Photo by GWP Photography
In 2012, the polls were pretty much neck and neck the last week of the 2012 election cycle. The final results of the Real Clear Politics average of polls showed Obama with a razor thin margin of .7% over Romney. That is 7/10 of one percent.
Of course Obama went on to win by 4%.
Were the polls off? Perhaps. But if you recall, we had an October surprise in 2012 in the form of a natural disaster.
On October 26, 2012 Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Super Storm Sandy was bearing down on the Mid Atlantic and Northeastern corridors of the US. New York and several other states declared a state of emergency. And we all know the results. Sandy was one of the worst storms to hit the New York/New Jersey area in history.
That was 11 days before the election.
In the aftermath of the storm, lives were disrupted and the property damage was enormous.
And the news focused on the devastation caused by the storm as well as President Obama’s Herculean response. Day after day Obama was seen moving mountains to help the people in the path of this storm. The positive coverage Obama received from the media was a tremendous boost to Obama’s campaign. The visual of Chris Christie hugging Obama on his visit to New Jersey was positive publicity that simply can’t be bought. Obama had an opportunity to be very presidential and there is no doubt that the misery of millions of people was an enormous boon to Obama’s campaign.
And in the aftermath of the storm, any polling data was badly skewed because of power outages and damage that stretched as far as West Virginia where a state of emergency was declared due to the snow from Sandy. Much of the east was unable to heat their house, let alone participate in a poll.
(Never mind the fact that after the election Obama forgot who these people were.)
And so while the polls didn’t show it, a major trend towards Obama happened in those last 11 days. And the polls didn’t show it.
Fast forward to 2016.
On October 28. 2016, an eerily similar 11 days from the November 8, 2016 election, FBI Director James Comey notified Congress that he was re-opening the Hillary email case because agents had found hundreds of thousands of emails on Anthony Wiener’s laptop that he shared with his now estranged wife and 20 year Hillary aid Huma Abedin. While this was an unrelated case, the emails appear to be involved in the Clinton private server investigation.
Unlike 2012, we are seeing the real and steady climb by Donald Trump in the polls. And the steady decline of Hillary Clinton. Since the FBI revelation about the renewed investigation, the polls have made a decided turn to Trump. Real Clear Politics has Clinton still in the lead by an average of 1.7%, but they are including polls that were taken either entirely or substantially before the FBI announcement on Friday October 28. And one of those polls is a rather large poll, mostly taken before the announcement, but it is an online poll. And we know how Democrats love to manipulate those. So if we disregard the polls taken before the FBI bombshell, the RCP average would show Trump with a 1.7% lead.
I think it is pretty safe to say that the Democrat’s October surprise of Trump’s locker room potty mouth has run it’s course and is no longer having any effect on the race. And the same is true of the women who Trump supposedly called fat. Who cares. And most of that has been debunked. But the voters have moved on.
This latest October surprise has seen Independents moving more strongly to Trump as well as the Republicans who are not seeing the real possibility Trump is going to be the next President also moving to Trump. Nobody wants to be remembered as a #NeverTrump Republican during a Trump Administration.
And lest we forget the political influence of October surprises, in the 2008 election the October surprise actually came in mid September with the banking collapse that took the McCain Obama race from a strong upwards surge for McCain in the polls in early September to a decline and fall of the Republican Empire as Bush and McCain got the blame. Polls had McCain leading Obama in the first couple weeks of September 2008 by as much as 10 points. And the majority of the polls in early September were all McCain. That abruptly stopped in mid September with Obama leading in every single poll after 9/25/2008. The RCP average then predicted Obama would win with a 7.6 margin. He won by 7.3%.
So the October Surprise effect is real and palpable. And the beneficiary will see a tight race turn in their favor, as long as the story is large enough and sustained.
The Democrat’s surprise for Trump has already run it’s course. And like the banking crisis in 2008 and Super Storm Sandy in 2012, both large and sustained, determined the outcome of the presidential contest, so too will Hillary’s FBI Investigation. It too is real and sustained.