Apparently, the New York Times can’t predict the future:
It is unclear whether the contest has merely reverted to a steady state in which neither candidate can establish a clear lead, whether Mr. Bush can regain the advantage with a strong performance in the second and third debates or whether Thursday marked a turning point at which Mr. Kerry firmly seized the initiative.
— NYT, 2004-Oct-04, Richard W. Stevenson & Janet Elder, “Poll Results Show Race for President Is Again a Dead Heat.”
So it is unclear whether Bush will pull ahead, Kerry will pull ahead, or the next weeks will continue to show the two candidates tied. Insightful.
Janet & Richard aren’t to be blamed, though. This kind of “duh!” reporting is the norm when the poll is the story. If you want actual insight into the issues of the campaign you must look elsewhere.