With today the final day to cast ballots for the 2012 elections, the outcome is narrow and muddled by the strange winds blowing in from the Hurricane that has slammed the East Coast. While the federal response has been lauded as much better than the response to Hurricane Katrina during the Bush administration, there are some who feel that the hurricane is going to unfairly tip the balance of the race between Obama and Romney.
A major concern has been whether or not Hurricane Sandy will affect people’s ability to get to the polls and vote if they live in the more affected areas of the East Coast. Analysts believe that this will likely draw out some sizable legal battles after the votes have been counted and a winner declared. This 2012 election may be one that only serves to further aggravate the lines that bitterly divide liberals and conservatives.
One scenario is that Obama could win the electoral votes over Romney, but not the popular vote. In this case he would win the election much the same way Bush did against Al Gore. The reaction among Romney supporters may be that Obama effectively stole the election. With voting being an afterthought to many people struggling to make ends meet after Hurricane Sandy, low voter turnout could end up being a bigger deal in what is already being regarded as one of the closer presidential races in United States’ history.
George Mason University professor Michael MacDonald notes, “It’s a possibility that we’ll see significant drops in turnout in some of these densely populated areas…The effects could be quite dramatic in terms of the popular vote.”
This is all even more exacerbated by the fact that officials are still recovering dead victims of the storm, and millions of people are without heat as the temperatures are dropping on the East Coast.