ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An election-eve terrorist strike. A tanking stock market. A stunner of a jobs report. An unscripted moment.
The campaigns of Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney are on guard for anything that could push the presidential race from its taut course. An autumn surprise is just that, making most late-breaking events tough to plan for.
The views of many voters seem to be hardened. The unprecedented millions of dollars in TV advertising can drown out or diminish the off-script stuff. There also are doubts about whether any surprise will carry much potency now that millions of Americans cast their ballots days or weeks before Election Day.
But in the nine states both campaigns are fiercely contesting, the outcome will be decided at the margins.