I’ve mentioned before that I was tutored in the nuances of polling during the 2004 campaign by an actual expert in the field. Today Rassmussen reports that Obama’s big bounce from the Berlin speech has already faded.Again, I consider Rassmussen to be the gold standard on polling. He uses a good likely voter model and a consistent methodology that returns accurate results. Whenever I see a Rassmussen result, I consider it to be an accurate read of the state of the race.

On Saturday, Rassmussen was showing a 5 point lead for Obama based on the 3 day rolling average, with strong results on Thursday and Friday night. We can safely say that unlike Gallup, this was a good view of the state of the race on Saturday. BTW, that Gallup poll is crap, they use a registered voter model and won’t release the party affiliation.

As of this morning, the Obama lead is back down to 3 points, within the margin of error. This race has moved back into a statistical tie.

However, here is a little known fact to keep in mind. Rassmussen ALWAYS gets higher Democratic results on the weekend. There is a measurable 3 point differential between Democrat and Republican responses for his polls taken over the weekend vs. taken during the week. This was consistently shown during 2004 where Kerry kept getting this little bump on Monday’s that would drive the moonbat elation that Chimpy McBush was going to be swept away by the rising tide of liberal conversion to the TRUE cause. We all know how that turned out.

If Obama lost 2 points to McCain over a weekend, then his bounce was really poor from his trip, and was probably seriously hurt by the German hospital story. Expect to see the Rassmussen rolling average on Thursday to show Obama and McCain even.

This is overall very very bad for Obama. As we have discussed, he needs to get his numbers above 50% to be able to win. The fact that he can’t close the deal, and his core support remains stuck at 43% (the plurality Clinton received in 1992 coincidentally — or not a coincidence) has to be worrying a lot of people. He has to get movement by independants to counter the inevitable slide back to McCain in October when people start paying attention. They just aren’t moving.

As the race stands right now, Obama’s best chance of victory is a tight 49.x% vs 49.x% result where he squeaks in with enough electoral votes to win. The dreams of a landslide, given the current state of the race, are impossible for him. There is an equally likely chance the McCain wins an electoral squeaker and that McCain wins a 3-5% victory with a healthy (300+) electoral margin.

As of today, given the current state of the candidates and future actions built into the race (conventions, debates, etc), I give Obama at best a 33% chance of winning in November. If he doesn’t begin to perform better than he has so far, he is in serious trouble.