What will the October Surprise be? Post guesses here.

I don’t have to link polls, you’ve seen them. Gallup, Rasmussen, PPP, it doesn’t matter. Democrats are in trouble; not just trouble, it looks like 1852, with the Democrats standing in for the Whigs. Which makes sense, in an odd kind of way: “…Whigs supported the supremacy of Congress over the presidency, and favored a program of modernization and economic protectionism.” (Wikipedia)

But never mind the ancient history. More recent history suggests that when either party find themselves staring problems in November in the face, they’ll find something to jam into the news cycle the month before. “Peace is at hand!” “Iran-Contra!” and of course the inverse October Surprise of 1980, Carter’s failure to get the hostages held by Iran released.

With the soothsayers predicting a debacle, the minds of Democrats must be pretty sharply focused about now. They do have one advantage: virtually total control over the “news media”, which they can pretty well use to orchestrate most anything, raising it to enough of a crescendo to qualify as a spoiler for Republican chances. Against that, it isn’t a Presidential year. Axelrod and Rahm must be puzzling that one out. If they’ve got something really good, wouldn’t it be better to save it for 2012? Or do they let it off now and expect to get (or manufacture) something else for then?

Jim Geraghty at National Review Online suggests — or, rather, his invisible advisor “Obi-Wan Kenobi” advises — that Republicans hold a contest to see who can predict the October surprise. I’m only a Republican by default — I despise the Democrats’ policies, and consider the Libertarians foolishly sophomoric — and I don’t have nearly enough readership to host such a contest with any hope of effectiveness, but I’d like to have 🙂 , so let’s start here. Someone else can pick up the ball if necessary.

What will the October Surprise be? Post it in the comments, or email me at warrick.locke@gmail.com

Bonus question: Will it be a run-of-the-mill October Surprise, or a Reichstag Fire?

(Welcome, readers of thoughtsonline! Steve was kind enough to share a few pebbles from his Instalanche, for which I’m grateful. Look around a bit; perhaps you’ll like something else.)