How October surprises took an outsized role in presidential elections

In a Hot Election, the Cool-Headed Associated Press Takes Center Stage

At the end of a turbulent campaign, the global news organization has a big role to play, with 4,000 reporters collecting vote counts from county clerks in 50 states.


By Katie Robertson

Top Trump Supporters Attack Joe Biden For Going Maskless Using 2019 Photo

Two top Donald Trump supporters were caught in lies on Monday after attempting to smear Joe Biden as a hypocrite regarding mask-wearing in public.

On Sunday night, Richard Grenell, the president’s former acting director of national intelligence, tweeted out a photo that showed the Democratic presidential nominee talking to a reporter without a mask.

Grenell also called Biden a “Washington, DC phony!”

Fox news host Mark Levin retweeted Grenell’s post and accused Biden of being a fraud.

Both tweets were widely retweeted before CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski pointed out that the photo Grenell and Levin were using to smear Biden as a phony was actually taken in 2019 ― months before the pandemic began.

In a follow-up tweet, Kaczynski included the link to the 2019 Vogue article where the photo originally appeared.

HuffPost reached out to Grenell and Levin, but neither one immediately replied. However, Grenell did respond to a tweet by author Anne Wheaton with a photo of Biden taken at an outdoor rally, according to Mediaite.

Many Twitter users were happy to call both Grenell and Levin out for their deceptive tweets.

Grenell received the brunt of the criticism.

Levin also came under fire.

Austrian Police Say Several Injured After Gunfire in Vienna

Vienna (AP) — Austrian police said Monday that several people were injured and officers were out in force following gunfire in the capital Vienna.

Oskar Deutsch, the head of the Jewish community in Vienna, said the shooting took place in the street where the city’s main synagogue is located but that it wasn’t clear whether the house of worship had been targeted.

The synagogue was already closed at the time of the shooting, Deutsch tweeted.

Austrian news agency APA quoted the country’s Interior Ministry as saying that one attacker has been killed and another could be on the run.

Vienna police said the operation in the center of the city was ongoing and urged people to avoid all open spaces and public transport. Police said trams and buses weren’t stopping in the city center. They also urged social media users not to post videos of the ongoing police operation, so as not to endanger officers.

“There are several injured persons,” police tweeted. “We are on site with all available forces. Please avoid all public squares in the city.”

Police added that the exact circumstances of the incident were still being determined.

Austrian public broadcaster ORF cited witnesses as saying several shots were fired shortly after 8 p.m. (1900 GMT).

JAKKS Pacific Q3 Profit Rises, Stock Up 20%

Shares of JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (JAKK) are jumping over 20% on extended trading session Monday after reporting third quarter results.

Net income for the quarter rose to $32.1 million or $4.27 per share from $16.3 million or $5.08 per share last year.

Adjusted earnings were $4.76 per share, down from $5.38 per share last year.

Net sales for the third quarter were $242.3 million, down 14% versus $280.1 million last year. The decline was driven by lower sales of products related to Disney’s Frozen and Frozen 2, which were strong contributors to sales in the third quarter 2019, and by sharp declines in sales of Disguise Halloween costumes, demand for which was curtailed by COVID-19.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters currently estimate earnings of $3.09 per share on revenues of $230.1 million. Analysts estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Freshpet Q3 Profit Rises

Shares of Freshpet Inc. (FRPT) slipped 5% in after-hours trading on Monday after the company reported third-quarter results.

Net income for the third quarter rose to $3.92 million or $0.09 per share from $2.99 million or $0.08 per share last year.

Third-quarter sales increased 29.0% to $84.2 million from $65.3 million last year, driven by velocity, innovation, and distribution gains.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.10 per share on revenues of $84.09 million.

Looking forward to the full year 2020, the company expects net sales of $320.0 million, an increase greater than 30% from 2019. Analysts currently estimated revenues of $321.89 million.

FRPT closed Monday’s trading at $118.51, up $4.01 or 3.50%, on the Nasdaq. The stock, however, slipped $5.51 or 4.65%, in the after-hours trading.

Graham and Harrison Battle Over the ‘New South,’ in Their Final Appeals

As Jaime Harrison called Lindsey Graham a 1950s relic, the Republican incumbent urged voters to re-elect him to help protect a way of life.


By Rebecca R. Ruiz

How October surprises took an outsized role in presidential elections

The 2020 election cycle has been full of twists and turns, from President Donald Trump's Covid-19 diagnosis to the last-minute confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Most presidential elections in the U.S. feature at least one "October surprise," a late-cycle event that has the potential to shake up a campaign.

There were some big October surprises during the last stretch of the 2016 campaign season, such as a video of then-candidate Trump making lewd comments about women in 2005 and former FBI Director James Comey's letter about the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server. But Trump managed to pull off a win despite the October surprise.

Watch the video above to learn how much power late-cycle surprises really have on election results.