Discuss as:

2012: Pressing the pause button

Latest polls: NationalPew: Tied at 47%. StatesFLCNN: Romney 50-49%. OROregonian/Elway Research: Obama 47-41%. (Obama won Oregon in 2008 57-40%. Kerry though won it just 51-47% in 2004.

“Hurricane Sandy pressed the pause button Monday on a frenetic presidential campaign entering its final week, prompting President Obama and Mitt Romney to cancel rallies and raising questions about the effect of the storm on voting,” the Boston Globe writes. Virginia, even Ohio are expected to be affected.

AP: “Eight days before the election, President Barack Obama switched from campaigner to hands-on commander of the federal response to Superstorm Sandy as it barreled across the Eastern Seaboard. Republican Mitt Romney scaled back his appearances and urged supporters to ‘‘do your very best’’ in donating to relief efforts.”

“From a political perspective, Hurricane Sandy is coming ashore as a wash,” the Boston Globe’s Johnsonwrites. “It freezes an essentially tied presidential race. And while it gave President Obama a chance to show his abilities as commander in chief just as voters are deciding whether to give him a second term, it also gave Mitt Romney an unfettered opportunity to campaign in swing states that have been vital to his surge in recent weeks - before appearing magnanimous by announcing he was curtailing his efforts tonight and Tuesday in an expression of national unity. The true test comes in the storm’s aftermath.”

“Mitt Romney and President Obama [yesterday] canceled campaign appearances over the next few days, trying to navigate the dicey politics of a hurricane that is about to strike much of the East Coast,” theBoston Globe writes. “Romney, who is still holding events today in Ohio and Iowa, canceled a planned rally tonight in Wisconsin. Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan canceled events in Florida today, and both candidates canceled all events for Tuesday.”

In the CNN Florida poll, about 5% say their vote can be changed and “a large gender gap has re-opened in Florida, with 55% of men supporting Romney and 54% of women favoring Obama. Generational and income gaps appear as well, with Obama doing better among younger and lower-income voters and Romney ahead among those 50 and older and among those making more than $50,000 per year.”

“The legal briefs are already written, just waiting for a few blanks to be filled in. Hundreds of volunteer lawyers stand ready to run to the courthouse to file them,” USA Today writes. “If there's a problem on Election Day -- or if election night fails to produce a clear winner -- both President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney are prepared to take the 2012 presidential campaign from the ballot box to the courts. It's an effort that could cost millions of dollars and require thousands of lawyers, law students and paralegals. But ever since the 2000 presidential election hung on a few hundred ballot chads in Florida, the recount team is as integral to the modern campaign as attack ads and early voting.”