The presidential race is taking a back burner in the news to Hurricane Sandy, as President Barack Obama and Republican contender Mitt Romney make their final arguments to voters while shifting schedules around the rapidly approaching storm.
Obama flew out of Washington Sunday to appear in Orlando, but will skip a rally later today in Youngstown and return to the White House to deal with the storm. Vice President Joe Biden and former president Bill Clinton will still speak in Youngstown as the both campaigns target swing state Ohio.
Meanwhile, Romney cancelled events in Virginia to join his running mate, Paul Ryan, in Ohio, and cancelled a rally Tuesday in New Hampshire.
The candidates are in a dead heat heading into the election and swing states like Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia and New Hampshire are all feeling the effects from the monster storm, which some political analysts said could reduce voter turnout and affect Obama’s chances for re-election.
“Obviously we want unfettered access to the polls, because we believe that the more people come out, the better we’re going to do,” Obama advisor David Axelrod said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And so, to the extent that it makes it harder, that’s a source of concern.”
Meanwhile, Romney senior adviser Kevin Madden said that “our top priority is the safety and security” of those who may be in harm’s way.
“We’ll have to monitor the storm in case we need to make any adjustments,” he said. “But it’s hard to predict right now.”
The storm is already affecting early voting in Washington D.C. and Maryland, where officials have cancelled early voting on Monday.