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What will be the 'October Surprise' in this year's presidential election?
FILE PHOTO: Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in 1972.
October 3rd, 2012
05:08 PM ET

What will be the 'October Surprise' in this year's presidential election?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

If it's October and it's a presidential election year, then it's just about time for a so-called “October surprise.”

That means any late-breaking event that can change the outcome of the race.

For example: Twelve days before the 1972 presidential election, Henry Kissinger made a major announcement about the Vietnam War, saying "We believe peace is at hand." This likely helped the incumbent Richard Nixon go on to win every state but Massachusetts.

The most famous October surprise was one that never came. In 1980, Republicans were worried that President Jimmy Carter would be boosted in his re-election bid by a rescue or release of the American hostages in Iran. That didn't happen - and Ronald Reagan won the election in a landslide.

More recently, Osama bin Laden released a video four days before the 2004 election. This reminder of the 9/11 attacks probably helped George W. Bush win a second term.

The year 2008 saw the financial meltdown, which technically started in September with the collapse of Lehman Brothers. It was a moment that boosted Barack Obama and highlighted John McCain's weakness on the economy.

So what about 2012?

That old video of an angry speech with racial overtones by then-candidate Obama which resurfaced last night could sway voters.

Or maybe the surprise is still lurking. Tonight's debate certainly has the potential to provide one.

There's always a chance for significant economic news - a jobs report, or the potential of the U.S. falling off that fiscal cliff.

And it's not hard to imagine some unexpected event in the Middle East. Take your pick: Iran, Israel, Syria, Libya.

Here’s my question to you: What will be the “October Surprise” in this year’s presidential election?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election
soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. timothywilliamson

    Obama takes out the al qaeda elements responsible for the deaths in Libya.....

    October 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    There isn't any.

    The Obama administration has been such a do nothing, administration, that the country is literally stopped dead in the road, and there is nothing happening anywhere.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  3. Miguel-tx

    The surprise will be a favorable showing by Gov. Romney and a less favorable showing by the President resulting in undecided voters moving into the Romney Camp. The President is on the defense because of his failure to move the Country into the safe zone. Voters will be afraid to trust him with another 4 years.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  4. Paul From Austin Texas

    The debates each party will be able to see just who they have as a candidate and will have to live with good or bad.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  5. David Lee

    That the people of the United States of America wake up out of this fog and realize President Obama isn’t who he says he is. This fog is that he has helped this Country his economic redistribution just adds to the debt it doesn’t help anyone. Obama care has 83% of doctors considering leaving medicine. As we’ve seen he has no foreign policy experience if you go by President Obama record it is a failure to America. How can America see a change in four more years?

    October 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  6. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    Romney will decide to drop out of the race and Ryan will take his place. Ryan will then pick Sarah Palin as his VP nominee. Then Obama will receive 95% of the vote November 6th.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  7. Mark

    We could start with Obama's 2007 Hampton University's speech use race to divide this country. He bait raced his Afro-American audience that the Fed's don't care about you and Katrina, New Orleans. And I thought Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were the only black race baiters out there.

    This proves that BHO is a racist, egotistical, self-centered man, who will say anything to win votes. If the CNN and the rest of the Main-Stream-Media (Pravda) had vetted this individual, we as a country would have been spared his incompetence. Vote for Obama is a vote for racism!

    October 3, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  8. Peg in NY

    This year's October surprise will be that Obama is surging in the polls.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  9. Tonybottomline

    The October surprise could be Obama releasing the dead photos of Osama Bin Laden: To remind people of Obama's effective war on terror.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  10. Pete in Georgia

    Maybe we'll learn that Obama wasn't born in America after all, but on Mars.
    That'll explain everything.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  11. BOB in Ohio

    It's already happening. Pennsylvania's Supreme Court halted the implementation of the bogus Republican voter I.D. law, in Florida the Republicans were caught in voter registration fraud, and the Republican party is showing its true position on women's issue by backing "legitimate rape" Akin once again.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  12. Rich McKinney, Texas

    With congress being on vacation until after the election it is highly unlikely that they will have anything to do with a surprise that might effect an election. That leaves one of two possibilities. The first being an event such as a hostage crisis or governmental calamity of magnitude that Obama and the democrats completely blunder or number 2, Romney might actually for once connect with voters. Since number two is not likely then that means a catastrophic event would have to occur to sway voters at this juncture.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  13. Ralph,Corpus Christi

    Jack, if I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise now would it?
    Ralph- Corpus Christi, Texas

