The 2012 Presidential Election has ebbed and flowed from a lead for President Obama to leads for Governor Romney. Individual events such as the debates made impacts that moved the needle one way or the other, but overall as of October 26th the race was considered to be ties with each man credited to have 47% chance at winning the race for the U.S. Presidency. I wondered what event could come along to decide the election. Could it be a scandal, perhaps an unsubstantiated charge or maybe another secret video of comments that embarrassed one or the other?
Enter the late comer to the party Superstorm Sandy. The late season hurricane, ignoring the conventional wisdom that storms near the end of hurricane season cannot be so strong, proceeded to grab the news headlines from the candidates and give the American public a reprieve from the non-stop political commercials. Don’t take me wrong, I am not trying to say utter catastrophe is preferred over political advertisements, we just have seen way to many please for our votes.
Not only was Sandy a phenomenal meteorological prodigy, it broke convention again by taking a severe northeast turn, plowing into the United States Northeast, which is still the population center of the country. A story such as this easily eclipses the day to day campaign coverage because lives are being impacted in ways such as loss of life, property and more. This was reflected in the fact that both candidates eschewed their scheduled campaign stops in deference to the severity of the situation.
So how will Superstorm Sandy affect the 2012 election? For President Obama, it provides a real-world crisis to highlight his ability to lead. With the ghosts of Former President George W. Bush’s Katrina failures peeking over his shoulder, President Obama is sure to act as fast as possible to give the perception that the federal government cares. If the people directly affected by the storm feel under appreciated in his response, the vote could be affected.
For Governor Romney, the road is treacherous. He cannot come out and be critical of his opponent at this time for fear of looking insensitive to the victims of the storm. He does not get the chance to prove his leadership as he is merely a presidential candidate watching the recovery and clean up like the rest of us.
With less than a week to go in this race, one wonders if there will be enough proof either way to help President Obama or Governor Romney.