Global Security has an article suggesting possible dates for starting the war in Iran, past and future. Regarding using the war as our "October surprise," they say:7 November 2006Oh yeah, nothing like slaughtering some bad guys to get people to vote for you. We are Devo."
The US Congressional elections of 2006 will be held on Tuesday, November 7, 2006. It is unclear how the United States election cycle would influence the timing of strikes against Iran. If the White House is risk averse, it would be unlikely to launch strikes in the run-up to the 2006 election [or the 2008 election]. However, as soon as the election concludes, risk averse domestic political inhibitions about the uncertain consequences of striking Iran might be greatly diminished. Alternately, it might be conjectured that the White House might judge that military strikes would rally the country around the President and his party. This would argue for timing the strikes as little as a week before the election, a pre-planned October Surprise.