    October 3, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  14. Jayne in NH

    An unauthorized release of Mitt's old tax returns would be a pretty good October surprise. I bet we'd learn he not only didn't pay taxes during some years, but that taxpayers gave him a subsidy.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  15. Mark Lee

    The biggest October surprise will be the GOP getting caught committing voter registration fraud. What makes it so big is that the top GOP guys knew who they were hiring which is why they asked Sproul to change the name of the company. They were hoping he would do what he does best, voter fraud.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  16. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    I don't know what the surprise will be, but it would be a surprise if Romney won tonight's debate.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  17. Pat in Michigan

    Not really a "surprise" but I think it is the reality that no matter who wins , we are goners. That is a s polite as I can say it.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  18. Sueb

    The October surprise will be that Mitt Romney's tax returns are leaked and people will see that he partook of the IRS amnesty program and that in some years, he paid less than 5%!

    October 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  19. Ann from Charleston SC

    Romney will release his IRS tax returns for the last ten years.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  20. Gary H. Boyd

    It will be the confirmed revelation that Barack Hussein Obama really is a Muslim.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    October 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  21. Ed from California

    I don't know about an October surprise. But, a November surprise. Where Boehner, Cantor, McConnell and the rest of the republican-teabagging congress gets the boot. Now that would be a great start and a very welcomed surprise, indeed.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  22. Phyllis G Williams

    What will be the “October Surprise” in this year’s presidential election?

    If a 'Surprise' is "an unexpected event" and I can tell you now,
    it would no longer be a Surprise, it would be a 'Prophesy' (smile)

    October 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  23. Lee, Wyoming

    It's a SURPRISE!!!! Here are some wild guesses ....... A good upward trend in
    the economy. ............. Akin bows out of the Missouri Senate race......... . .. Donald Trump outsources himself to the Cayman Islands .......... Grover Norquist abducted
    by aliens and sends back message to "stay the course"...........

    October 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  24. Ron WPAFB

    Late next week, the full unaltered Income Taxes of Mitt Romney from 2003 through 2009! All the Investments and where the money went in Off Shore accounts. Very questionable shel game with investments and not claiming income!!!!!!!!! More questions about Bain Capital income! Then, the Criminal enterprises connected with the Romney fortune! And last but not least,the investment connections with the Bin Laden Family!

    October 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  25. Andre R. Newcomb

    That Americans start telling the truth. And never stop telling the truth.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  26. BrainTurnedOff

    Romney tweets: "I knew I should not have released my tax returns", when Ann Romney changed her endorsement to support Barack Obama after she learned how much her husband has really earned.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  27. Brad, Portland, OR

    It would be a big surprise if Mitt finally stopped pandering to his right-wing base and moved his policies closer to the mainstream middle.

    But the biggest surprise of all would be Mitt releasing his tax returns like every other Presidential candidate has done since his father did it in the 1960s.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  28. annie, atlanta

    Personally, I think it was a September surprise this time around, though finding out that Mitt Romney disdains nearly half of us wasn't all that big of a surprise to those of us who have been paying attention. Of course I must concede the month has just begun and the haters have whipped themselves up into a frenzy, so who knows what may happen.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  29. Michael

    Jack " The only October Surprise for me will be is if Romney can keep his foot out of his mouth for the whole month.

    Mike Largo Florida

    October 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  30. SherrieGG, Camarillo, CA

    That Mitt Romney makes an empty suit look proactive.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  31. Gary in San Jose, California

    I think we'll get an October surprise in the form of a spectacular gaff during the debates.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  32. David, Tampa

    That more people watch or care about the debates than watch or care about Honey Boo Boo. That Romney makes a respectable showing in the debates. That Obama doesn't shoot himself in the foot during the debates. Can you wake me up when it's over?

    October 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  33. Gurgyl

    Flip-Flop, Flip-Flop, flip-flop. Then 47% of middle Class Americans are compared to beggars. Flip-flop. Tax evader thinks all tax evaders.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  34. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    The surprise will be the lack of a presidential race. Republicans and their resources will bail on that race and make a determined effort to retain the Congress. The president's coattails are going to purge plenty of Tea Partiers from this do-nothing Congress. What a surprise!

    October 3, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  35. Toni

    The October surprise would be if a third party candidate starts gaining ground on these two jokes! I would really like to see that!

