The One led by eight on Monday and by six yesterday. If it’s true that McCain’s chances are at the mercy of the economy, why’s he gaining in the middle of an economic crisis, after an 800-point drop on Wall Street? I’m tempted to call it an outlier — but if it is, how’d he gain five points in the new WaPo poll too? The knee-jerk answer is that he’s riding a wave of residual goodwill from the House GOP’s revolt against the bailout, but (a) passionate opposition to the bailout is cooling, (b) McCain actually took credit for getting a bailout deal done before it was undone, and (c) he’s unambiguously in favor of the Senate bill so the backlash may only have been delayed. (Then again, Obama’s unambiguously in favor too so he shouldn’t reap any political windfall.)

Whatever the cause, America’s coming back, baby! Except, er, in all the states we need to win. Quinnipiac’s numbers actually do look like outliers, but the trends ain’t good even in other polls in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Current pessimism meter reading: Nine, indicating pronounced worries of a landslide and elevated levels of heart-ache in anticipation of tomorrow night’s debate.

Update: Why would anyone care what poll trends look like a month out? Here’s why.