It occurs to me that we have more information to chew on this time round than ever before and less idea of what is really going on. Polling organizations has proliferated, if not metastasized, without pointing in any coherent direction.
It seems pretty clear that Mitt Romney has enjoyed a significant shift in national polls since the first presidential debate. He leads by just shy of a point in the RCP average. Of the last six polls in the RCP count, only one shows an Obama lead. The most recent three show a Romney lead of 1, 3 and 5 points. The last is the Gallup poll of likely voters. Gallup vigorously defends their likely voter formula, and if they are right then Romney looks to win a popular vote majority.
Unfortunately for Romney, the popular vote has not constitutional significance. The RCP electoral map with no toss-ups gives Obama 290 electoral votes, twenty more than he needs to win. That means that Romney has to win several of the states where polls show him consistently behind, including Ohio.
When we look at the demographics in the various national and state polls, things look better for Romney. He has apparently cut the gender gap down to a small margin or even to fifty/fifty. He seems to be winning the independent vote by substantial margins. Many of the polls showing an Obama lead nationally or in key states show an atypical advantage in Democratic turnout. Meanwhile the Pew poll finds that Republican enthusiasm is the highest it has ever recorded. Gallup finds that Republicans outnumber Democrats by two points (39/37%) among likely voters nationally.
What does all this add up to? I suggest that you read what you want to read. I don't know. If someone gave me a big pile of cash to bet on the outcome, I would place it on Romney; but I wouldn't bet my own money. The awful truth is that I am probably not going to get much sleep the Tuesday after next.
ps. I have been suffering from a terrible cold.