During the early 1990’s, a conspiracy theory floated to the surface of the political swamp. The theory, nicknamed the “October Surprise,” alleged that representatives of the 1980 Reagan/Bush campaign had struck a secret deal with the newly declared Islamic Republic of Iran to delay the release of 52 American hostages being held by Iranian terrorists in Tehran until after the 1980 election, in order to deny then-President Jimmy Carter a diplomatic victory (and thus a chance to save his faltering re-election campaign).
Now comes a report, this time from a firsthand and much more reliable source (who’s willing to go on the record), detailing a possible attempt at a similar international backroom deal (this time a proposal to keep troops in harm’s way in Iraq for the sake of political haymaking), involving not only the Obama/Biden campaign, but Sen. Obama himself. Who will probably skate nonetheless.
Polls of New York State by Siena and New Jersey by Marist (via New York Post) show that McCain has been hacking away at Obama’s leads in both states, turning both races from double-digit leads for Obama into statistically insignificant pluralities.
Among New Jersey likely voters, Marist College finds that McCain now trails Obama by only three points, 48% to 45%. Another pollster, Fairleigh-Dickinson, had Obama ahead by 14 points among LVs less than two months ago.
Siena, which has been polling a McCain/Obama ballot in New York State roughly monthly since last November, shows McCain trailing there by five points, 46% to 41%. The gap was eight points in August, and 18 points in July. (Note: the above New York Siena polls were released in terms of the looser, more Democratic-leaning standard of “registered voters.”) Analysis after the break.