We don’t yet know what tomorrow will bring, how the election will go, or what kind of Election Day antics Donald Trump might try. But here’s the thing. In terms of changing voters’ minds, the window is now closed. It turns out the big “October surprise” is that there really wasn’t one.
We saw plenty of big surprises in and around October, to be sure. Trump’s tax returns suddenly surfaced. Trump caught coronavirus. But those things didn’t end up having much of an impact on the numbers, probably because so many defining moments had already happened earlier in this election, and becuse Trump had already bottomed out at around 40%.
Trump of course tried his hardest to manufacture an October surprise with the phony Hunter Biden scandal – but that landed with a thud and changed zero minds. Last time around we had the big October surprise in the form of James Comey’s letter, but nothing like that happened this time. The lesson here is that there usually isn’t an October surprise, and that even when one does happen, it’s generally a fluke and not something that a candidate can manufacture.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report