With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the East Coast — and early voters — a Democratic senator in one affected state predicted this morning “the storm will throw havoc into the race.”
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), citing a new Washington Post poll showing a 51-47 edge for President Obama in Virginia, said on Fox News Sunday the storm may not affect his state as much because “we don’t have as extensive early voting in Virginia as other states.” Extended power outages could affect voting machines through Election Day, though.
Obama and Mitt Romney both canceled Virginia events because of the hurricane.
Obama called Sandy “a serious and big storm” in remarks at FEMA headquarters today, vowing to get states and municipalities whatever they need.
“We’re going to cut through red tape. We’re not going to get bogged down with a lot of rules,” the president said. “We want to make sure that we are anticipating and leaning forward into making sure that we’ve got the best possible response to what is going to be a big and messy system.”
The other swing-state senators on the show focused on what these critical voters will make of the candidates’ policies heading into Nov. 6.
“As I drive around the victory centers, particularly yesterday, this issue of Benghazi is really bubbling up,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). “People are demanding answers from this administration. I think it’s going to have a big impact here in the state of Wisconsin.”
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) noted an early voting rate of about 80 percent in his state.
“Governor Romney has three problems here in Colorado. We don’t know whether it’s moderate Mitt or ‘me, too’ Mitt or severely conservative Mitt that will serve as a president. He’s been particularly unfriendly to Hispanics and Latinos,” Udall charged. “And women in the state are pro-choice. They want to make their own health care decisions and the Republican Party has in effect said to women, we know what’s best for you. We don’t want you to make your own decisions. So, those are reasons that President Obama will carry Colorado.”
Romney’s celebrated debate practice partner referred to the policy pamphlet released last week by Obama, repacking what the president has been saying on the campaign trail.
“He has a glossy new brochure. I’ve actually looked at that brochure and as you know I played the role of Obama during the debate preps. And it’s more of the same,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said. “I mean, you know, you can argue we need to do more of the same but it hasn’t worked and hasn’t worked by President Obama’s own measurements.”