US Prez poll: Hurricane Sandy major worry for Romney, Obama
Both would have liked to campaign till Election Day - Nov 6. With the approach of Hurricane Sandy, the candidates have no option but to cancel rallies in swing states.
The president is slated to attend events along with one of his predecessors Bill Clinton on Nov 5 in Virginia and Florida. If the hurricane drenches the two states, then Obama will probably not go to those events.
Nevertheless, his aides remain optimistic. "This an example yet again of the president having to put his responsibilities as commander-in-chief and leader of the country first while at the same time he pursues his responsibilities as a candidate for re-election," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
Romney has been forced to cancel his rally in Virginia. Hurricane Sandy is likely to cause many more cancellations. The storm is not only affecting the campaigns of Obama and Romney, it could also lead to a lesser turnout of early voters in states like Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina.
According to political observers, heavy rain in Florida could impact Obama's chances of victory. In the past, Americans have usually reacted to "acts of God, including droughts, floods and shark attacks" by voting against the government.
However, Hurricane Sandy does offer the president the perfect opportunity to show the voters that he can handle a crisis of such huge magnitude. The Obama administration's best hope is to somehow limit the political fallout.
The incumbent might emerge almost unscathed from criticism but still Hurricane Sandy will certainly cause widespread havoc and that is something the challenger will seize upon.
The media is focusing now on the gathering storm and not so much on the run up to the presidential elections. Neither Obama nor Romeny had bargained for this. Their preparations for a final blitz may have to be revised and even abandoned.