How Will Hurricane Sandy Affect The Presidential Race?
In canceling his events, Obama risks Sandy’s wind blowing the election for him. With Sunday’s Gallup poll of likely voters showing Romney leading Mr. Obama, 50 percent to 46 percent, the hurricane could not have come at a worse time.
Obama discarded plans for a noon rally in Orlando, leaving swing state Florida early and decided against his trip to Wisconsin Tuesday in favor of keeping the American people safe.
The New York Times reports after the president arrived at the White House shortly after 11 a.m. Monday, he planned to convene an emergency meeting on the storm in the Situation Room. Press secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters on Air Force One.
“The president’s priority right now is the safety and security of Americans who are in the path of the storm and who will be affected by it,” Mr. Carney said, according to a pool report. “It’s essential in his view that he be in Washington, one of the areas that will be affected, and where his team is to oversee that effort.”
Meanwhile, the Romney campaign told ABC News that it would collect supplies at campaign offices in Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and New Hampshire to distribute to storm-relief centers. Romney has also personally contacted Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie about disaster preparations.
The disrupting storm, which threatens 60 million people in the eastern third of the U.S., is expected to bring with it life-threatening storm surges, days of heavy rain, damaging winds and possibly heavy snow. The size and scope of the storm could prove devastating as several systems will combine to wreak havoc on a large section of the nation -- from North Carolina to New England and as far west as the shores of the eastern Great Lakes.
There is concern that the magnitude of the storm will influence early voting negatively with many likely voters hunkered down at home. Power outages could also linger through election day further impacting voter turnout.
Both Romney and Obama now contend with unsteady weather adding to the already unpredictable election. And it remains to be seen if Hurricane Sandy will make Obama look more presidential or destroy everything in its path, including the incumbent's bid for re-election.
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