We've had five polls taken since the Republican National Convention was completed, not counting tracking polls which are not designed to reflect accurate snapshots of public opinion.
Below are the results for "Registered Voters" in those five polls. (I am not relying on "Likely Voter" results because I am not convinced any polling outfit knows how to determine who is a likely voter is in this unprecedented election.)
Before both conventions, I wrote:
If we start seeing McCain consistently break 45 after both conventions, that would indicate McCain was having success sowing doubt about Obama among undecideds, which would likely make this a very close race to the finish.
McCain breaks 45% in all of the above polls, a clear success. More than I expected after watching their convention.
I had thought at best McCain rallied the conservative base. But surpassing 45% shows he -- or perhaps more accurately, Sarah Palin -- made some inroads among the swing.
But I caution that these polls were taken right after the RNC.
A roundup of polls taken at the end of this week or next week would give a better sense of where the race stands after everything from both conventions was fully processed. But tracking polls aside, we may not get such data.
And regardless, even a temporary bump over 45% says to me that a portion of the swing electorate is at least giving McCain-Palin a fresh hearing.
What does that mean?
It means do the one thing that has nothing to do with the polls: get to work and turn out the vote.