STEPHANOPOULOS (voice-over): Good morning, and welcome to a special election edition of "This Week."
ROMNEY: The Obama campaign is slipping.
OBAMA: We've come too far to turn back now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It's on, the final sprint.
OBAMA: We'll win this election. We'll finish what we started.
ROMNEY: We're going to bring big changes to get America stronger again.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The candidates crisscross the battlegrounds...
BIDEN: We need you, Ohio!
RYAN: Hello, Colorado!
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... to break this deadlock race. The big questions now: Can Obama's swing state firewall stand up to Romney's momentum? How will Hurricane Sandy shake up the campaigns? And with just nine days to go, could a final October surprise send this election into overtime?
Questions for our headliners, top Obama adviser Stephanie Cutter and House Speaker Newt Gingrich for Romney. Plus, insight and analysis on our powerhouse roundtable, with George Will, Austan Goolsbee, Nicolle Wallace, Gwen Ifill from PBS, and Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Beast.
ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos. It's your voice, your vote. Reporting from ABC News election headquarters, George Stephanopoulos.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hello again. With just nine days to go, the October surprise is here. Hurricane Sandy, threatening a massive stretch of the U.S. from Virginia to New England all the way to the Great Lakes. It's already caused both candidates to scramble their schedules. It will complicate both campaigns' efforts to get their voters to the polls. We're going to get into that, plus our latest ABC News-Washington Post poll in just a moment.
But let's begin with our weather editor, Sam Champion, leading our storm coverage from Lower Manhattan. He's following the track of Sandy right now.
Good morning, Sam.
CHAMPION: Good morning, George. And let me show you first the satellite picture, which will show you, this storm is basically one of the largest we've ever seen in the Atlantic Basin. We'll move quickly to the hurricane track, the latest out from the hurricane center completes this storm. Well, actually, it feels exactly the same way they did several days now, making a left-hand turn toward to the coastline by the time we get into Monday.
Wind field from this storm is incredibly impressive. We've got tropical-storm-force winds 1,000 miles across in the storm and hurricane-force winds about 200 miles across. It basically means, it doesn't matter where this storm comes on shore for anything other than a storm surge, which is expected to be about 4 to 10 feet high. After that, wind and rain in a very large area.
Let's go to Matt Gutman. This storm, by the way, is cruising by the coastline, and Matt at its closest point in North Carolina. Good morning, Matt.
GUTMAN: Hey, good morning, Sam. It's still about 250 miles away, pushing these 60-mile wind gusts right in here. And this looks like some sort of semi-apocalyptic storm. This is not snow. This is sea foam roiled up by the ocean. The waves out there about 30 feet high, just beyond the coast here, and it's kicking up this very strange phenomenon of sea foam.