… In an article entitledÂ Obama Vs. Romney: Will October Bring a Political Surprise?, ABCâ€™s Russell Goldman speculates that an Iranian attack on American interests could swing the election one way or the other, even suggesting that Mitt Romney may have â€œcut a dealâ€ with Iran to undermine Obama.
â€œWere something to occur in the days before the election, itâ€™s impossible to know how it might affect the voting,â€ he writes.
The fact that polls show Romney and Obama are so closely tied, â€œincreases the likelihood that an unexpected event can shape the polls,â€ writes Goldman, pointing to the Iranian hostage crisis on the eve of the 1980 election which helped Ronald Reagan defeat Jimmy Carter.
â€œYou can term any unexpected event in late October or early November an â€˜October surprise,â€™â€ said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. â€œThe surprising thing is that weâ€™re surprised by it every four years.â€
As we covered at the time, the 2004 appearance of Osama Bin Laden in a videotaped message a few days before the presidential election in which he all but urged people to vote for Senator John Kerry was later acknowledged by both George W. Bush and John Kerry as the deciding factor behind Bushâ€™s victory in that yearâ€™s closely fought election contest.
Bin Ladenâ€™s intervention was so controversial and crucial that veteran newscasterÂ Walter Kronkite told Larry King at the timeÂ that he thought the whole episode was a â€œset-upâ€ orchestrated by Karl Rove.
Geopolitical analysts have speculatedÂ that the recent uproar over the anti-Muhammad film is a pre-cursor to an October surprise that will be exploited by neo-conservatives to â€œCarterizeâ€ President Obama and ensure Mitt Romney, a closer ally with Israelâ€™s Bibi Netanyahu, is installed in his place.
It has even been suggested that Barack Obama may have an October surprise of his own ready and waiting, taking a cue from Bushâ€™s 2004 success by preparing to release long-awaited photos showing the dead corpse of Osama Bin Laden.
In the days following the announcement that Bin Laden had been killed, Obama enjoyed a significant bounce in his approval ratings -Â jumping 9 percentage pointsÂ almost overnight.
Given the amount of flak Obama has been receiving over his foreign policy failure in the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, nothing is outside the realms of possibility.
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