US ELECTIONS – LATEST
Could hurricane Sandy, now building up strength off the east coast of the United States, be the “October surprise” that commentators and political pundits have been warning about? Could hurricane Sandy blow ‘Kenya’s son’ Barack Obama out of the White House? Or blow away Mitt Romney’s chances of becoming president?
RAIN IN VIRGINIA, SNOW IN OHIO
As hurricane Sandy moves north across a 1,000 km front it has bumped into very cold air coming from the other direction. Heavy rain is forecast for the ‘swing state’ of Virginia and there could be snow in another vital swing state, Ohio.
Already Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney have had to change their election campaign plans for the final week of the US presidential election running up to polling day on Tuesday November 6, because of the growing Sandy menace.
WILL SOME OBAMA VOTERS STAY AT HOME?
Obama might come out of it looking like a leader in command of the situation. On the other hand, if he screws up (as Bush did over the New Orleans hurricane) Romney might benefit.
Mitt Romney may also benefit if heavy rain, high winds, snow and the displacement of evacuated voters, leads to ‘blue collar’ workers not being in a position, or not motivated enough to brave the elements to turn out for Obama.
NECK AND NECK – EVERY VOTE COUNTS
As Obama and Romeny stand neck and neck in the polls at about 48 per cent each, every vote could count.
An American political scientist told the Kenya Forum:
“As to the effect of hurricane Sandy, two main effects are possible.
First the response must be effective and Obama must be seen to be a leader in clear command. Then the clean up must take less than a week so that the polls run smoothly. I think both things will happen.
New York is in the bag for Obama regardless. But Pennsylvania isn’t so clear. Virginia is likely lost to Obama already. Right now it looks like Obama gets about 290 Electoral College Votes but it’s too close to call.
I just spent a week in Wisconsin which might be a key state. Romney is working it hard and well. Most voters are really fatigued by the campaign and only a really few votes are up for grabs any more.
I think that Ohio is still the key and Obama probably has it but Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota are also in play.”