    South Carolina

    October 3, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  36. Johnathan, Missouri

    It is totally simple Jack, whoever wins the debate....or the election for that matter

    October 3, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  37. lou

    Mitt Romney's 2009 taxes will show he paid no income tax. 2008 was a really bad year for investors and men like Romney, who make their money in investments, can write off all those loses. I would be really surprised if Obama's team, being in charge of the federal government, doesn't already have that information, and are just waiting for a good time for the 'leak' to come out.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  38. Olga

    October's goblin will show up again in the face of Mitt Romney. The guy that tells you that there will be taxes, but he can't tell you until after you elect him...and that goes for everything he stands for. NO SUBSTANCE, NO FACTS, NO HOW-TO NO NOTHING!

    October 3, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  39. s in fl

    We'll find out Mitt received one of the IRS pardons for his Swiss bank accounts.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  40. Terry in Virginia

    That Mitt Romney bet $10,000 that he'd lose the election right after he bet $10,000 that he'd win the election.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  41. Fred Allan in Cleveland, Mississippi

    Jack, I believe the "October Surprise" has come early, and, in my opinion, it seems there was more than one surprise. There was President Obama coming out in favor of gay marriage. Then there was Mitt Romney failing to mention the troops in his acceptance speech. Then there was the video of Romney saying that "47 percent of Americans are dependent on government." And most recently, there is the video of Paul Ryan saying that "30 percent of Americans want the Welfare State." I think any one of these surprises could count as the "October Surprise", even though most of them did not occur in the month of October.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  42. Derry Pence

    The biggest surprise will be the revelation that the Adminstration is offering to pay the legal fees for companies to not adhere to the WARN Act law so that pink slips are not sent out just prior to the election.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  43. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    What a surprise – Mitt Romney has to get a personally signed waiver from the President so he can get a security clearance for the Presidential daily briefings. Due to his continued use of off-shore tax shelters, the FBI is not allowed to grant him a security clearance without Obama's approval. That would be a good surprise and help demonstrate the risk this guy presents to the nation.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  44. Jim in Denver, CO

    Jack,
    Mitt Romney's additional Tax Returns, after the scrub job is completed. Takes awhile to do that ya know. Either that or Paul Ryan will get nailed for sexting his P90x workout 6-pack abs to Michelle Bachman.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  45. Ryan

    I've been reading around and allegedly Obama's "October Surprise" may have something to do with drug laws, specifically the legal status of marijuana. If so then this could be a pitch toward younger voters

    -Piermont, NY

    October 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  46. PJ

    CNN giving Romney a fair shake. Now that would really be a surprise. CNN as usual is in the bag for that left-wing socialist Obama and I wouldn't expect anything different from you bunch of left-wing ideological hacks. You guys are becoming as bad as those whack jobs at MSNBC.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  47. Riley ODay

    It was the 47% video played in Sept.. Or there is more of it shot over brandy and cigars that will really burn Romney.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  48. Susan-NJ

    Someone will dig up some scandal buried in someone's past. After Bill Clinton we shoudl be immune.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  49. Doug Ericson

    The Obama campaign is working feverishly to make sure there aren't any October Surprises, but there is only so much they can control, and the Middle East is already showing signs of a major erruption. The Srian conflict is spilling over onto the borders of neighboring counties. Turkey may launch an attack against Syria any day now. If Israel is going to attack Iran, it may come sooner than later. Conflicting Sects in Iraq are back at it again, blowing each other up. Afghanistan is unstable. Egypt is semi stable, like a rickety table with marbles under three legs to keep it level. Yemen has a seemingly endless supply of terrorist, ready to cause havoc there. Palestinians are hungry for recognition, and the stability of a country with boundaries they can call their own. Saudi Arabia has womans rights issues to resolve. Its never good to have the women mad at you, they will see. Lybia is trying desperately to keep from turning upside down. Did I mention Pakistan? Anyways, with all this trouble brewing, there is also, an underlying current of protest from folks unhappy with the top down order of things. There is an Arab Spring brewing in every country it seems. So, October Surprise or not, there is trouble down the road. Good luck to the next President, whether it is a return of President Obama, or Mitt Romney. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  50. Ben from Boston

    Five Rather Unlikely Things Come to Mind:

    1. Economy Grows Robustly in October
    2. U.S. Carrier torpedoed by Unknown Submarine
    3. Israel devastates Iran with New Cyber Weapon
    4. Terrorists attack U.S. Embassy/Consulate Again
    5. President Obama nominated for Second Nobel

    October 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  51. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    That smokin Joe will step aside and Hillary will take his place. Yes, this is wishful thinking but it would be a landslide victory for the President and Hillary would be a shoe-in for 2016.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  52. Rustydog42

    Chris In Austin, TX says:

    Yes. The Texas Rangers win the World Series. That'll be a surprise!

