From NBC's Mark Murray
According to the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Obama leads McCain, 48-46 percent, which is virtually unchanged from our poll released after the political conventions, when Obama was ahead by one point, 47-46 percent.
This two-point Obama lead is a much different result than what we saw in another recent poll, which had the Illinois Democrat up by a larger margin. The McCain campaign argued today that Democratic respondents outweighed Republican ones by 16 points in that poll's sample. By comparison, the NBC/Journal poll has Democrats leading in party identification by just seven points.
Note: The 6:30 pm ET release for the poll was moved up due to today's news on the campaign trail. We'll have more on the poll shortly on MSNBC.com.
*** UPDATE *** Per Cillizza, the Washington Post's polling director responds "that the actual party ID numbers among likely voters had Democrats plus six points. It was only when people who offer no original party ID were asked whether they leaned one direction or the other that the number jumped to Democrats +16."