PM Note: Rain Delay, ABC Moves Minn., Penn., from Solid to Lean, Tracking Poll Tie

Chris Cuomo called it something like a "liquid fist" pummeling New York on World News. Get all your Sandy news - Live Video, Live Blog, Live Updates - at ABC .

But despite this rain delay - 32 cancelled events! - We're still 8 days from election day.

ABC Moves Pennsylvania, Minnesota from 'Safe' to 'Lean' Obama -

Sandy and the Early Vote - Elizabeth Hartfield reports: There are five battleground states in Sandy's path including Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and North Carolina. Pennsylvania and New Hampshire do not offer in-person early voting, so it's likely that the storm won't have much of an impact on voting in either of those states, but in Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina early voting is increasingly popular. At the link is a look at how the storm has impacted early voting in these battlegrounds. -

… and the non-early vote - There's no early voting in Pennsylvania, but the storm is supposed to hang out there for much of tomorrow. How what Philly Mayor Michael Nutter called the most significant weather event in the city's history will affect turnout a week later could be really darn important.

Pause Button - Hurricane Sandy has blown President Obama and Mitt Romney off the campaign trail today, with the president returning home from Florida to manage emergency relief efforts from Washington and his Republican challenger scrapping scheduled rallies in deference to the dangerous storm. Obama held a news conference today to assure Americans that his administration was ready to deal with Sandy. He dismissed a question asking how the storm was affecting his campaign. "I am not worried at this point on the impact on the election. I'm worried about the impact on families and our first responders," the president said. "The election will take care of itself next week," he added. But even as the candidates pledge their concern and support to the millions of Americans faced with potentially deadly flooding and furious wind gusts, their competition is churning on.

Campaigning is Essentially on Hold Thru Tomorrow - A full rundown of what's been cancelled and a report on Paul Ryan - (Shush Walshe)

Romney told a crowd in this critical swing state that the storm is a time for Americans to come together. "We've faced these kinds of challenges before and as we have it's interesting to see how American's come together and this, this looks like another time when we need to come together all across the country, even here in Ohio, and make sure that we give our support to the people who need it," Romney said to a crowd of thousands gathered in a school gym to hear him speak. - (Friedman)

ABC / Washington Post Tracking Poll - Romney - 49, Obama 49 - that's a slight uptick for Obama. Writes Gary Langer: "With the election a week away Mitt Romney faces persistent skepticism about his commitment to the middle class, a vulnerability for the Republican challenger that's keeping the race locked tight - a precise dead heat in the latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll, 49-49 percent. Barack Obama, for his part, inched to a bare majority in job approval in the latest four-night survey, benefiting from a gradual improvement in economic attitudes - still weak, but trending up. Notably, it's his first time over 50 percent approval among likely voters in ABC/Post polls since July, just in time to counter what had been underlying momentum for Romney last week. In one of Obama's key assets, a broad 66 percent of likely voters continue to say he does more to favor the middle class than the wealthy, a measure that's held steady even as Romney gained on a range of other attitudes. Just 14 percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, think Obama favors the wealthy."

Romney, Ryan Pitched FEMA Changes, Cuts - As the nation's attention turns to the storm and the federal government gears up to assist states, it is worth noting how funding for FEMA and disaster relief have featured in national politics and the presidential race. Should FEMA be reformed to put a stronger emphasis on the states and less of an emphasis on federal aid? "Absolutely," said Mitt Romney during a June 13, 2011, GOP primary debate. As a general rule, Romney added, it would be even better if the private sector could step in. He seemed to indicate that continued spending on disaster relief was "jeopardizing the future of our kids." Meanwhile, Paul Ryan's budget proposal, which passed the House but not the Senate, envisioned a 41 percent cut next year for the section of the federal government that includes FEMA. In addition, Ryan's committee specifically pointed out that President Obama has declared a record number of disasters during his term.

Romney Jeep Ad Seriously Misleads - A misleading TV ad from Republican nominee Mitt Romney has prompted spirited objections from independent fact-checkers and Democrats for suggesting incorrectly, just days before the election, that automaker Chrysler is moving Jeep production out of Ohio to China. "Let's set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China. It's simply reviewing the opportunities to return Jeep output to China for the world's largest auto market," said spokesman Gualberto Ranieri in a blog post Thursday. "U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation." The Obama campaign has been on an all-out offensive over the ad, calling it a sign of "desperation" in Ohio, where Romney has yet to hold a lead in any public poll. (Dwyer and Friedman)

Obama Says There Could be Consequences for Benghazi Lapses -

GOP hit 1 million facebook likes today - Perils of Pre-Tapes - Obama in Talking iPad Playlist as Storm Rages - (Dwyer)

On Guard - A picture of the Old Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns went viral - Except it was from an earlier storm. Here's a picture of them today - (Martinez)

Swing State Papers - Romney Snags Des Moines Register, Has Slight Endorsement Edge - (Abby Phillip)

Sandy Has Robbed us of Final Warren / Brown Debate -

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