With the final Republican debate of the year, we should take time to recognize what a bad year it's been for the political conventional wisdom, says Walter Shapiro in The New Republic. Jon Huntsman and Tim Pawlenty were trumpeted as Mitt Romney's major challengers, Newt Gingrich was mocked as irrelevant, and Michele Bachmann was declared the winner of Iowa. Maybe it's time to step away from the polls and look at historical precedents. Shapiro lists five past campaigns that show crazy ways the rest of the election could play out, from a last-minute Huntsman surge to a brokered deal on the convention floor.
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