Cicero, Pro Murena
35-36 (tr. C. MacDonald):
Can you think of any strait, any Channel, that has the currents and variety of rough patches and changes of tide strong enough to match the upsets and the ebb and flow that accompany the working of elections? The whole situation is often changed by having to break off for a day or by night intervening and the merest breath of a rumour sometimes changes everyone's views. Often, too, for no apparent reason the turn of events takes you by surprise and at times even the people is amazed at a result as if it were not itself responsible. Nothing is more fickle than people in a crowd, nothing harder to discover than how men intend to vote, nothing trickier than the whole way in which elections work.
quod enim fretum, quem Euripum tot motus, tantas, tam varias habere putatis agitationes commutationesque fluctuum, quantas perturbationes et quantos aestus habet ratio comitiorum? dies intermissus aut nox interposita saepe perturbat omnia, et totam opinionem parva non numquam commutat aura rumoris. saepe etiam sine ulla aperta causa fit aliud atque existimaris, ut non numquam ita factum esse etiam populus admiretur, quasi vero non ipse fecerit. nihil est incertius volgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.