As I noted yesterday, Obama is easily to the brink of victory, with leads exceeding 8% in states worth 264 electoral votes. From that point, he only needs six electoral votes to in, and five to tie. Fully six competitive states--Colorado, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia--are currently poised to put Obama over the top. A seventh state, Nevada, is poised for the tie, which would then tilt to Obama because of wide Democratic margins in the U.S. House.
This means that the easiest way to understand the presidential campaign right now is to look at polling from only those seven states. If McCain sweeps, then he wins. If Obama prevents the McCain sweep, then he wins. Here are the latest polls from those seven states, all of the polls having the majority of their interviews conducted over the past seven days:
Obama needs one of these states to win it all
Rasmussen will produce new polls from Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Ohio and North Carolina later today.
I'd like to offer up this chart as an alternative to tracking poll obsession. These are the numbers that will determine the election. Specifically, McCain must sweep these states in order to win the election. Right now, however, Obama holds leads in all seven, and only North Carolina is smaller than a 3% lead.
This is the victory chart. I will try to update it every time a new poll from one of these seven states is released.
Update: New Missouri and North Carolina polls added. Obama pulls further ahead in NC, but McCain closes the gap in Missouri.
Update 2: New Virginia poll added. Obama still up by 8.0%.