‘October surprise’ could turn the tide of the US election

'October surprise' could turn the tide of the US election 1

‘October surprise’ could turn the tide of the US election

Director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Comey on October 28, 2016 informed Congress that an investigation into Mrs. Clinton, the US Democratic presidential candidate at that time, was being reopened.

FBI Director James Comey testified before the US House of Representatives in July 2016.

Information about the above decision, related to accusations that Mrs. Clinton handled classified information through her personal email server, immediately flooded all American media.

It contributed to tilting the electoral balance in favor of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, ultimately helping him win the race to the White House.

FiveThirtyEight, a website that analyzes polling data, calculated that Comey’s statement changed the views of at least one percent of voters in battleground states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Such incidents are nicknamed in American political circles as `October surprises`, with the implication that events occurring this month have a huge impact on the election results in early November.

'October surprise' could turn the tide of the US election

US President Donald Trump during a press conference at the White House on September 16.

James Carafano, vice president of the Kathryn and Shelby Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at the Heritage Foundation, said the `October surprise` has the potential to make an important difference in battleground states where the

`Historical reality shows that voters are often more influenced by things that happen right before an election than by events that happened a long time ago,` he said.

Timing is everything, Carafano said, citing the failure of George H.W.

`At election time, no voter cares who won the war in the Gulf, they only focus on what’s happening right then,` Carafano said.

Former Trump administration officials said the US President is looking for an `October surprise` of his own to serve as a stepping stone to help him win re-election.

Former US national security advisor John Bolton in his memoir published in late June revealed that a nuclear agreement with North Korea could be the `October surprise` that President Trump is aiming for.

In the context of Covid-19 raging globally, causing turmoil in the United States, the possibility of the Trump administration making an important announcement about a vaccine could also be another `October surprise`.

There are also `surprises` that bring advantages to the election campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Trump also came under fire from a number of controversies in September, including an Atlantic magazine article citing unnamed sources accusing him of disparaging American soldiers who died in battle by calling them `losers.`

On September 15, reporter Bob Woodward published a book based on interviews with Trump, which contained shocking information, showing that Trump deliberately downplayed the severity of the outbreak.

The above two revelations can be counted as `early October surprises`, commented John Hudak, a management research expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

`If these allegations were released at the end of October like what Mrs. Clinton faced in 2016, they would be very difficult for President Trump to overcome,` he said, adding that the danger of `October surprise

Another `early October surprise` that is adding to the chaos in American politics is the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18.

The vacant seat she left on the Supreme Court gives Trump the opportunity to nominate a conservative and Republican-leaning judge to the most powerful body in the US judicial system.

Democrats, including former president Barack Obama, requested to postpone the nomination of a candidate to replace Judge Ginsburg until after the election, while Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate asserted they had the right to nominate.

`I think the future is still undecided and anyone who tells you they know what’s going to happen is lying,` said MSNBC host Chris Hayes.

Marco Carnelos, former Italian ambassador to Iraq, currently a political consultant in Rome, said that the importance of the `October surprise` should not be underestimated when President Trump is narrowing the gap with his party opponent.

Democratic candidate Joe Biden (right) spoke at Grace Lutheran Church, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3.

The US is currently the country reporting the most Covid-19 infections and deaths in the world.

Republicans have angered Democrats by trying to block funding for the US Postal Service, aiming to reduce the number of people voting by mail.

Trump once raised the suspicion of fraud in mail-in voting, but he did not provide any evidence.

In the same August, Hillary Clinton told MSNBC that Joe Biden `should not concede under any circumstances` because she thought it was likely that Trump’s campaign would disrupt the vote.

Another candidate that could also become an `October surprise` is China.

Carnelos said that creating a `military incident` with China in which the US wins would be `a good card` for the Republicans.

But according to Gary Sick, a member of the White House National Security Council under three former US presidents, President Trump risks a `bad blowback` if he intentionally creates a military conflict with China.

`There is no guarantee that the American public, who is truly war-weary, will react positively to the threat of a military clash emanating from Trump,` he noted.

Sick said that US election campaign managers have become `too obsessed` with the idea that the opponent can launch an `October surprise` to change the election results.

`An October surprise is often more important to the campaign than to the election,` he said, adding that such events often matter more in tight races with large numbers of voters.

According to Sick, if the Trump campaign plans to surprise in October, this `surprise` is more likely to be related to internal issues than on the foreign policy front, in the context of

`Those are the issues that are occupying the minds of all American voters,` he said.

Vu Hoang (According to SCMP)

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