COMMENTARY |On October 28th, while meteorologists were warning everyone about the impending storm Sandy, I tweeted what I thought was a facetious remark:
“Wanna’ bet Obama extends voting if he doesn’t get enough (early) votes?
Right now, after the terrible storm, I’m flabbergasted to hear media pundits speculating about the possibility, as does Indiana’s WSBT-TV. So far the conversation about a delayed election hasn’t moved beyond the chattering classes.
Mainstream news outlets like ABC and USA Today cite historical and legal precedent that infers there would be no electoral delays.
However, the November 6 election is balanced on a knife edge, and you have to think campaign managers, especially on the Democratic side, are searching for reasons not to talk about the economy or Benghazi or the “fiscal cliff.”
Don’t think for a minute that raising the issue would be extensively ridiculed. We live in an era of reality TV, an era where TV news organizations openly flaunt their partisanship and routinely blend news into a potpourri of questionable “facts” and biased opinion.
Who hasn’t heard some version of the question asked by PolicyMic: “Can Hurricane Sandy Help Obama Win Election 2012?” It’s only a short leap to an apoplectic New Jersey voter shrieking into a CNN camera:
“How could I vote when my iPhone battery is still dead?”
Stormwise, the political tectonics are shifting toward the president. President Obama has ready photo ops as he tours inundated New Jersey with Governor Chris Christie.
Even Fox News, not noted for liberal editorial opinion, found it necessary to harmonize with liberal media in underscoring Christie’s praise of President Obama’s response to Hurricane Sandy.
The hard facts of the matter are that the storm will cut down on voting in two states President Obama is presumed to have in the bag. In New York State, President Obama leads Romney by 26 points, according to Real Clear Politics. The vote in blue state New Jersey also heavily favors the president.
Yet, a diminished voting turnout due to Hurricane Sandy would be a convenient political red herring for the hard core Democratic base. But only if President Obama loses the election in 2012 and Romney becomes America’s new president.