Election Year October Surprise … Has it Happened Or On The Way?

A sign and a flag are left at the main gate of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Saturday Oct. 3, 2020. Stricken by COVID-19, Trump was flown to Walter Reed on Friday night. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The big October surprise. It happens in election years and it’s a real thing. It may have just hit the 2020 election cycle, or it also could actually still be coming.

There’s no question, President Trump’s infection looks like the obvious October surprise, as the election is now a month away. The positive test result could also be the precursor to a much larger surprise as the president battles the virus. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a frequent ally to the president, actually saw a ratings boost after he had contracted and ultimately beat the virus earlier this year.

“Markets appear to be increasingly pricing Joe Biden in as the favorite, and this news may not change that, but Trump could gain support from a quick recovery as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson did during his battle with COVID-19,” said Jeff Buchbinder, equity strategist for LPL Financial.

The president’s recovery really is the enigma in all of this. Trump is a fantastic campaigner, and having the president in a hospital instead of the campaign trail certainly makes one think it would have a negative impact on his campaign. Polls in large part do not yet reflect Trump’s Covid diagnosis but his approval rating recently rose to 46%, which is just three points shy of his 49% high watermark he reached several times earlier in the year.

As of Saturday, members of the president’s medical team have said that the president is fever-free and they are “extremely happy” with the progress Trump has made. Trump spent Friday night at Walter Reed Medical Center where he reportedly received the experimental drug Remdesivir after experiencing some mild symptoms. Trump praised the medical team in a Saturday morning tweet.

“Doctors, Nurses and ALL at the GREAT Walter Reed Medical Center, and others from likewise incredible institutions who have joined them, are AMAZING!!! Tremendous progress has been made over the last 6 months in fighting this PLAGUE. With their help, I am feeling well!”

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