As I noted in a previous post, I keep seeing similarities between 2004 and 2012.
On October 29, 2004, Al Jazeera broadcasted portions of a speech by Osama Bin Ladin in which he claimed responsibility for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Shortly after the video aired, President George W. Bush's standing in the national polls jumped dramatically.
The conventional wisdom is that the center was reminded that they trusted Bush on issues of terrorism, and were not prepared to throw him out of office. Until that point, the race had grown very close, and while challenger John Kerry had not managed to take any meaningful lead before October 29, this event decisively delivered the election to President Bush.
Fast forward to 2012, challenger Mitt Romney significantly closed the gap in October, and near the end of the month, many believed that he had a solid chance of unseating the incumbent, President Obama. On October 29, 2012, an epic natural disaster occurred, and the nation remembered that while it has had its disagreements with President Obama, he is a solid leader in times of crisis.
October 29 will also be remembered as the day the election definitively fell into the President's favor in 2012.