Romney First To Resume Campaign After Sandy Pause

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 31 2012 10:02 AM

Sandy Gives Romney a One-Day Head Start Back on the Trail

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Mitt Romney arrives in Tampa, Florida, where he'll return to the campaign trail today

Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images.

After largely—if somewhat awkwardly—pausing for several days as Superstorm Sandy pounded the East Coast, President Obama and Mitt Romney are heading back to the campaign trail for one last push before voters head to the polls next Tuesday.

The GOP challenger will be the first to return to the stump, heading to the battleground state of Florida today for a trio of events with Republican heavyweights Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush. Obama, meanwhile, will stay largely on the campaign sidelines for one more day before he hits the trail with a three-state swing that will take him to Wisconsin, Nevada, and Colorado.

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Romney may be the only one officially campaigning today, but he clearly won't have the political headlines to himself. Obama is set to tour New Jersey to get a firsthand look at the damage brought by Hurricane Sandy. He'll be accompanied by Republican Gov. Chris Christie, providing the president with his latest storm-themed stage to look both bipartisan and presidential.

That said, as Slate's John Dickerson outlined recently, the final days of swing-state campaigning are key to efforts to attract volunteers and early voters. So while the president's tour of the damage in New Jersey very well may lead the evening newscasts, the trip will nonetheless deprive his campaign of one of its final chances to boost its ground game in one of the battleground states that could decide this election. The Christie-led tour is still likely a net gain for Team Obama (and even if it weren't, the campaign wouldn't have much of a choice anyway), but it's worth pointing out that the pros come with at least a few cons.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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