Don't worry be happy. I know PPP might have cost some of us some sleep with the Ohio, IA and NH numbers (it did me) but not to worry. Why?
Well, because the fundamentals of the election right now favor our team.
1) O's lead is improving in most of the models and the basic structure of the race hasn't changed. Obama has a persistent and modest lead in several key states (which means he has a strong lead overall). As Silver says, small leads late in Oct are very significant. And, as Sam Wang shows, on the aggregate the President's numbers have been rising since the last debate. In other words, the numbers say the President got a bounce from debate 2.
It's important to remember that TPM, 538 are great sites dependent on advertising. They all have integrity, yes, but need to generate traffic. The horserace is their biz and changes in the lead are good for business.
If you think about it, the underlying determinate measure of the election- voters' preferences - are not that volatile. There are not that many undecideds, particularly at this stage of the election (and particularly in places like Ohio where voters have been saturated with info). People are not in political crisis over their votes - saying today "I'm for Obama" and then tomorrow "I'm for Romney" for no reason.
2) The end of game storyline, newscycle is favoring Obama. Despite efforts bv Chuck Todd to tout a late Romney surge, there is no real rationale for it other than Romney's advertising spend which is unlikely at this late stage to dramatically impact voter preference. I'm an old marketing hand and my read is that voters in swing states have seen tons of ads (and media) on the candidates and one more ad is not going to change preference at this point. Everyone has been "reached" and unless the story/products change dramatically, another ad is very unlikely to change things. I am highly skeptical, therefore that 10% of female voters suddenly swung to Romney because of something he said well into a very boring debate.
Anyway, to my point(!) Obama is winning the newscycle with Romnesia, news that supports the admins' handlling of Benghazi, etc. What does Romney have except the horserace and there is no new news there -- it has always been characterized as a toss up. Really, the story that is emerging is the President hitting his stride. The media is resisting it but they are going to have to report soon (especially as, if he does remain the favorite, they will need to revert to the mean at some point so they can claim/retain some predictive power).
3) Obama's team is better. They've set up the election very well and have a ground game advantage in most of the swing states over Romney. You could argue that - at this point in the election - GOTV is much more important that ad power.
They only thing that worries me is voter enthusiasm advantage (maybe Gallup is right) but that really doesn't hold up if you think about it. The motivated voters are the Tea Party folks and they are by no means a majority (old white men).
Of course, things are never certain and we should all work our asses off(!) but I for one plan to let the media (which unfortunately includes great places like TPM and 538) carry on doing the "up and downs" without carrying me along for the ride. I'm too old for that (just like I am for the playground merry go round my son like to go on really fast - that shit makes me dizzy).
GOTV and Peace.