The October surprise is Sandy.
I’m not seeing much discussion on how Hurricane Sandy will effect the election but effect it she almost certainly will. The maximum damage will be inflicted from early Monday through early Wednesday. However a storm of this strength doesn’t just move on and immediately everybody gets back to normal. Bad stuff keeps happening in a ripple effect that can go on for several days. Trees weakened by the storm can wait a few days before crashing. People are displaced, roads are blocked. People behaved badly. Officials are incompetent.
After the derecho back in June, many people were out of power for up to a couple of weeks and some roads were blocked for several days. If this storm is as powerful as we are being told, the clean-up will last past Election Day. It seems rather unlikely that the election could go on as though nothing happened.
In a perfect world President Obama and Mitt Romney (or designated representatives) would be privately discussing contingency plans for election day. Given Obama’s standard modus operandi, I don’t expect that will happen.
This could be a disaster in many more ways than one.