How Will Sandy Effect the Election?

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(Memphis) It will be sometime before the full impact of Sandy has been assessed.

However, with many in the Northeast working to clean-up, they could be distracted from next week's major election.

"People are going to be cleaning up. There will be a lot of construction. So people will be preoccupied with that and not necessarily voting right now," said News Channel 3 Political Commentator Otis Sanford.

Sanford said early voting numbers have been strong, but early voting was cut short in many of the Northeastern states.

Susan Adler Thorpe, who is also a News Channel 3 commentator, agreed turn out will be impacted, "When your lights are off and it’s cold outside you are not really thinking about getting to the polls."

The question is how will the lower voter turnout impact the final results in the presidential race?

"It could slow Mitt Romney’s momentum that he’s gained since the first debate. It could slow it because there’s nothing much he can do right now except what he did Monday and ask for his supporters to send money to the Red Cross," said Adler Thorpe. 

"President Obama can command the attention of the public by enacting his presidential duties, as he leads the nation in the recovery along the northeast corridor. He takes on this air of presidency and he exudes the confidence people want to see in their president."

But Sanford thinks the turnout might have the opposite effect, "Honestly, a lot of these states are heavily Democratic states, so that could have an impact as well."

Although there is uncertainty as to what Sandy's impact on the vote and turnout will be, the storm is taking away media attention from the presidential race.

"Both campaigns were hit with this curve ball. It’s something that you could not plan for," said Adler Thorpe.

"The president has to be the president right now," added Sanford.

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