The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is threatening to create Election Day chaos in some storm-racked sections of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — and some effects may also be felt in other states, including Pennsylvania, where some polling sites still lacked power on Friday morning.
Disrupted postal delivery will probably slow the return of absentee ballots. And with some polling sites likely to be moved, elections officials were bracing for a big influx of provisional paper ballots — which could delay the vote count in places.
Weary local elections officials vowed that the vote would go on. “Come hell or high water — we had both — we’re voting on Tuesday,” William T. Biamonte, the Democratic commissioner at the Nassau County Board of Elections, said in an interview.
Storm-related voting disruptions seem unlikely to change the outcome of the presidential election, since the biggest problem areas are in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which are all expected to go for President Obama. But even when elections officials get the polling sites up and running, many voters may stay away as they grapple with lingering damage to their homes, power failures and gas shortages. With turnout projected to be down in all these states, Mr. Obama could see his share of the national popular vote reduced.
One of the most tantalizing subplots of the 2012 campaign has been the curious and sometimes controversial performances of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Now, campaign insiders tell POLITICO that Christie was Mitt Romney’s first choice for the Republican ticket, lending an intriguing new context to the continuing drama around the Garden State governor.
The strong internal push for Christie, and Romney’s initial instinct to pick him as his running mate, reflects how conflicted the nominee remained about choosing a running mate until the very end of the process. At least on the surface, Christie and Paul Ryan are about as opposite as two Republicans could be: a brash outsider from the Northeast versus a bookish insider from the heartland.
WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 27 million people have already voted in 34 states and the District of Columbia, either by mail or in person. No votes will be counted until Tuesday but some key states are releasing the party affiliation of those who vote early.
Iowa is at the center of President Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s dueling strategies for victory, and the president holds a narrow edge over Mr. Romney there, according to a Des Moines Register poll released Saturday evening, which found Mr. Obama with 47 percent, to 42 percent for Mr. Romney.
The candidates crossed paths in Iowa on Saturday, and both are scheduled to visit the state one more time before Election Day, although the poll found that 42 percent of likely voters had already cast their ballots.
MPR News reporter Brett Neely is at the Paul Ryan rally at MSP.
6 pm. Polls in Indiana and Virginia close. If Richard Mourdock (R) loses in Indiana, you can kiss the GOP's hopes of winning a majority in the Senate goodbye. Hard to imagine Romney winning the White House without Virginia; if he loses, watch to see if third party Goode is the difference.
6:30 pm: All eyes on Ohio. Both Obama and Romney could win the White House without this state, but it would be tougher for Romney. He needs North Carolina as well.
7 pm: Key states are Florida and New Hampshire. Romney cannot win the presidency without the Sunshine State, and he needs N.H. too. House races to watch in both states, as well as Illinois, which could be the Dems' best House opportunity. We'll see if the GOP's courting of Pennsylvania was for real. Big Senate seats in Massachusetts and Missouri, but Connecticut bears watching as well.
8 pm: Colorado is the key presidential state. The rest are mostly about Senate races in Arizona, Nebraska and Wisconsin.
9 pm: Iowa and Nevada are the last presidential swing states to watch. Big Senate races in Nevada and Montana.
10 pm: After California polls close, we should get a better picture about the battle for the House. There's also the Senate race in North Dakota.
The National Weather Service predicted Sunday that a Nor’easter that could include gusts of up to 55 mph is likely to reach the area by Wednesday and could compound the havoc brought by last week’s violent weather.
“Prepare for more outages,” advised weather service meteorologist Joe Pollina. “Stay indoors. Stock up again.”
President Obama appears to have built a lead in early and absentee voting ahead of Election Day in several battleground states, but the early-vote cushion over GOP nominee Mitt Romney is not as big as the one he held four years ago over Sen. John McCain.
And now it is closing time. On Monday, in the final hours of their 17-month, nearly $3 billion marathon, the two candidates and their running mates are scheduled to hold 14 events across eight states.
For Republican challenger Mitt Romney, this last full day of campaigning is aimed at achieving what he has seemingly been unable to do over the first 522 days: overcome President Obama’s razor-thin but steady leads in the states where the election will be decided.
On Sunday, it appeared that Romney’s task was getting a little harder.
If President Obama wins re-election on Tuesday, the historical memory of the race might turn on the role played by Hurricane Sandy.
Already, some analysts are describing the storm as an “October surprise” that allowed Mr. Obama to regain his footing after stumbling badly in the first presidential debate and struggling to get back on course. Some Republicans seem prepared to blame a potential defeat for Mitt Romney on the storm, and the embrace of Mr. Obama by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and other public officials.
The theory has some appeal. The last three days of polling have brought what is almost certainly Mr. Obama’s strongest run of polling since the first presidential debate in Denver.
How it could come down to Wisconsin -- New York Times
Many pundits and pollsters are projecting another term for Obama. But there are many paths to victory for both candidates. Obama is leading, but within the margin of error in many of the battleground swing states. Above is a scenario where Wisconsin would be decisive. Game out your own paths on the New York Times' 512 Paths to the White House interactive.
Florida Democrats sought to extend early voting hours after the state’s Republican governor rejected a request to do so while voter advocates in Ohio sought clarification on the counting of provisional ballots following an order by Republican officials there.
Republicans continue to lead in Colorado in early voting, according to the latest figures from the secretary of state.
So far, 1.7 million of Colorado's 2.7 million voters have cast their ballots, either by mail or in person at an early-voting location.
The party breakdown by those who have already voted is: Republicans, 624,788; Democrats, 590,417; and unaffiliated voters, 474,437.