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Of hurricane Sandy & spin docs!
Out of the 15 percent electorate that has already voted early, Obama has an 8% lead over Romney (53%-45%). But it’s clear that this may not quite be the trend of things to come. Romney’s Republican are expected to chug in late for voting...

By the time you read this article, hurricane Sandy would have ensured that much of Romney and Obama’s campaigning in the last week before polling starts officially would have reduced considerably, if not completely destroyed. Hell wait, scratch Obama out of that sentence – and give the biggest backslap to Obama’s spin docs, who’ve managed a Presidential coup by exploiting Sandy the way no one – especially Romney – could have done or thought of.

Even before Sandy had hit the East Coast, Obama’s spin docs had drawn up a schedule of national emergency addresses that the President would give. What better moment to showcase the President’s heartfelt cry for the affected than a brilliantly prime-time telecast national emergency address! And right on cue, the moment Obama finished his October 29 address on Sandy at the White House in front of reporters, out popped the first question asking the President how Sandy would affect the election. Right again on cue, Obama masterfully replied, “I am not worried at this point on the impact on the election. I’m worried about the impact on families and our first responders. I’m worried about the impact on our economy and on transportation. The election will take care of itself next week.” If you’re done with the tearful applause and have already decided that this exemplary paragon of social commitment is the one you’ll vote for in the coming election, we shan’t blame you. Of course, Romney and Paul also jumped into the Sandy-relief act; but guess who gets free airtime in a state of national emergency without being questioned on it? Not them.

One doesn’t need to second guess that if Sandy had changed her path back towards the sea without hitting the coast, where the biggest gasp of disappointment would have come from! But really, all this is trivialising the fact that America has experienced one of its worst storms ever, and the US administration has really made one of the most commendable advance efforts.

Irrespective of Sandy, Obama and Romney – and their camps – are both caught in the heat of partisanship and trying their best to run their opposition down with flamboyant gallery comments. While Obama lost the first televised debate badly to Romney, but came back strongly in the second and third; replying prudently to the volley of accusations ranging from his foreign policies in the Middle East to his ineffectiveness in mending the American economy. But the slam-dunking has continued. More recently, while Romney’s campaign panned Obama as having “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China,” Biden slammed Romney, “This guy... pirouettes more than a ballerina. Have they no shame?”

Romney has tried to harp on the most pressing questions in the minds of the electorate – of continued high unemployment and economic turmoil. Romney was also firing on all cylinders regarding the defence budget cut by Obama by around $1 trillion over the next decade. Most importantly, Romney insisted that the US is losing its role as the lone superpower and the undisputed leader of the world. With respect to the Middle East, Romney claims that while Obama is pursuing a policy of pacifying the rogue states of Iran and Syria; it should really be the other way round.
Without doubt, the election will be an extremely close call. The Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll shows Obama’s lead is a marginal 1%. A Politico/George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll this week now shows Obama ahead by only 1 percentage point. Apparently, out of the 15 percent electorate that has already voted early, Obama has an 8% lead over Romney (53%-45%). Among women voters, Obama’s lead is 11 points; among male voters, Romney’s lead is 12 points. The Pew Research Center poll released on October 29 shows Obama and Romney tied “dead even” at 47%. Among registered voters, Obama has a 2 percentage lead. Among likely voters, Romney has a minimal lead. As the Pew Report mentions, “Obama leads among women by 11 points, 54 percent to 43 percent. Men, meanwhile, support Romney over Obama by 12 points, 55 percent to 43 percent.”

So credits to Romney for destroying what once seemed an unassailable lead for Obama. And credits to Obama for the Sandy move. Would this be the first time that we see a tie in the final voting? Well, no. This already happened way back in 1800, in the elections between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

By:- Sayan Ghosh

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