Could Sandy Impact Elections? - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Could Sandy Impact Elections?

We already know what Sandy can do to the streets and homes and beaches but what about elections?

Matt Grossmann, Professor of Political Science at MSU: "Obviously if people cannot physically get to the polls it would reduce support for the candidate that's winning in those areas."

Grossmann says as far as what Sandy's political impact may be, nobody's sure.

Grossmann: "We don't have a lot of evidence or experience seeing this big of a weather event this close to a national election."

But he says all of this water could mean bad news for President Obama.

Grossmann: "There is some evidence that people tend to punish incumbents if things are going badly."

But political science professor Saundra Schneider says it's more likely the president will be praised for his reaction.

Schneider: "There's an advantage to people who are already in office because the natural tendency people have is to look to those officials and think ok what are you going to do."

But she says all candidates need to be aware that a natural disaster like Sandy, is no time for campaigning.

Schneider: "It just gives that impression that that's all they care about. If you don't demonstrate that you're a leader and you don't demonstrate that you're sympathetic, people remember that."

And Schneider says in that case, a natural disaster could be a political one as well.

With just over a week to go before election day, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have both suspended campaigning.

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