Politico Offers 5 Political Questions Surrounding Hurricane Sandy
As we head into the last week of the 2012 election season, these are a few interesting questions. The answer are more interesting
(Politico) 1) Will Mitt Romney’s momentum be stopped?
It’s hard to see how the storm helps. The Republican nominee has more than closed the gap with the incumbent over the final weeks of the campaign, taking a slim lead in most national polls. But his national boost hasn’t been mirrored in two pivotal states: Ohio and Virginia. Already Romney had to scrap a full day’s worth of events in Virginia Sunday.
Actually, that depends on which poll one is looking at.
2) Does Obama have a natural advantage because he’s president?
The short answer: Yes. The longer answer: Not if he makes an unforced error. While George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina ranks among the worst blunders in modern presidential history, it has also ensured that no president or candidate will under-react to the threat of a devastating natural disaster.
This is a big one, because people are going to be asking “why didn’t Obama monitor Benghazi?” If Obama’s answer is “yes, I was monitoring Benghazi” the next question is “well, why didn’t you Do Something to save our people? Who gave the “stand down” orders?” And if Obama showboats during and after Sandy, people will easily understand that he’s making it about himself.
3) How will ad strategies be affected?
Put simply: no one can watch TV if their power’s out. So, so much for inundating them with TV ads.
In NJ, NY and some parts of Pennsylvania, this will be no big deal, since those states are going for Obama anyhow. In Virginia and most of Penn., it could be a big deal and hurt Romney.
4) How will the storm affect early voting?
It won’t in the states in Sandy’s path.
5) Does this throw a wrench into Obama’s vaunted ground game?
Maybe. Because most of the states in the affected region don’t have early voting or aren’t competitive, the scenarios for major damage to Obama’s turnout machine are a bit of a reach.
The article does point out that Team Obama is making an outreach to get people out and help, but, this could fall on “irritated ears” of those who are dealing with the aftermath of Sandy.
Obama has cancelled an appearance in Florida to return to Washington to “monitor” the situation. Compare that to Benghazi, in which Obama decided to head west and campaign in Las Vegas. If Sandy was hitting South Carolina or Georgia, does anyone actually believe Obama would break off his campaign? Is he thinking about Virginia right now? He’s had 4 years to look presidential, and has failed so far.
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