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Tags: Hurricanes

The 2012 Campaign, a Tale of Two Hurricanes



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Jeff Dobbs looks at the numbers from Gallup, and concludes that if they’re right, almost 11 points of the electorate decided to vote for Obama based upon his response to Hurricane Sandy. Of course, some of that response is unlikely to be true,  as folks who otherwise would have voted for Obama simply cited the most recent reason they saw to vote for him.

But even if it’s one in three who are accurately assessing the factors in their vote, that’s 3.6 percentage points in the electorate.

What’s more, think back to the GOP convention in Tampa. The central message from the stage, aimed at Obama voters from 2008, was that it’s okay to vote against Obama this time around — trying to overcome the “sunk costs” theory, the hesitation to admit a particular previously selected approach has failed. Obama himself played to that instinct with the slogan, “We can’t turn back now.” Think of Clint Eastwood’s simple declaration, “When somebody doesn’t do the job, you’ve got to let them go.” Of course, that convention garnered a smaller audience than usual, in part because Hurricane Isaac forced the cancellation of the first night and because it provided another major story to compete for the public’s attention at that moment.

Clearly the electorate included a significant number of disappointed Obama voters who were wavering, and who were looking for an excuse to feel good about the president again, a reason that would justify a second vote. Hurricane Sandy provided that reason, just when Obama needed it.

Secondly, think about Romney’s closing argument, that he could end the partisan division; as a governor who had worked with a heavily Democratic state legislature, he could end the party warfare in Washington and get things done. And just as the late deciders tuned in, here was Obama looking buddy-buddy with Chris Christie in New Jersey, the GOP governor who had given the party’s keynote address. Sandy stepped on the closing message that only Romney could heal the partisan divide, while dominating news coverage and blocking out much other news.

Tags: Barack Obama , Hurricanes , Mitt Romney

Cuyahoga County Early Vote Slips Behind 2008 Pace



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The remains of Hurricane Sandy are pelting the states beyond the eastern seaboard with rain, snow, and high winds. A bit further east, millions are without power from Virginia to Massachusetts, trees have damaged homes and blocked roads, New York City is a mess, with its subways out of commission for the foreseeable future, much of Hoboken is still underwater, phone lines are down in many areas, and the Gallup tracking poll is suspended until at least Wednesday.

Early voting is likely to be disrupted in many of the suffering states, if not put on hiatus entirely. One of the big stories of this election had been both campaigns’ focus on getting out the early vote, and many analysts expected that the early vote would outpace the 30 percent who voted early in 2008. But as of Monday, we really can’t compare this cycle to the past cycle.

But even then, there are some interesting signals. A reader noticed that yesterday, the cumulative in-person early vote in Cuyahoga County fell behind the 2008 pace, and wonders “if it’s a sign that the Obama early vote in Ohio was front-loaded.” This is the county that includes Cleveland and that Obama won, 69 percent to 30 percent, in 2008.

Early voting in Ohio begins 35 days before Election Day. For the first 24 days of early voting, the pace of 2012 ran slightly ahead of the 2008 pace. They recorded 1,895 votes on this year’s first day, compared to 696 four years ago; 12,771 votes with three weeks to Election Day, compared to 10,616 votes on the same day four years ago; and so on. But with eight days remaining until Election Day, 26,386 early votes have been cast in Cuyahoga County, compared to 27,529 with eight days to go in 2008.

In 2008, 54,340 Cuyahoga County residents voted early; this year’s accumulated vote amounts to 48 percent of last year’s total. The early voting did pick up in the final days before Election Day, so in a normal cycle, we might see a pickup. But with this new complication of weather yesterday and today, early voting is likely to slip significantly for at least a few days.

There’s one other wrinkle: The number of registered voters, both statewide and in Cuyahoga County, is down significantly:

The deadline to register to vote in Ohio has passed. About 7.9 million people are registered to vote in Ohio for the November election. Though that number is expected to slightly increase, that’s down from about 8.2 million registered to vote in 2008.

In Cuyahoga County alone, there are about 80,000 fewer registered voters than there were four years ago.

The bottom line is that turnout this year is probably going to be slightly lower than in 2008, and each party’s early-vote effort may indeed be “cannibalizing” the Election Day vote. But in many of these key states — Ohio, Virginia, New Hampshire, and now Pennsylvania — the early vote is likely to slow to a trickle.

Tags: Barack Obama , Early Voting , Hurricanes , Ohio

Romney: Hurricane Relief Events Today



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The Romney campaign is sending out this revised schedule for the candidate, in light of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy:

Today, Gov. Romney is scheduled to attend a storm relief event at the James S. Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio, where he will be joined by Richard Petty and Randy Owen and help collect donations for storm-relief efforts:

Paul Ryan will be in Wisconsin to drop by the La Crosse Victory Center in La Crosse and the Hudson Victory Center in Hudson, where he will thank volunteers who are delivering or collecting items for storm relief efforts. All Wisconsin Victory Centers will collect donations for storm-relief efforts on Tuesday, Oct. 30 and Wednesday, Oct. 31:

Ann Romney will also attend events in Wisconsin and then travel to Iowa. She will visit the Green Bay Victory Office in Wisconsin, the Davenport Victory Center in Iowa as well as the Cedar Rapids Victory Office in Iowa, where she will participate in storm relief collection efforts. She will then attend a Victory Rally at the Temple for the Performing Arts in Des Moines, Iowa:

 

Tags: Ann Romney , Hurricanes , Mitt Romney , Paul Ryan

Romney Campaign: No Events Until Wednesday



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The Romney campaign won’t be doing much campaigning until Wednesday.

Romney communications director Gail Gitcho just issued this statement:

Out of sensitivity for the millions of Americans in the path of Hurricane Sandy, we are canceling tonight’s events with Governor Romney in Wisconsin and Congressman Ryan in Melbourne and Lakeland, Florida. We are also canceling all events currently scheduled for both Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan on Tuesday. Governor Romney believes this is a time for the nation and its leaders to come together to focus on those Americans who are in harm’s way. We will provide additional details regarding Governor Romney’s and Congressman Ryan’s schedule when they are available.

Tags: Hurricanes , Mitt Romney

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