In today's update we have 41 new polls in 21 different states, but only two states change status. (Plus, I have a correction on the status of one additional state, see the end of the post.)
The two changes:
Missouri (11 ev): After being "Lean Obama" for most of October, McCain takes the lead in the last five poll average in the state of Missouri, moving the state back to "Lean McCain". I do note that the largest lead Obama ever had in the state was 3.5%, and now McCain's lead is 0.4%. Both "Lean" categories are considered "Swing States" for a reason. The polls are close enough that random poll variation could easily push a candidate from one side to another, or any random event that gains traction could move the state from one category to another at any moment. So these states should be considered too close to call, regardless of which side of the line they are on.
Arizona (10 ev): Arizona became a swing state a few days ago, then McCain had a couple of good polls and the state moved back to "Weak McCain". Today, with some additional polls showing a close race again, as of today McCain's lead is once again under 5%, and the state is once again "Lean McCain". It is once again a swing state, and it is once again too close to call.
McCain Best Case - Obama 311, McCain 227
Obama Best Case - Obama 406, McCain 132
If everybody gets their leans - 353 Obama, 185 McCain
This is getting repetitive to say with every update, but where we are right now is STILL that McCain can win every single state that is close, and he would still lose. To win right now, he needs to win all of his strong and weak states, plus ALL of the swing states, plus some combination of Pennsylvania (21 ev), Ohio (20 ev), Virginia (13 ev), Colorado (9 ev), Nevada (5 ev) and New Mexico (5 ev) that adds up to 43 or more electoral votes. Obama has leads greater than 5% in all of those states at the moment.
Another note is probably relevant right now. If a game changing event happened in this race at this point, something that would cause people currently for Obama to change their minds in droves and switch to McCain, it is almost certainly too late to see the results of those changes in the polls before the actual election on Tuesday. When we start including the last pre-election polls into the mix on Monday, they will be reflecting the state of the race as of this weekend at the latest. If something big happens today, Sunday or Monday, the polls will be basically blind as to how that changes people's minds (or not).
OK, finally, a correction.... on my October 29th Update I stated that Mississippi moved from Strong McCain to Weak McCain as McCain's lead dropped below 10%. This was actually the result of a math error. (For those who care, I was accidentally looking at a four poll average instead of a five poll average.) McCain's lead had been reduced by the new poll, but it hadn't quite dipped below 10%. At the time of the update I did on the 29th, the lead should have been 11%. Today it is down to 10.4%. But it has not actually dropped below 10%. So Mississippi is still "Strong McCain" and should have been between the 29th and today as well. I have corrected the chart in this post and the main Electoral College Prediction page. Graphs in older posts remain uncorrected. Because this was a Strong/Weak difference, the summary totals were not affected. I apologize for the error.