Here's what really jumps out at you from that Times/CBS poll:*

[T]he poll found, for the first time, that white voters are just about evenly divided between Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama, who, if elected, would be the first black president. The poll found that Mr. Obama is supported by 45 percent of white voters — a greater percentage than has voted for Democrats in recent presidential elections, according to exit polls.

To put it bluntly: Democrats pretty much never win (or tie among) white voters. The last to win a majority was LBJ in 1964; Clinton narrowly missed a plurality with Perot's help in '92 and '96. 'The idea that the first African American nominee would have a chance to even come close is pretty stunning.

In a semi-related development, it's good to see the Palin pick continuing to pay dividends. Here's yet another data point in the long, downward march of her approval ratings: "Ms. Palin’s favorability rating is now 32 percent, down 8 points from last month, and her unfavorable rating climbed nine percentage points to 41 percent."

*I'm pretty sure I saw someone else seize on this, but I can't remember who...

--Noam Scheiber