Afghan and American officials said the earliest that a runoff vote could be held was late this month or early next month, with results expected about two weeks later. Some Afghans said, however, that the vote might have to be delayed because of bad winter weather until the spring, a nightmare situation for a White House that does not want to remain in limbo.
For context, here's Stanley McChrystal quoted by Dexter Filkins in Sunday's NYT magazine:
When the briefing was finished, McChrystal looked around the room. “Gentlemen, I am coming into this job with 12 months to show demonstrable progress here — and 24 months to have a decisive impact,” he said. “That’s how long we have to convince the Taliban, the Afghan people and the American people that we’re going to be successful. In 24 months, it has to be obvious that we have the clear upper hand and that things are moving in the right direction. That’s not a choice. That’s a reality.”
If he's right, waiting until spring to choose a new strategy doesn't seem like a legitimate option. (A.J. Rosmiller might beg to differ, however.)