75% who think the same of McCain.

I DON'T LIKE THE CHOICES OFFERED BY THIS QUESTION -- So 43% of voters say that President McCain would continue President Bush's policies. 21% say he'd more more conservative and 28% say he'd be less conservative .... not sure why the question of whether McCain will continue Bush's policies relates to the description of those policies as conservative.

ARE AMERICANS READY FOR A BLACK PRESIDENT: In 2000, 38 percent of registered voters said that the country would be ready for a black president; now, the figure is 68 percent. 22 percent of whites and 24 percent of black voters say that race will be important to their vote.

AGE -- 62% of voters say that age won't matter, compared 30% who say it would, compared to the 7 percent who say it's going to be an asset.

INFO: 930 registered voters were surveyed for a margin of error of +/- four points.