Check this out for an interesting way of rating the race.
I think Obama is still being underestimated by some folks, though. I recall that most pundits never really got Reagan, either.
I don't doubt that there's plenty, plenty of cynicism, manipulation, lying, false positions and just plain crap in politics. Quite a few politicians are bums and even the good ones end up being a bum very now and then because the system requires it.
But, and this is a big BUT, quite often, and more often than the cynics think, politicians actually act based on beliefs.
Cynicism is fashionable among pundits and those who think they understand politics. And they may understand routine politics and tactical politics. But they are ill-equipped to understand big ideas. This is why the pundits seem to have trouble really understanding people driven by some belief or ideal. They don't understand the patriotism of soldiers -- or bikers. They don't understand Jihadists. They don't understand the faith of Mother Theresa or the Pope or the local church lady. And they don't understand Obama, Huckabee, Ron Paul or even John McCain.