John McCain is NOT gaining ground in the states that matter the most. The top tier of states in this election are Virginia, Colorado and Pennsylvania. There is lots of lots of polling in these states, particularly in Virgnia and Pennsylvania, and it's all coming up in roughly the same range, showing Obama leads in the high single digits (in VA and CO) or the low double digits (in PA). The second tier of states is probably Ohio, Florida and Nevada. McCain seems to be getting a bit stronger in Florida; Obama seems to be getting a bit stronger in Ohio and Nevada. McCain does seem to have halted Obama's progress in some of the third-tier states, particularly Missouri and North Carolina. On the other hand, some other third-tier states, like New Mexico and particularly New Hampshire (where Obama is getting some insane numbers lately), now appear to be off the table.MEGAN: We'll then have to pit hottie Nate Silver against Nerd God Chuck Todd's analysis, which is less rosy:
If they show up and vote, then Obama's margins will shrink dramatically because McCain — as I've argued before — will garner some 70+ percent of the undecided vote. What does this mean for the map? It puts a lot of states into too close to call territory, including North Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri and Nevada. The problem McCain has is that a movement of undecided voters toward him might not be enough to stop Obama in Colorado, Virginia and Pennsylvania.Really, Chucky T? Seventy percent of undecideds will break for McCain in 5 days? Those don't seem like actual undecideds, then. JASON: Well, look, I think Chuck Todd is not totally out of bounds to suggest that might happen, but if he's still going to concede Colorado, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, then that's the whole shooting match, right there, isn't it? MEGAN: I just feel like, fuck, man, Obama got Fukuyama, but he'll lose 70 percent of undecided voters? Let alone all the other Republicans he's picked up. I'm pretty sure McCain win over every, last bitter and annoying P.U.M.A., but that's about it. JASON: Well, it's all on the Obama team's GOTV effort, now. It's up to them to prevent their guy from getting pipped at the post, here. What does winning over every last PUMA even get you? Doesn't that still leave you a few dollars short for a bag of eggrolls? MEGAN: Also, on the P.U.M.A. front, can I just say how fucking annoying it is that all these Hillary Clinton supporters, piqued about sexism can't just quietly and bitterly go vote for McCain, they have to write shoddy missives on the Daily Beast about how personal this all is for them that have either nothing to do with policy or are just bitterness couched in a completely irrational, meritless and lacking-in-facts policy argument, thus extending the media narrative about irrational and emotional women voters? Arguably, making sexism worse, not that getting McCain into the White House would make sexism better and not make it worse anyway, but still... JASON: Well, look. PUMA has no policy argument. They have no political argument. This is like a group of like-minded, needy, sad people for whom having a Facebook group wasn't enough. Were they able to cast their vote next week for Hillary, they'd still be terribly useless to her because it's clear they don't give a tinker's damn about Hillary's point of view on the world and what America needs policy-wise. These are people who simply insist that America recognize their specialness. They won't be the reason McCain wins, they won't be the reason Obama loses. They won't be anything, but the memory of some addled fucksticks who yelled at Chris Matthews and had a website. I mean, the people who voted for Nader? They were some self-aggrandizing, self-absorbed turds right there. But they at least impacted an election. Also: they have good weed. MEGAN: Yeah, I mean, Nader's the only one that ever seemed angry. Even if the PUMAs had weed, good or otherwise, I feel like all that anger would totally harsh the mellow. JASON: PUMAs are like al Qaeda, if you could build them a universe on some holodeck to frolic in, shape the way they wanted, they'd happily take that and live there. They're really not all that interested in participating in the building of a nation with the rest of us. They just want their own precious FEELINGS enshrined in the national consciousness. Now, of course, if everything goes according to projection, and McCain loses, we still have to contend with another rough beast, unleashed on America this year, slouching her way toward Washington YOUBETCHA. MEGAN: Now, that's unfair, Sarah Palin has excellent posture. It's really difficult to slouch in 4 inch heels. Believe me, I've tried. Also, if she appoints herself to Stevens' seat next year, can we comment on the hilarity that the three states with all-female Senate delegations will be California, Maine (assuming Collins pulls it out) and Alaska — and that 4 or those 6 women are Republicans? JASON: Is that right? Who's the other Maine Senator? MEGAN: Olympia Snowe. JASON: Oh, of course! Well, I feel a lot safer with Collins and Snowe in the Senate than I do with Palin, fo sho. MEGAN: Collins and Snowe are, you know, actual mavericks that don't vote with GWB all the time. Funny how that works. JASON: Overnight, the McCain camp spit back on the contention made by ABC News, that Palin had basically done this interview with Elizabeth Vargas and had become more or less totally fixated on her future. Team McCain's beef in this is legit. MEGAN: Yeah, I was reading that. Why the fuck would they do that? JASON: Why would ABC do that? Who fucking knows. They probably wanted to get in on some of that sweet Palin 2012 action. Make the competitors sick for their big scoop. I don't know. There are obviously, bottom line motivations underpinning these decisions. MEGAN: Like, helping out Fox News? Proving Mark Salter right about the media? JASON: Well, now, let's not go sucking Mark Salter's dick just yet! MEGAN: I can pretty well swear that I will never, ever suck Mark Salter's dick.