Why Are Polls So Screwy?

This much is clear: Obama's ahead.

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Does anyone else find the most recent batch of poll numbers mystifying? Take Ohio. Two different polls released today give Barack Obama a double-digit lead (12 points and 14 points). A third poll, released yesterday, had Obama up there by 4 points. Does anyone really think that Obama is up a dozen points in Ohio? Pennsylvania seems more consistent, with five different polls released today showing Obama with a 10 to 13 point lead.

National polls are the worst—eight different polls came out today, including three from Gallup alone, and they put the race at everywhere from 1 point (Obama up, 45-44) to a dozen points (Obama, 52-40). If you drop those two polls, there is some consistency—Obama seems to be hanging around the 48 to 50 neighborhood, while McCain stays mired in the 45 to 46 area.

What do you think? Post your thoughts in the comments section.