There was Nixon in 1972. Carter in 1980. Bush in 2000. These elections, in addition to others throughout history, experienced what pundits refer to as October Surprises. These are events or news revelations that come about very late in the election season with a strong potential of affecting the outcome of the race. For Nixon, he had claimed that peace was on the horizon in Vietnam, when it was then revealed that that was far from true. He went on to win, but that was because of McGovern’s poor quality as a candidate, and not Nixon’s strength, which took a hit after this incident. Carter’s negotiations with the Iranians over American hostages stalled in October, and the Reagan team used this as evidence that he was not fit to lead. Reagan won in a landslide. People argue that Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 due to a report of a drunk driving arrest from 1976 that broke five days before Election Day. Now, there are arguments that the Trump – Clinton election has met its October Surprise. Well, surprises.
There was the release of a tape depicting Trump making heinously lewd comments about women and his proclivity for sexual assault. He said that he could touch women’s genitals without their consent, and needless to say, this did not sit well with the American public. The subsequent announcements from nearly a dozen women that Trump had assaulted them over the years hurt his polling even further. Some suspected that to be the dagger in his campaign. October Surprise, right?
Not so fast. James Comey announced Friday that he would be reopening the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Huma Abedin is one of Hillary’s top aides and is the estranged wife of Anthony Weiner, the former New York congressman who is currently under investigation for a sexting scandal with an underage girl. In the search of Weiner’s computer, the FBI stumbled upon thousands of Abedin’s emails, which may have an impact on Hillary’s email scandal. Comey notified Congress of the fact that he would be reopening the case, and they immediately leaked it to the media, which has had a field-day with the news.
Although there is still debate as to what may be in the newly discovered emails, if anything at all, there is definitely reason to believe that this could affect the election. Pundits have argued that there will not be much impact to Hillary’s support base, however undecided voters and Trump supporters may have a greater incentive to head to the polls and mobilize others to do so. Increased turnout among this demographic may affect the election, but that is not yet clear.
Do you think this October Surprise will affect Hillary?