    On another topic, the current Secretary of State will be forced out; but not until after the election.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  53. Thom Richer

    I think the big surprise of this election has already occurred. It being that Mitt Romney is actually the RNC's candidate for president. I know my jaw dropped a few inches. Perhaps a bigger "October"surprise will be he makes it through 3 debates before failing to be elected. Because he's never stood a "ghost" of a chance to begin with.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    October 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  54. Obama is a joke

    Teleprompter is not allowed in the debate , right ??

    There you go Barry , face some harsh reality NOW .

    October 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  55. JM from DFW

    Republican domination of the House, Senate and Presidents office.

    It will happen unless those who are hurting the most don't vote.

    Then Mexico and Canada will need to guard it's borders as we escape Legal Slavery described as job opportunities.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  56. Bob from Bellmore Long Island, New York

    If Mitt Romney goes through the month without flip-flopping on an issue

    October 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  57. tom

    Mitt should ditch the Univision brown and opt for a ruddier mile high outdoorsy complexion.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  58. Tyler from denver

    The real surprise will be after the election Jack. Surprise war with iran, Surprise new global currency, Surprise more rights taken for our safety. Good thing my Countrymen have my back watching sports, dancing with the stars voting for one party holding a blue cow chip or one party holding a red cow chip. I take that back, there is only one cow pie; blue on one side and red on the other and we the people get to vote on the colour we want to look at for the next four years.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  59. BrainTurnedOff

    Paul Ryan admits: "I was never good in math".

    October 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  60. Not Pete in Georgia

    The good news is that Romney turns out to have a heart after all; the bad news is that it's on loan from Dick Cheney.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  61. Dan in Aluquerque

    Who knows? Because Obama is the president, and is in charge, he is open to far more surprises than Romney. He can't control what other countries do, although the GOP says he can (usually with military force). Otherwise, not much can change the dynamics short of an attack by Israel or Iran. Either of thopse would force decisive military action and a total disruption of the international relations with China, Russia, many Arab countries, etc. And you can count on the GOP to attack Obama instead of the real enemies whatever happens. There is no more patriotic sticking together in crises anymore.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  62. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Any surprise doesn't matter Jack. The Corporate Party has both political parties’ covered as always in this election. They have run our country for decades and have skillfully dictated to our leaders in Washington, both Republican, and Democrat, through the efforts of thousands of their lobbyists. They have the Fed’s and the States covered. Government borrowing and spending will continue to flow into the private sector, but at a slower rate because of the debt the party has helped influence. The Corporate Party can fool all the people all of the time, because it is inherent in our Free Enterprise System. In that system there is where most of the bucks actually stops and ends up mostly in the hands of the one percent.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  63. Tim , Garland, TX

    the surprise is how may time's mitt Romney messes up in tonites debate. as for President Obama he will hit and hit hard i hate to see this country go back to the old Bush way"s they never worked.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  64. DaleW in Lowell MA

    The surprise will be that there will be no surprise. The R duro are so far in the hole and continue to dig deeper while pulling dirt down over themselves. The real surprise would be Romney really releasing is tax returns.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  65. chris

    the suprise will be when the last few weeks to election that the obama supportser will wake up and realize hey if we re-elect obama we are doomed so we got to go to the logical choice and elect rodmey that that would be hope and change for the better for us the taxpayers excuse me overtaxed americans

    October 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  66. Lori - WV

    Jack,

    A candidate that I actually want to vote for because I won't be voting for Obama or Romney.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  67. Gary H. Boyd

    The October Surprise will be Israel attacking Iran forcing Obama to "put up or shut up" to support the Jewish nation.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    October 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  68. Tom in Desoto, TX

    You should ask the Republicans. They have a long history of mining in the cesspool. It hardly matters if they're lie, that's what they do. It's in their DNA.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  69. Guess Who

    The best surprise would be for all the Republican politicans to stop lying about EVERYTHING, and instead start working with the President and the Democrats to solve our nation' problems. Tthis nonsense where they roadblock everything out of spite because they're not in charge has to STOP.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  70. Gigi Oregon

    My October, hold my breath surprise worry is...We know everything Romney thinks about the 47%. Hopefully someone will discover which tax breaks he is going to get rid of that helps middle class...like the mortgage deduction...I guess I'd better vote President Obama if I want to keep my mortgage deduction and health care etc. Just to cover the possibility. I can just feel it now. The elite get a tax break and the middle class gets the shaft...

    October 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  71. Gail, Plano TX.

