The Note's Must-Reads for Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at

Compiled by ABC News' Amanda VanAllen, Carrie Halperin and Danielle Genet

IMPACT OF SANDY ABC News' Gregory J. Krieg: " Obama Focuses on Sandy, Not Election" 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 storms. Obama held a news conference today to assure Americans that his administration was ready to deal with Sandy. LINK

The Hills' Amie Parnes and Justin Sink: " Hurricane Sandy throws the presidential campaigns off course" Hurricane Sandy is hitting the presidential race and the East Coast at the same time, throwing both candidates off their schedules and threatening to alter the voter-turnout calculus. The storm comes at a tough time for both candidates - the election is only eight days away, and polls show the race remains tight. LINK

The New York Daily News' Kristen A. Lee: " Presidential race grinds to a halt as Hurricane Sandy approaches" The presidential race has ground to a halt as a massive hurricane churns toward the East Coast with just over a week until Election Day. The storm has scuttled campaign rallies and complicated get-out-the-vote efforts, particularly in the key states of Virginia and New Hampshire, as polls show the candidates locked in a dead heat. LINK

The New York Times' Michael Cooper and Jeff Zeleny: " Early Voters, and a Hurricane, Change the Rhythm of the Campaign" With more than one in three votes likely to be cast before Election Day this year, Republicans are stepping up their efforts to chip away at what has been a Democratic advantage in early voting in vital battlegrounds like Ohio and North Carolina. In Ohio, whose 18 electoral votes are at the center of the presidential race, more than a million votes have already been cast, highlighting a change in the political rhythm that has led Republicans to begin to embrace the belief long held by Democrats that early voting can be used to increase turnout, not just to shift votes from one day to another. LINK

MITT ROMNEY The Washington Times' Seth McLaughlin: " Romney embraces executive authority" Facing off in last week's foreign policy debate, Mitt Romney nodded in agreement with much of what President Obama has done with his powers as chief executive - including a full-on embrace of the president's claim to sole authority to expand drone strikes to kill terrorist suspects. The Republican presidential nominee has reserved the right to deploy U.S. military power to world hot spots, as Mr. Obama did in Libya, and to greenlight unilateral action against Iran. LINK

Politico's Andrew Restauccia: " Romney would give more power to states, would not abolish FEMA" The Romney campaign stressed Monday that states should take the lead in responding to emergencies like hurricanes. But the campaign said Romney would not abolish the Federal Emergency Management Agency. LINK

POLLS Bloomberg's Jonathan D. Salant: " Obama Ties Romney Among Likely U.S. Voters in Pew Poll" President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are tied among likely voters in a national poll released eight days before Election Day. The Oct. 24-28 survey by the Pew Research Center found Obama and the former governor of Massachusetts each supported by 47 percent, a slight gain for the president from an Oct. 4-7 Pew poll that showed Romney ahead, 49 percent to 45 percent. The poll of 1,495 likely voters released yesterday has an error margin of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. LINK

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