Gallup tells us that the leader of its polling in July has lost the general election in six out of nine years. Ho-hum. All that tells us that Black Swans happen between now and election day; things one cannot control or anticipate will inject momentum and deflect trajectories in ways we cannot anticipate. Low probability, high impact events are tough to prepare for. That's why campaigns cannot solely rely on ecological variables like enthusiasm or attributional comparisons and must build and run campaigns that can harness energy when appropriate and are flexible enough to figure out what to do when things go bad really quickly and all those great environmental factors, like enthusiasm, suddenly evaporate.
Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.