    I haven't a clue, Jack! But I do know this; A meteor could crash into Earth, , and Barack Obama will still be re-elected! Romney is the slimiest candidate I have seen in my lifetime, and I have witnessed quite a few. I trust the President completely. What he has endured for the last 4 years because of Republican obstructionism is an outright crime. An honorable man in a den of thieves. He is a man of honor. I have a laundry list of despicable Republicans. Not enough space here to list them. But I could begin with all GOP members of Congress

    October 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  72. Steve, NY

    I think the October surprise maybe that Obama without his teleprompter will studder, he haws, will look lost and confused in the debate. If not then Obama is in for another 4 years. No sence of having anymore debates.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  73. joshua

    we are about to find out the "down low" on all of Obama's past.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  74. RickFromDetroit

    The October surprise is one that no one would think of in a million years, and by far the best thing that ever happened to this country. I have decided to run as a write in candidate in October. VOTE FOR ME!!

    October 3, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  75. I'm a Rose

    I am so hoping it is going to be against the other guy that is running.
    You forgot to say that the surprise could be about ROMNEY. He has had a lot of them that weren't even mentioned.
    I am starting to believe that you are definetly a republican.
    That old 2007 video is stale. Let's hear about Romney keeping his millions of dollars off shore because he doesn't trust the United States banks.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  76. Cres from Florida

    Excuse me Jack! Last time I checked l didn't have a crystal ball that worked any better than one anyone else
    might have. Who knows what the October surprise might be......or if there will be one. Besides that, you
    need to look up the definition of "surprise" in any dictionary you have at your disposal. Really, is that the
    best you could come up with?

    October 3, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  77. John from Santa Maria, CA

    Alll of the world news and events are so well covered these days that nothing would rise to the level of an "October Suprize" I think that the only event would have to be something from within the Romney campaign, possible a falling out between Romney and Ryan or something of that sort.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  78. Leta

    The October Surprise - would be that Mitt Romney has many wives!

    October 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  79. George

    The BIG surprise will be if any of the debates sway anybody. On the other hand, if it's a miracle you're looking for then maybe Congress will reconvene and pass the budget. The head of the IRS will come out and state categorically that all contenders for public office have been audited and all owe the IRS nothing. If it's something really fantastic you're looking for, then maybe this post should have started with, "Once upon a time. . . . .

    October 3, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  80. Dave, Kissimmee, FL

    Sorry, because of a hole in the safety net, my crystal ball is in the shop for repairs, so I can’t tell you. But it doesn’t matter. We are screwed if Obama wins and we are screwed even more worsely if Romney dupes enough of us.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  81. Janice D., Tampa FL

    He doesn't have to do anything. His fate was clinched after the 47% video came out. He's disdain for people that are not successful businessmen like him was pretty telling.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  82. Ron Dayton

    What will be a real surprise will be if you and Wolf cover anything relevant to real news! You keep trying but obviously have no compass for the truth in any candidate! Mitt Romney has lied and flipped every time he opens his mouth! ANd that video where he said there is no way I can convince them to take responsibility for them selves and their lives!!!!! You can't take that out of context! It is exactly what it sounds like! The man has no concept of the reality in the Middle Class! But you guys just say, hmmm, OK! Romney makes Bush look like a Rocket Surgeon! Buit you keep asking ,"What can he do to win?" You DONT WANT HIM TO WIN!!!!!!!!!

    October 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  83. Robert In Florida

    Mid to late October, probably at a campaign rally Mitt Romney will be witnessed walking on water. The media will then report Breaking News “ROMNEY CAN’T SWIM”. Obama and the media win and American loses’.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  84. Maya in Minneapolis

    Romney sailing off to the Cayaman islands with his buddy Ryan. That would be quite the October surprise! Fingers crossed!

    October 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  85. Diane

    Don't care Jack and do not underestimate the people. We are not single issue voters. Bottom line is who cares about the middle class and focus on making their lives better. By the way, irresepctive of how the debates go, nothing will make me vote for a spolit rich man and his ilk who want to buy the presidency. Family in early voting states already voted for our President en masse. Who invented this stupid idea of "october surprise" anyway.....or is it you the media guys wanting to use up more ink! OBAM/BIDEN 2012

