First, the polls from RealClearPolitics:
|RCP Average||09/21 - 09/29||--||48.1||43.0||Obama +5.1|
|Gallup Tracking||09/27 - 09/29||2729 RV||49||43||Obama +6|
|Rasmussen Tracking||09/27 - 09/29||3000 LV||51||45||Obama +6|
|Hotline/FD Tracking||09/27 - 09/29||901 RV||47||41||Obama +6|
|GW/Battleground Tracking||09/24 - 09/29||800 LV||48||46||Obama +2|
|CBS News/NY Times||09/21 - 09/24||LV||48||43||Obama +5|
|FOX News||09/22 - 09/23||900 RV||45||39||Obama +6|
|Marist||09/22 - 09/23||689 LV||49||44||Obama +5|
Perhaps as importantly, Obama's lead it protected by several factors as we move into the final month of the campaign for the White House:
* Economy problems will help Obama. Even if these are resolved it'll be hard for McCain to take much credit for the solutions and dodge blame for the problems which most are pinning mostly on GW Bush and the Republicans.
* Sarah Palin will wind up hurting McCain. Even many conservatives are alarmed by Palin's challenges facing media scrutiny and what appears to be a clear history of not concerning herself with global issues. Expectations are very low for Thursday's debate with Joe Biden which may work to Palin's advantage, but unless the Palin perceptions change dramatically she appears to be a liability on McCain right now with the very voters she needed to secure - moderate women.
* Ohio's registration rules were just changed to allow same day registration which is likely to help Obama because first time and young voters are more likely to be Obama supporters.
* Obama dodged the potential bullets of the first debate and came out as the clear winner among undecided voters even in that mostly foreign policy forum. The next debates feature stronger Obama territory so McCain needs a knockout punch to shift opinion dramatically.