News / USA

    Mammoth Storm Impacts US Political Campaigning

    President Barack Obama, center, attends a briefing with Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Craig Fugate, right, at the National Response Coordination Center at FEMA Headquarters in Washington, on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012.
    President Barack Obama, center, attends a briefing with Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Craig Fugate, right, at the National Response Coordination Center at FEMA Headquarters in Washington, on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012.
    Michael Bowman
    Huge swaths of the U.S. East Coast are being pelted by one of the biggest storms ever to approach the mainland, just more than a week before Americans vote for president and pick a new Congress. Hurricane Sandy has forced the cancellation of campaign events and could leave millions of Americans without power as they prepare to cast ballots.

    ​Hurricane Sandy is unleashing powerful winds and torrential rains from the Carolinas to New York. In coming days, the storm’s impact will likely be felt from the U.S. mid-Atlantic region into Canada. While U.S. airwaves are filled with political advertisements before the election, many voters have a more immediate concern.

    “I am really nervous about this [storm]," a woman said. "I really am. I am cooking. I am thinking we are not going to eat for the next six days.”

    Sandy is expected to join with two winter storm systems to form what forecasters have termed a hybrid "superstorm" spanning 1,200 kilometers, affecting up to 60-million residents.

    President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, former Governor Mitt Romney, have cancelled campaign events in the critical battleground state of Virginia, where early voting is already underway.  Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner spoke on the U.S. television program Fox News Sunday.

    Watch President Obama discuss the approach of Hurricane Sandy


    “We do not have as extensive an early voting in Virginia as other states.  The storm will throw a little bit of havoc into the race.  I was supposed to be with the president [Obama] and [former] President Clinton on Monday.  That rally has been cancelled.  But I think Virginians are ready to go to the polls.”

    ​Obama campaign officials say the president’s immediate focus is on the well-being of Americans in Sandy’s path. Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter appeared on ABC’s This Week program.

    “Of course, we are all hoping that the hurricane does not have huge consequences for people’s safety," said Cutter. "We have taken every precaution that we possibly can.  The president took down a couple of [campaign] stops so he could monitor the situation.  So we just have to see how this goes.”

    • Waves crash into the pier in Ocean City, Maryland October 28, 2012.
    • A man with a small dog takes a photo of the storm waves from Hurricane Sandy in Ocean City, New Jersey, October 28, 2012.
    • A car plows through a flooded street in the Ocean View area in Norfolk, VA., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012.
    • The boarded up windows on a store front in Margate N.J., read "Boo Sandy!", as the area prepares for the arrival of the superstorm, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012.
    • Travelers surround a flight monitor showing cancelled flights at LaGuardia airport in New York October 28, 2012.
    • Mike Strobel fills sand bags for his business, Mike's Carpet Connection, as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Fenwick Island, Delaware.
    • Large waves generated by Hurricane Sandy crash into Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 as the storm moves up the east coast.
    • President Barack Obama, center, attends a briefing with Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Craig Fugate, right, at the National Response Coordination Center at FEMA Headquarters in Washington, on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012.
    • People ride the last train to Long Island as it departs Penn Station in New York October 28, 2012.

    Recent weeks have seen Mitt Romney erase the president’s lead in the polls, both nationally and in many pivotal swing-states. Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio said the momentum is on Romney’s side.

    “Polls are closing [narrowing], and the energy and enthusiasm is on our side this year,” he said.

    That message was echoed by former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who appeared on This Week.

    “In Ohio, we [Republicans] clearly have gained ground," he said. "I doubt very much that Obama is going to carry Virginia.”

    A loss in both states would, indeed, be a severe blow to President Obama’s re-election hopes. But Democrats say they are not panicking, arguing that Democrats are already voting early in record numbers.

    “In many cases, we are beating Mitt Romney three-to-one in the early vote.  Our people are turning out, and they are turning out in very high numbers," said Stephanie Cutter. "We feel good about Ohio, we feel we are going to win it.”

    What no one can predict is Sandy's impact on the desire and ability of tens of millions of Americans to vote, and just how, if at all, that will affect the outcome on November 6.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora