As the polling turns.. Obama back on top by a hair

The third part in my now-weekly series on Saturday examining the polls, it appears as though the pendulum has swung back toward Obama giving him a slight edge in the race again, at least in the national polls. As I noted last week, McCain had a slight edge after some positive numbers followed the Republican convention.

However, as the race is very tight and very fluid, the polls have now headed back to Obama’s direction:

The chart showing the latest polls is still very close with the latest Gallup poll handing Obama 6 point advantage. Last week we were looking at McCain leading on average 47.4% to Obama’s 45.1%. This week, the numbers have nearly reversed with Obama leading at 47.4% and McCain trailing slightly at 45.3%. Within the margin of error but clearly Obama has made up a little ground lost following the convention.

The real meat and potatoes of this discussion is, as always, the national delegate map. The map has changed a little since last week which is explained below.

Here is the current RCP average electoral as of this moment:

Here is what has changed:

Report on Minnesota’s status from CBS News:

So why the national shift back toward Obama? I think some of it has to do with McCain failing to properly capitalize on his lead following the convention. Choosing Gov. Sarah Palin made a major splash in the political sea and gave him much-needed positive coverage. However, instead of taking that coverage and building on a positive image, McCain’s campaign seems to have faltered with items like the “lipstick on a pig” ad in which his campaign accused Obama of specifically calling Gov. Palin a pig. Most people, including myself, don’t seem to think Obama intentionally meant to call her a pig, though he could have chosen better words.

I’m thinking the economic news and rhetoric will flush out this week and we’ll see if either candidate’s message has resonated with voters.