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Will Hurricane Sandy Alter The Election?

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Will Hurricane Sandy Alter The Election?

After years of campaigning — and millions spent on mostly negative ads — hurricane Sandy might end up shaping the results of the presidential race as well as elections for a host of state offices. At a minimum, the monster storm will disrupt the schedules of the candidates and increase the likelihood that people will vote early. Still,  I don’t know about you, but if I were sitting in the path of what is being described as the storm of the century, I would have more on my mind than ballot issues.

Here’s from WaPo:

Two computer tracking systems remained in agreement that the hurricane would arrive on shore between the Delmarva Peninsula and Rhode Island. But Sandy’s reach will extend as far as 450 miles from its core, which prompted at least one governor, Chris Christie of New Jersey, to order evacuations of coastal areas and the state’s casinos.

The impending storm disrupted the rhythms of an otherwise warm fall weekend, as utility crews up and down the East Coast worked overtime to prepare, and hordes of anxious shoppers crowded into supermarkets and supply stores.

Even the presidential campaigns were touched. President Obama switched travel plans so he could leave Washington on Sunday before the storm begins and reach rallies in Florida and Ohio. Instead of hosting three events in Virginia on Sunday, Republican Mitt Romney’s campaign said the candidate would fly to Ohio.

Also, I expect all of the campaigns have been planning a last-minute advertising blitz. Those ads might now get lost in the hurricane coverage. And since the mainstream media can only focus on one story at a time, hard to image that there will be much campaign coverage as the wind and water start to creep on shore, especially in the power alleys in DC and New York.

Here’s from Howard Kurtz in The Daily Beast:

Oh, and have I mentioned that the media love extreme weather?

The so-called Frankenstorm is expected to make landfall somewhere between Maryland and Rhode Island on Monday, but it is so broad—with tropical storm winds covering 450 miles—that it could wreak devastation along the Eastern Seaboard and as far inland as Ohio.

This is already causing havoc with campaign schedules, forcing Romney and Vice President Biden to cancel weekend rallies in Virginia Beach and Obama to call off events early next week in Virginia and Colorado. The president is heading to Florida on Sunday night, earlier than he had originally planned.

But more than the candidates’ ability to show up in the swing states is at stake. Millions of people may be without power in the final week of the campaign. That means they won’t see the barrage of television ads that the campaigns will be unleashing, despite the fact that Mitt Romney’s team has been hoarding cash for just this moment.

Every analyst says the tight election could turn on get-out-the-vote efforts. But fewer voters might turn out if they’re worried about rotting food in their refrigerators and sleeping in cold houses. The storm could particularly set back early-voting efforts in the affected states.

The situation is reminiscent of the problem Romney faced on the eve of the Republican convention. While Hurricane Isaac turned out to be a bust, just dumping some rain on Tampa, Romney made the right decision in canceling the convention’s first night because the television coverage was all about the storm.

And that, from the campaigns’ point of view, is the killer potential of Sandy. We could be looking at days of saturation coverage on cable news and morning shows, all but obliterating the closing messages that Obama and Romney want to deliver. Even if you live in swing-state Colorado, far from the storm’s path, you’re going to see endless live shots of windswept correspondents in parks getting soaked.

I hope that Sandy proves the forecasters wrong and doesn’t do as much damage and harm to property and people as predicted. What what I have seen on TV and read online, this is an extremely dangerous situation and everyone needs to prepare and take the storm seriously.

And I hope the hurricane doesn’t disrupt the elections.

But if it does, I guess the candidates who end up holding the short straw will have only one recourse:

Blame it on Bush.

Just sayin’.

 

Illustration credit: businessinsider.com

  1. burghthoughts says:

    The main reason this election will not postponed, and something that has really pushed me over the edge this last week, is if it is postponed that’s another week for the real truth to come out about the coverup ongoing regarding the assasination of our ambassador and navay seals in Libya. Never before would I have thought a president would have given an order to troops in the field not to help a comrade in need. If he didn’t give the order to help, then it’s just gross incompetence..if he did give the order, then its gross lack of leadership. Why is the state controlled media, nor anyone else for that matter, not covering this? Four Americans were murdered, and our president says its just a speed bump on the road to better relations. With whom? Murdering muslim thugs? I’m sick to think that this is what we have allowed our country to become..and even more sick to think that we may allow it to go on for another four years. Charges of Treason should be brought to the floor of the house immediatly, or at the very least, wrougful death charges should be filed by the families of these brave people in the hope that someone will be held accountable. These people need to go and they need to go now

    • Rob Jewell says:

      This coverup in Libya is a disgrace — and a tragedy for the individuals and families involved. I also believe it undercuts our relationships with other countries and groups in the region and that puts more Americans at risk. But Romney got spanked for bringing it up as as issue right after the murders; he won’t do it again. And the mainstream media have given Obama and the administration a pass. Concerning the elections, I imagine it would be difficult, if not impossible, to delay voting at this point. But I bet both campaigns are taking a look to see if there is any advantage to them in pushing for an extension.

  2. burghthoughts says:

    Sorry…this just has me really pissed off. I don’t care if your red/blue,reb/dem, this has to do with one of the most basic foundations of our republic. This navy seal, ty woods, requested at least twice-possibly three times for permission to assist his comrades and was told to “stand down”. In spite of that, he did what every Navy Seal would do, and what we would expect them to do, and went anyway…knowing full well he was going to die. That order to stand down could only have come from the commander-in-chief…that in itself is impeachable and beyond my comprehesion that he is above the country…this was an act of war. Reagan would have scrambled the jets and bombed the shit out of these a*******..our current leader goes to bed so he is well rested for his campaign trip to vegas the next day.
    Somebody has to find the truth behind this coverup

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