Donald Trump

Jenna Watson/IndyStar

Multiple October Surprises Could Make This Year’s Midterms Unpredictable

October 30, 2018 - 5:06 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- October surprises are nothing new before Election Day, but this month seemed to have an unusually high number of incidents.

A massacre inside a synagogue, pipe bombs being sent in the mail, a deadly hurricane, the murder of a journalist overseas and troops being ordered to the border to block a migrant caravan; all developments which may effect next week’s midterm elections.

“It’s quite possible that no one will benefit electorally,” said Jacqueline Alemany, of the Washington Post. “No one frankly should be given the benefit given the sad state of affairs in American politics right now.”

Additionally, President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he has the power to change the Constitution’s 14th Amendment in order to end “birthright citizenship.”

Trump told "Axios on HBO" he wants to end birthright citizenship for babies born to non-citizens and immigrants not authorized to be in the U.S. as a migrant caravan marched towards the southern border.

Despite his comments, House Speaker Paul Ryan rejected his comments in an interview with WVLK radio in Kentucky saying: “Well you obviously cannot do that. You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order.”

Ryan’s comments offered a rare challenge to the president from his own party.

Though, GOP pollster Chris Wilson told Alemany that he does not believe that the recent events and domestic terrorism would halt turn out at the polls.

“At this point, both parties voters are equally motivated,” Alemany told WCBS 880.

In fact, a Democratic operative studying early voting numbers claimed the Republicans have already been turning out in record numbers in key states such as Arizona, Nevada and Texas.

He said enthusiasm has spiked due to the migrant crisis and the president’s inflamed rhetoric regarding immigration.

Critics have also blamed President Trump for a recent string of violence and racial tensions, including a beating in Manhattan in which members of the Proud Boys clashed with Antifa.

He’s attempted to stoke the flames, but has not been able to, according to Alemany.

“I do believe, at the end of the day, it is the president's responsibility to take the temperature of dialogue down but as Sarah Huckabee Sanders made very clear yesterday, the president is going to continue to punch back,” Alemany said.

To reclaim the House of Representatives, Democrats needs to flip 24 Republican held seats. Additionally, 33 senators are up for re-election next week, including 23 Democrats and two independents.

While the political climate seems to favor Democrats in 2018, Alemany said it’s still difficult to determine how these “October surprises” will play out at the polls.