    October 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  86. CurtJ

    Our October surprise would be that our government will prosecute all officials and politicians who enacted and voted on laws and deregulations that financially and legally benefitted individuals and corporations that they had worked for, work for, and will work for. Also anyone who has investments and other professional and personal relationships with.
    We have legalized corruption that rises and surpasses the levels of Tammany Hall, where graft, collusion and conflict of interest is yawned at.
    The rape of our Treasury by neo conservatives, and they get away with it with the collusion of the neo con owned news media that owns American airwaves and internet news. We are embroiled in the Mid East quagmires and are divided and divided to deliberately keep our minds off Treason and the colluders.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  87. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    I don't know but now that you mention it I'm sure that there will be plenty of pundits and media types, etc. looking high and low, far and wide for anything they can dub the "October Surprise." Blah, blah, blah, blah, horse hockey.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  88. Curtis in Philadelphia

    Jack, wouldn't it be great if a woman or two presented themselves as Mitt Romney's other wives? Or, if Obama finally snapped and said: "enough already, I am a Muslim!" Honestly Jack, unless it's something that surreal or drastic, the minds of the voters were made up November 5th, 2008; we are simply a divided nation and a simple one at that.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  89. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    I think we had our "October Surprise", Christmas present and birthday present, all wrapped up in that fabulous 47% speech. That really exposed the heart and soul of the Republican Party. If Romney fails at the first debate, the party will blame him. In reality it is the party itself, and all it's nasty shenanigans and scams, that will be the undoing of Romney.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  90. Gordo from NJ

    Romney's proposal to repeal the 15th and 19h Amendments will be endorsed by Newt Gingrich.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  91. calaurore9

    Joe Biden will say he's not well enough to be VP, and Hillary will step in.

    Carol in Ma

    October 3, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  92. Jeff from NY

    Thinking of what it could be makes my mouth water. From the fiasco in Libya to welfare recipients being given phones and pseudo-marxism pervading our economic policies, Obama could bring change in any number of ways, none of them positive. You know things are looking bad when the liberals, including at CNN, are obsessing over a tape of Romney lamenting how few pay income tax while Obama's redistribution tape is kicked under the bed.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  93. jeff from florida

    As I read your article, I guess your asking what gaff can lose it for Obama.
    Lord knows Romney keeps doing all he can to destroy his own chances.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  94. Mark.....in Houston

    Jack......Outside of the Middle East where "bombshell insanity" is pretty much expected on a daily basis my hope is that the GOP efforts to suppress voting by those groups of us who lean toward the Democratic side will be tied directly to the Romney campaign. It's a disgusting attempt under the guise of preventing voter fraud to suppress those rights that are by law...ours to exercise.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  95. Greg Turman

    Jack;

    I am betting the farm that the October surprise will be a "Dan Rather" style Mother Goose story of Biblical proportions.
    Yours Truly,
    Gregory Turman
    Dallas,Texas

    October 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  96. bigtime1957

    hey Jack I really want an answer to this, How is it cnn and the rest of these types of shows, have all these pundits telling us what questions Americans want to know? I mean not one has ever said anything I want to know, I think REAL people need to be saying and asking questions, Not these Pundits who have no clue about the American people,

    October 3, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  97. Ed from MD

    Iran test firing a nuke.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  98. ohioken

    Ken from Ohio. It would be a really big surprise if either candidate actually came up with some viable, concrete, and demonstrable solutions to our economic woes.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  99. Donnie Humfress Bay St Louis Ms

    The problem for Romney will not just be the 47% remark or the flip flops or even his taxes. I think the biggest problem for Romney is one no one has addressed. I think one of the biggest stories following the debate will be the response and reactions by the Republicans in the audience. Will they boo a gay serviceman in an active war zone? Will they cheer to let an uninsured man die? While all that appeals to the far Right nut jobs and the Fox news crowd, will it appeal to that slim margin of undecided independent voters? Romney's mistake was playing to the far Right because they were going to vote for anyone but Obama anyway. Now his playing to the extremists in his party may cost him the election.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  100. Renee, Illinois

    I noticed that you, very conspicuously, failed to mention the big September surprise; Romney's 47% video where he's caught saying what he really thinks. Dredging up the old Obama video is clearly a reaction to the 47% video, they're trying to re-focus voter attention with thinly veiled race-baiting. I can tell you the October surprise I'd like to see but never will: I'd like to see real Republicans stand up to the extremists and take their party back! Which, by the way, is the only think that will ever get this Independent to vote for the Republicans again.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  101. ohioken

    Ken from Ohio. It would be a really big surprise if either candidate actually came up with a viable, demonstrable, and concrete solution to our economic woes.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  102. Think for yourself in Ok

    The surprise will be that the American People WAKE UP and see Obama for who he really is: A Wannabe Marxist Activist.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  103. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    The bottom will fall out of the oil futures market and send the financial markets into free fall, until Treasury intervenes using Dodd-Frank procedures to manage it, making Obama the hero rather than the fall guy.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  104. Overby

