President Donald Trump’s (not so) shocking coronavirus diagnosis had all the markings of the fabled “October surprise” American election-watchers look for every four years.
In the world of geopolitical forecasting, you would call an October surprise a “Red Dragon”: something rare, highly impactful, yet to an extent foreseeable. This contrasts with a “Black Swan”, which comes out of nowhere.
Trump getting COVID was certainly a Red Dragon: wandering around campaign events without wearing a mask and taking only the barest precautions, it was more surprising that it took him so many months to contract the disease.
From the standpoint of who will win the election, the diagnosis seems to only have reinforced Joe Biden’s lead, not undercut it. Polls suggest Americans have little sympathy for the president, and his maskless bravado on Monday on the White House balcony surely won’t convince them that this is a man who takes the pandemic, as well as his own health, seriously.
Could another October surprise flip the script for Trump?
Probably not. Here’s why. Read more “Trump Can’t Count on Another October Surprise”