Hurricane Sandy Throws Campaign Into Chaos

"Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction," Romney said. "And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that's even better. Instead of thinking, in the federal budget, what we should cut, we should ask the opposite question, what should we keep?"

"Gov. Romney wants to ensure states, who are the first responders and are in the best position to aid impacted individuals and communities, have the resources and assistance they need to cope with natural disasters," a Romney campaign official told the Huffington Post in response.

Despite that, it's difficult to speculate what kind of effect Sandy will have on the outcome of the race but it's clear both campaigns see it as a so-called "October surprise" that could change the dynamic of the race.

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said on CNN Sunday that access to the polls in a swing state like Virginia remains "a source of concern." Virginia has expanded in-person absentee voting to people affected by the storms.

"I don't know how all the politics will sort out. It depends on how scenarios are impacted and so the best thing we can do is focus on how we can help people during this storm and hope that it all clears out and that by the next weekend we'll be free of it and people can focus on the election," Axelrod said.

Most battleground states, save for Virginia and New Hampshire, are outside the path of the storm. But both those states are of critical importance to both campaigns and it is unclear if or when the candidates will be able to appear there before Election Day. It is safe to say, however, that as national media attention has rapidly shifted from the campaign horse race to the storm, and how each candidate responds to it will be closely scrutinized.

With both candidates' leadership qualities will undoubtedly be under the microscope, the campaigns refused to speculate on whether the storm would benefit one candidate or the other.

For example, Romney adviser Kevin Madden refused to comment on whether the storm would make Obama look more "presidential" to voters and on if the storm would negatively effect the campaigns plans.

"We just try to have focus on what we can control and part of what we can control is making sure that safety is a priority for the people that are in harm's way in some of these states that are going to be directly impacted and so that's top concern and it'll remain a top concern," he said Sunday.

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