Is Hurricane Sandy God’s ‘October Surprise’?

And if so, which candidate does he want to benefit?

Nate Silver is worrying about Sandy, and not just because he lives in Brooklyn:

I’m not sure whether I render the greater disservice by contemplating the political effects of a natural disaster — or by ignoring the increasingly brisk winds whipping outside my apartment in Brooklyn. Still, I thought it was worth giving you my tentative thoughts on how Hurricane Sandy might affect the runup to next Tuesday’s election.

We may see a reduction in the number of polls issued over the coming days. The Investor’s Business Daily poll has already announced that it will suspend its national tracking poll until the storm passes, and other cancellations may follow. And certainly, any polls in the states that are most in harm’s way, including Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania, will need to be interpreted with extreme caution…

But beyond the polls that Silver lives by, what about the election itself?

The aftermath of Katrina did enormous damage to public perception of President Obama’s predecessor. What will happen in those blue states that will bear the brunt of this storm, and how quickly will it happen?

Will this be a chance to show political leadership that will enhance the incumbent’s chances, or will it inevitably cause a bad taste that accrues to Mr. Romney?

The Washington Post has put together this interesting explainer on “five places where Hurricane Sandy could affect the election.” Interesting. A snowstorm in conservative southwest Virginia keeping people from the polls? Whoa.

Meanwhile, the Obama team is shrugging everything off and declaring their victory inevitable. The other side is pumping out some hubris, too, saying in a memo: “Every day, Barack Obama’s so-called Ohio firewall crumbles a little bit more because of Mitt Romney’s electric appearances, our campaign’s robust ground game, and Romney’s forward-looking message that lays out a serious and specific agenda for the future.”

Electric appearances? Really?

9 thoughts on “Is Hurricane Sandy God’s ‘October Surprise’?

  1. `Kathryn Braun Fenner

    and while neither candidate finds it seemly to campaign under these circumstances, nothing is stopping Bill Clinton. The GOP has no one comparable. Unless Obama fumbles this a la either Bush, it’s good for him!

  2. Juan Caruso

    In human nature, habits are particularly difficult to overcome, and no one should have been surprised that the Obama-Clinton-Panetta team blew Benghazi and have been complicit with mainstream media in the coverup of the obvious debacle.

    Mr. Arial’s recent Halloween cartoon is right on target.

    I am fairly certain by now that the Secretary of Defense Leon P. is wishing by now that Obama loses so that his exit is the most graceful possible. Just a thought.

  3. Tom Stickler

    Perhaps Sandy will afford Mitt a chance to either flip-flop or double down on his position on disaster relief that he enunciated in June, when he was asked about a more localized version of what millions are facing today—the devastation in Joplin, Missouri.

    Should the states deal with such things rather than the federal government?

    “Absolutely,” Romney answered, adding that “if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better. We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids.

  4. Steven Davis II

    The election is 8 days away. The storm will be out in two days. What do they think will happen in the 6 days following?

    The liberals here amaze me…

  5. bud

    The utter incompetence of the Bush administration in handling the Katrina disaster was not fully evident until a couple of weeks after the event. I don’t think there is enough time for any missteps (IF they do occur) to change the dynamics of the race. It’s possible that the president could benefit slightly from a sort of domestic rally-round-the-flag effect but I don’t think that will amount to much.

  6. bud

    My prediction is that Romney will win a very slight plurality of the popular vote but Obama will win the electoral vote. Only Colorado and Virginia are bonafide toss ups at this point and I predict both will break for the president. That will give a final total of:

    Obama – 303
    Romney – 235

  7. bud

    Juan, most of the media, with the exception of Fox News and the radio yackers have largely left the Benghazi incident alone for one very good reason – there just isn’t all that much to talk about. But let’s have a discussion just the same. And lets make it a real fair and balanced discussion.

    First there is the situation before the Sept 11 incident. The consulate did indicate apprehension about it’s security. That’s probably typical for consulates in dangerous parts of the world. Nevertheless the requests for more security should have been taken more seriously. It’s at this point that the Obama Administration made its biggest mistake in the affair. They simply should have pulled all US personnel out of the region. That would have been greeted with calls from conservatives of cutting and running. Still, that would have been the prudent course.

    Instead Obama decided that it was an important public relations action to retain the consulate even though it was not defensible. This decision was based on the perception that the people in Libya were friendly to the Americans after we helped their cause. Even though that is largely true the Libyan government was not fully in control of internal security and hence the consulate was in a risky situation.

    Once the decision to stay was made there was little the administration could have done to provide adequate security against a determined attack. Any action by US forces would have likely resulted in civilian casualties and the goodwill established by our military aid would have been lost. In effect the consulate was doomed once the terrorists attacked.

    As for a coverup. Seriously that is the most ridiculous claim about this whole mess. The Obama administration has provided information as they saw it. Perhaps a but clumsily but the very idea that there was a coverup is just a bunch of Fox News nonsense.

  8. Steven Davis II

    Speaking of the hurricane, I just saw firemen “rescuing” people who seemed to be trapped in their home by ankle deep water.

    Sometimes I wonder how people survived before handouts and needing assistance for every single thing. Our ancestors who fended for themselves and “did” or “did without” are spinning in their graves. No wonder we’re leaning toward being a weak country.

  9. Juan Caruso

    “… most of the media … have largely left the Benghazi incident alone for one very good reason – there just isn’t all that much to talk about. – Bud

    Last night [30 OCT], Jay Leno let loose on Benghazi-Gate:

    “Well, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is back – not for gays in the military. It’s President Obama’s new policy for questions about Libya. Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

    Neither wishing nor media neglect will let this scandal evaporate. No one has had any explanation (and the media has made a point NOT to ask) just what it was that the US Ambassador, Stevens, was doing in Benghazi, meeting (of all people) the Turkish Ambassador.

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