    I think it happened today....the Univ of Colorado's Prediction Poll came out today. They've accurately picked the winner in the last 8 elections and they predict Romney will win by a margin of over 100 electoral votes.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  105. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    There are two good men running for President. Mitt Romney has made many, many errors which have cost him dearly. The surprise would be if he can have a good showing, hold his own against a very talented speaker and convince the American people that he is up to the job. I doubt that is possible.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  106. Daniel

    Governor Romney turns out to be a charisma lacking, out of touch millionaire hiding his tax records in the dark and his money abroad, with no plan to do anything good for this country but nice, empty words.
    Oh, wait! Did you say "surprise"?
    Sorry, my bad.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  107. Vlad New Jersey

    This year's October surprise will be that Romney is surging in the pols.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  108. Deborah in Kansas City

    Obama will announce the end to federal marijuana prohibition tonight in the swing state of Colorado and with more than half of all Americans supporting marijuana, Obama will win the election in a landslide! The dying medical marijuana patients will rally around him.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  109. Jerry Mund, Appleton, WI

    Obama will announce that he is pulling our troops out of Afghanistan. You can bet your hat on it.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  110. Janice D., Tampa FL

    The October 'surprise' happened in September- with the release of Romney's infamous 47% video!

    October 3, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  111. Barry Rand

    Obama will announce that the war in Afghanistan has been won and that he will pull out the rest of the troops there by December 2012...

    October 3, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  112. Betsy, Colorado

    Jack,
    I am pretty sure the October surprise is going to have to do with Turkey. Could be the shelling of Syria by Turkey. Could be which candidate is a bigger Turkey. But the subject will definitely be Turkey.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  113. Vlad New Jersey

    This year's October surprise will be new open war between Turkey and Syria.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  114. Phil T. - West Palm Beach

    Recognizing that Romney actually has a fairly good chance to win, CNN, NBC, CBS, and ABC news divisions actually decide to invoke a fair approach to their election reporting – WHAT AN OCTOBER SURPRISE that would actually be!!!

    October 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  115. Shelby

    Too late for an October surprise for me. I voted by mail today. It would be a pleasant surprise, however, if our legislators agreed to work for the good of the country instead of their respective political parties.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  116. Nancy in Iowa

    The Surprise would be if Romney & his vice pres candidate began telling the truth! He might even win the elction if he did. He talks out of both sides of his mouth, and there's no way he can be trusted.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  117. doubtful

    A dedent candidate will step forward.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  118. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    The biggest surprise will be if Romney and Ryan can manage to tell the truth for a change, anyone with the IQ of a nat should be able to see that these two have a bad habid of lying about everything and if by chance they get elected the poor middle class of americans are going to suffer and that is a fact.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  119. Michael Robbins from Leadore, Idaho

    Romney losing his mittness!

    October 3, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  120. Michael (California)

    October Surprise? How about the fact that Mitt Romney is still in the running? That's enough of a surprise for me.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  121. Ade

    Jack, that's a dumb question.If we knew it already then it will not be a surprise.Think man,think.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  122. Javier

    Jack, I really feel like this year's October Surprise has already been released – Mitt Romney's 47 percent remarks. The statements Governor Romney used at that fundraiser will undoubtedly sway a lot of voters if it hasn't already, and the 47 percent rant is definately as big as when John McCain called Barack Obama "that one". The October Surprise happened to be published in September this year, but I feel like it will be a big contributor to the way people cast their vote.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  123. Peter El-Nahas

    The surprise will be that President Obama will make a buffoon out of Mittgoofy.

    Peter El-Nahas
    Victoria, BC Canada

    October 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  124. Brett from California

    A great October Surprise would be the frighteningly high numbers of decided Republican voters waking up and realizing just how laughable the Romney/Ryan ticket/platform is! A campaign that has thus far based itself on distortion of facts, sometimes even fabrication of information still having such strong poll numbers is a scary specter indeed.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  125. David Munro

    I would be surprised if any elected official started talking about the real issues that affect this country, and stop pushing political dogma.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  126. Valerie Jones

    October surpise would be Mitt Romney finally telling the truth on why he will not release his tax returns. Finally telling the truth about why his money is in Switzerland, Camen Island and Bermuda. Telling the truth about where his tax-dectable and very generous donations go to other then the Morman chuch. Admitting his total lislike of the 47% of Americans that he considers moochers. Explaining that while, during the Vietnam War, he managed to avoid service by going to France as a Morman Missionary. And explaining how "gung-ho" he is for going to war and bombing Iran yet he nor any of his five sons have ever served a day. Now that I would like to hear.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  127. Flyingwolf from Manchester, NH

    The October surprise will come when aliens finally land and throw their support behind Teddy Roosevelt and the Bull Moose Party

    October 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  128. Peter El-Nahas

    The surprise will be that President Obama will make a buffoon out of Romney.

