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The Stealth October Surprise

I just figured out this morning what is missing from this election cycle – the October Surprise. That moment when some terrible secret is revealed that is intended to give the other party the advantage going into the home stretch.

Then I took a look at two articles in this morning’s Journal.  The first was the results of recent local polling (subscription):

“Two-thirds said the economy,” he said. “I’ve never seen it that high.” 

Sanderoff, president of Research & Polling Inc. in Albuquerque, said the heavy voter focus on the economy is a political “double-whammy” for Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who trailed Democrat Barack Obama in New Mexico by five points in the same Journal Poll. 

“It continues to shine a light on an issue perceived as a strength for Obama while taking away the focus from other issues perceived as strengths for McCain,” Sanderoff said.
“Barack Obama is rising in the polls not only because people see Obama as doing a better job on the economy. We’ve gotten off the focus of national security, the war on terrorism, immigration — the things McCain is seen as stronger on. That’s the double-whammy,” Sanderoff said.
Just last month — when New Mexicans were shelling out an average of $3.69 for a gallon of gasoline — another Research & Polling Inc. survey found the biggest issue facing people in the state was fuel prices, Sanderoff said.
And, the second article tied in nicely by reporting on the falling gas prices:
Call it the good news amongst all the bad: gas prices finally dropping under $3 a gallon all over town.
One sign Wednesday advertising $2.859 for unleaded was a magnet for a steady stream of cars and trucks at the Circle K at the northwest corner of Fourth and Montaño NW during the lunch hour.
“I bought this in 2005 — that’s what I was paying then,” said Ventana Ranch resident Corey Ryan, sitting in line in the cab of his heavy-duty Dodge Ram 2500 pickup.
“I drive this way to work, so I keep my eye out for low prices,” he said, nodding at a gas station sign across Montaño for $3.089 a gallon. “Every once in a while, they get into a price war with the place across the street. Circle K’s got them beat today. We all win out.”
I’m sure it is all just coincidence, but you have to admit it the combination of the two make for one heck of an October surprise.