Knowing how many people take these polls at face value is most troubling. How many people do you think stop and consider the sampling of such a poll? My guess is not many.
In this particular survey, we see that CBS/NYT stacked the deck. (Here it is in pdf form.)
Total Respondents - 1070
Registered Voters - 972
Dem. - 371
GOP - 295
Ind. - 306
Registered Voters - 902
Dem. - 338
GOP - 263
Ind. - 301
Likely Voters - 699
You can do the math.
My concern is that we know CBS and the NYT have been in the tank for Obama from the outset. Who is to say they aren't intentionally skewing these numbers, because they want people that support McCain to think he has no chance on Election Day, and stay home?
CBS ranks 34th in median error and mean error, so putting a lot of confidence in this particular poll is not recommended.
Two polls that rank significantly higher in the accuracy department are Zogby and Rasmussen. Here are their most recent findings:
Obama - 50%
Obama - 49%
McCain - 43%
(Note-Drudge is reporting that Wednesday's Zogby Poll will show Obama at 48% and McCain 44%.)
The bottom line here is simple. This election is not over until the official votes are cast, counted, and certified. Do not let anyone dissuade you from voting, because of these late season polls. They are not the ones that count.
It may be that Obama will win this election, I don't know. But if you fail to show up because of political stunts like CBS and NYT are pulling, it very well will be President-Elect Obama you see throwing the victory party.
This said, I call on Sen. McCain to get tough and debate smarter than his opponent or this nation will begin its descent into states of decay and despair, not seen since the days of Jimmy Carter.