McCain leads, arguably

RCP’s “no toss up” map shows McCain leading 274-264. It’s the 2004 map with Obama picking up IA and NM. Thus, McCain’s tiny “lead” in VA, CO, and OH is enough to put him over.

Reuters/Zogby also announces a telephone polls showing McCain up by 5 today. This is a big change from the last Zogby poll (Obama +7) and shows Obama losing support across the board. On the other hand, other national polls show Obama ahead 1-3 points.

The most recent polls from swing states look good for McCain, including OH (+5), FL (+2), IN (+6), NC (+6), and MN (-2). The only state polls that seem to be resisting the movement toward McCain are PA (-6) and IA (-7).

Fivethirtyeight has their projection model showing Obama with a 54% chance of winning, his lowest chance since he won the nomination. The over-50 number is because McCain must win all the states he leads narrowly (CO, VA, OH, FL). Obama needs to flip any one of them and has fewer states that he leads by only 1-2 points.

Regardless of how you do the measuring, there is a strong argument that if the election were today McCain would win. It would be a nail biter either way. But for the first time, it is arguable that McCain is ahead today.

Update: A related piece of good news, it seems that most undecided voters are in the retired age bracket. Undecideds are also more likely to be Ds and IS than Rs. So older, white Democrats and Independents are most of the remaining swing voters.