Will Hurricane Sandy Effect 2012 Elections?

In anticipation of Hurricane Sandy making landfall the Romney campaign cancelled all events planned for Tuesday and Barack Obama decided to stay in the White House and monitor federal response to the Hurricane. Will the aftermath of Sandy have a huge effect on the elections?

Several states are in the path of the storm and no doubt as we woke this morning we were seeing several states with severe damage and flooding, including loss of power and several people left dead. Power to many people may not resume for weeks. This leaves the question of whether voting machines will be working next week in these states.

There is also a concern by some that election ads will not air on television, though radio spots are presumed to continue. However, many internet and email ads will not find their way to internet users except in the event they use a cell service.

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Politico asked five questions and gave five answers to how the storm might impact the election.

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1) It’s hard to see how the storm helps Romney.

2) Obama has a natural advantage because he’s president…unless he makes an unforced error.

3) No one can watch TV if their power’s out. So much for inundating them with TV ads.

4) Most of the states in Sandy’s path don’t have early voting, except of the absentee-ballot variety. Maryland, a state Obama will win easily, has closed its early-voting program on Monday. Virginia allows early voting, but only for residents who have a reason they can’t vote on Election Day.

5) This might throw a slight wrench in Obama’s turnout operation. North Carolina has early voting, but the bulk of the state is likely to be spared. If transportation and power are out in Virginia’s northern suburbs and coastal cities for more than a week, Obama could have a turnout problem on his hands.

We do know that whether the election goes as scheduled or is postponed, FEMA will be on the scene and federal loans will be made available via you and I, the tax payer. We also know that this will more than likely provide work for many in the construction industry to repair what has been damaged.

As for the election, we’ll just have to wait and see how quickly things can be restored by next Tuesday.

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