One cannot win the popular vote by 5% and lose the electoral college. The only time one will see a loss in one and a win in the other is when the popular vote is within 1%-2%.
As for an electoral tie, it is possible but I doubt it. Due to changes following the 2000 Census, Bush states have more electoral votes than they did in 2000 while the states that Gore won have less. However, in the event of a 269-269 tie, President Bush will still win reelection. The House will pick the President but they vote by state delegation. So a person needs 26 votes to win the Presidency in the House. As of right now Republicans control far more than 26 state delegations and will add at least one more (Texas) in the new Congress which is who would decide the election. In the event of an electoral tie, the Senate would be responsible for picking the Vice-President.
Right now the polls a showing a trend toward President Bush. In the battleground states, he has pulled ahead of Kerry or Kerry's lead has shrunk or disappeared.
Florida- Two polls several weeks ago showed Kerry ahead (although one was the known liberal biased ARG poll) but 3 more recent ones have shown Bush ahead by up to 5% (I think one had Bush up by 8% but I can't find it right now to reference.)
Ohio- Same a Florida. Several polls showed Kerry ahead but recent ones including Gallup have given Bush a lead up to 5% which is what he won Ohio by in 2000
Michigan- Multiple polls earlier had Kerry up by up to 12% while several polls over the last week, including one by ARG, have shown Kerry up at most by 3% which is well within the margin of error.
Wisconsin and Iowa- Won by Gore in 2000 but recent polls have shown either a tie or Bush ahead by several points
Minnesota- Won by Gore in 2000 and Kerry had been well ahead until recent polls shown up by a few points or tied.
Pennsylvania- Kerry has also been leading in Penn. for months, sometimes by as much as 15%. However, recent polls have shown it closer including a Pew Poll (another usual left leaning pollster) that had Kerry only ahead by 1%. (Of course this doesn't include Democrat voter fraud like occurred in 2000 where some districts of Philadelphia had 125% voter turnout.)
Oregon- Kerry and Bush have moved back and forth over the last few months with neither candidate taking a continual lead. However, with a state constitutional amendment on the ballot that would prohibit homosexual marriage, a larger conservative turnout is anticipated which would favor the President.
Maine- Won by Gore in 2000 but recent polls have shown it close with Bush probably winning at least one of Maine's electoral votes. (Maine is one of two states that divides it electoral votes)
Colorado- One poll has shown it a tie but without more to confirm or refute it there is no way to tell if the poll is correct or an outlier.
Arkansas- A couple of polls shortly after the Democrat convention had it close or tied but Bush has lead here all year long and more recent polls have confirmed this.
Now why are the polls, both national and state, showing a movement away from Kerry and either into the undecided or for Bush category? Well, probably for two reasons. One would be the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have shown people how sleazy Kerry is. Whether or not people think the SBVT for truth are being fronted by the Bush campaign, which of course they're not, their book "Unfit for Command" has been selling so fast that the publisher cannot keep up with the demand. This book was selling well before the SBVT ads ever ran and Kerry's implosion over the SBVT have just increased sales. The other reason is something that has been known for months now. Kerry is better off when he is promoted by his surrogates at the DNC, ACT
, Moveon.org etc. Whenever he opens his mouth, he turns people off (except for the hardcore liberal base) as he doesn't appeal to the average American.
As I mentioned with Oregon, one issue that cannot be factored into the election polls are the states with constitutional amendments to ban homosexual marriage. Oregon is one while it should be on the ballot in Ohio and possibly Michigan but that is being stalled by Democrats on the state election board. A fairly good number of other states also have it on the ballot in November but they're states that are considered lockups by one candidate or the other. Just remember that every poll in Missouri said that their constitutional amendment banning homosexual marriage would get around 50% of the vote. It passed with over 70% of the vote. It is an issue which brings people to the polls; people which will mostly vote for President Bush come November.
My prediction at this time (just remember that anything can happen between now and November 2nd) is that George Bush will win the popular vote by at least 5% and the electoral college with around 315 EC