    Peter El-Nahas
    Victoria, BC Canada

    October 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  129. Richard in Costa Rica

    Successful political uprisings in Iran resulting in the collapse of the Ayatollah backed dictatorship-like regime, due to the Obama coordinated imposition of a world-wide oil embargo on Iranian production, supported by the stiffest of economic sanctions, resulting in the collapse of the Iranian rial (Iranian currency), and a run on the banks due to run-a-way inflation (with the price of a basic loaf of bread now costing 500% more than the cost in just March of this year).

    October 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  130. Kenny From WV

    I think it will be Israel launching an attack against Iran or Iran attacking Israel or a major cyber attack disrupting U.S. interests.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  131. Pat in Hampstead Maryland

    The October surprise will be CNN agrees to a real debate that includes Bill Maher and Jon Stewart against Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. Not only would it be watched by as many people watching the Presidential debates but will also be vastly entertaining exposing the real difference between Liberals and right wing fanatics. Then America can really decide.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  132. Robert Allen

    Jack,

    In light of events today in Turkey It’s possible Syria could be a game-change with Obama being the benefactor; if NATO is forced to back Turkey in a ground war with Syria the U.S. would aid the effort with Carrier based air strikes… This would make John McCain happy and over shadow sensitive issues in Northern Africa..

    Robert
    Louisville, KY

    October 3, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  133. djr

    What will be the October surprise? ... Fox News will begin to provide fair and balanced reporting, respectful of the Office of the Presidency. That would be a huge surprise.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  134. Maurice Stewart from Toronto, Canada

    October surprise will be that it's NOT the economy stupid. It's Foreign Policy stupid! Foreign policy can either make or break the current economic conditions!

    October 3, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  135. Steve Wilson, Thunder Bay, ON

    The BIG surprise would be that Mitt Romney is actually the secret lover of Janet Reno and that Monica Lewinsky has the "sex tapes" to prove it. She'll get paid $100,000 for an interview with Barbara Walters. What a world...

    October 3, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  136. conrad gregoire

    October surprise: Mitt Romney was actually born in Mexico. Ola Donald Trump!

    October 3, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  137. Richard Yreka, California

    Election fraud far more serious than we've heard already will take Romney out of the campaign and raise serious questions about far more already in office.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  138. John in upstate NY

    Romney collected unemployment and food stamps after leaving his job as governor.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  139. Josh

    The press could act like the defenders of the people and the journalists we know they can be, (wouldn't that be a surprise). Ask tough questions and demand specifics. We need journalists not a master of ceremonies.
    Softball questions insult us all. Go 'off the script'.
    The journalist that asks a question not in the script will find a grateful country saying thank you.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  140. Jim TRNJ

    The heat on the Turkey/Syrian border

    October 3, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  141. Brian Fla

    Four letters Jack. Mitt! Because nobody knows yet who this man really is he has flip flop on ever issue from health care to women rights and what ever else to get the job as president and amercia is not buying it. I am really starting to thank now about what Ann said to day he writes his dad down when he debates. And I really thank he is running no matter how he gets in that seat in white house its for his dad not for Amercia.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  142. Obama from Kenya

    Giving the land back to the Indians then collecting the 16 trillion they owe.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  143. Terri from Blountville, TN

    I wish it was an end to the war in Afghanistan.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  144. Bruce in Illinois

    It will be if anything truly useful to the voter comes to the surface.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  145. Al from orlando

    When Romney says that he will create 12 million jobs if elected, The president should ask where is the virtual country and
    its economy where this would take place.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  146. I'm a Rose

    That Romney's father impregnated a Mexican woman and that his dad brought George back with the white wife. Afterall he had multiple wives. Oh my that won't won't fly with Mittens, he has to be 100 per cent white to be a millionaire.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  147. demrules

    Well Jack! An October surprise for me would be if the entire "do nothing" GOP congress was recalled! The other would be if the elitist faction of our society stop thinking it strange when a Black person voice his/her opinion in a public forum, realizing that slavery and the Jim Crow laws have been abolished.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  148. Al from orlando

    Romney should list The 12 million JABS that he will create if elected

    October 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm |