Summarizing the latest polls, ABC This Week displayed it this way to a clearly concerned Ken Mehlman, chair of Bush/Cheney '04:
Marist: BUSH +1
ABC News: BUSH +1
AP-Ipsos: KERRY +3
NBC/Wall Street Journal: EVEN
Those are simply horrible numbers for an incumbent, since undecideds late in the game have always traditionally broken for the challenger. (Emphasis on traditionally! Everything is whacky this year!)
More troubling for Mehlman though, were these numbers:
Marist: KERRY +8
Pew: KERRY +6
ABC News: KERRY +1
AP-Ipsos: KERRY +4
NBC/Wall Street Journal: KERRY +6
As I've been saying for sometime, unless there's a new shake-up (terrorist attack, huge Kerry foul-up, bin Laden capture, etc.) it's gonna be Kerry in a walk and the Senate goes Democrat.
(Kerry is pictured in the center on right there, Thursday in Minnesota, one of those "Battleground States" that the GOP likes to publically suggest --- emphasis on publically --- will go to Bush.)
Given, however, the concerted, organized and parrallel strategies of the Republicans right now to both keep folks from voting and at the same time spin the premise that Democrats are planning dirty voter tricks and legal challenges to the results (generally, when Republicans make a charge of anything, it means they themselves are actually doing it), there are reasons to stay very vigilant everywhere.
But supporting my suggestion that things are going well for the Dems, I'd point you to MyDD who's been doing terrific analysis of all the various polls out there. Here's what they have to say about actual voting data coming in from early voting in Iowa (one of the Battlegrounds that the conservative media is too frightened to admit will most likely go to Kerry):
Ballots Returned %
RNC 28,824 28.2
DNC 51,706 50.6
IND 21,590 21.1
Total 102,120 100.0
Finally, see this WaPo piece about the real concerns of Bush/Cheney '04 as revealed by an insider who has access to their actual internal polling:
"There's just no place where they're polling outside the margin of error so they can say, 'We have this state,'" the official said. "And they know that an incumbent needs to be outside the margin of error."
As usual, I predict the safety of the "conventional wisdom" --- which the Mainstream Media enjoys hiding behind --- will prove to be wrong in the end. So give credence to all those "Bush is leading" pronouncements at your own risk. The Mainstream Media has gotten it wrong in the last 3 elections. Why should they stop now?