With less than a week remaining before elections kickoff, the presidential campaign has virtually been put on hold as Hurricane Sandy unleashes its devastation. The question is how can Sandy affect the presidential race, and especially in swing states like Ohio?
Even though it might be too early to say anything with certainty, but one thing is certain. The super storm can provide some huge political benefits for the one candidate who is currently in charge: the incumbent. President Obama, in such critical circumstances gets sky-high marks for his response to Hurricane Sandy.
According to Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll, nearly eight in 10 likely voters say the president has done an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ job in dealing with the rehabilitation and relief efforts after the storm.
‘The beauty of being a president and a candidate is that when a monster storm stalks up the East Coast you can run over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and be seen as a president on the job,’ says Candy Crowley.
On the other hand Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney is handling the entire situation either through photo-ops or by shifting his stance related to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), something which is completely unnecessary and irrelevant.
While Romney is finding it difficult to maintain a single stance on FEMA, recent results from national polls suggest a gain in President Obama’s lead. Just before Sandy the RealClearPolitics average showed the President less than 1 point behind Romney.
However, at present, swing states particularly Iowa and Ohio have shown 5 point advantages for President Obama in the recently released Quinnipiac poll, which only suggests further complications for Romney and his election campaign.
As the campaign progresses through its final week, it is important for Obama to ensure that he plays the political trump card of Sandy well enough to ensure that he maintains his lead in the swing states.