John McCain isn’t moving up on Barack Obama in the polls—at least not fast enough to be significant, writes statistics guru Nate Silver at his blog FiveThirtyEight.com. The Republican appears to be about six or seven points back. While he’s picked up maybe a point in the last week, he has to gain six more in five days to close the gap—not an easy task.
“Number two, John McCain is NOT gaining ground in the states that matter the most,” writes Silver. In most swing states, Obama appears to be strengthening his position or, at worst, slipping into a tie with McCain. In the top tier, Obama's lead is steady in Virginia, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. In the second tier, McCain seems to be gaining in Florida, Obama in Ohio and Nevada. “My feeling is that John McCain still needs some sort of external contingency to win the presidency.”