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October 31st, 2012
10:06 AM ET

Sandy could alter race before presidential election – Richard Socarides and Will Cain weigh in

The presidential candidates resume campaigning in the calm after the storm this week.

Mitt Romney makes three stops in Florida today while President Obama resumes campaigning tomorrow with a stop in Wisconsin. It’s unclear what Sandy’s political implications may be and how much it will affect the outcome of the election.

Former Senior Adviser to President Clinton Richard Socarides and CNN Contributor Will Cain join Zoraida Sambolin and John Berman on “Early Start” to break down the race.

Cain doesn’t think the storm will have any major impact on the election. He thinks the candidates’ distance from campaigning due to Sandy, however, may have done some good.

“I think it’s a little bit of healthy hiatus,” Cain says. “To stop the constant cycle of ‘did you hear this gaffe?’ and ‘oh my gosh’ from the campaign trail allows you to step back for a moment and remember real life, and ask yourself ‘what’s really important?’ regarding this vote you’re gonna make a week from now.”

Socarides agrees. “I think the rhetoric is gonna be slightly less sharp,” Socarides says. “I think the candidates will have to adjust.”

Returning to the campaign trail, the swing states are still as important as ever. President Obama leads in Ohio, Florida and Virginia in a the latest Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS poll, but the race is still tight.

“Whatever happens there,” Cain says, “whatever happens in Ohio will have huge ramifications. We all know Ohio is the most important state in how this presidential election turns out.” Even though Obama holds a slight edge, as is expected from an incumbent president, “it’s gonna be a very close election by all signs,” Socarides says.

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Filed under: 2012 election • Politics
October 31st, 2012
10:02 AM ET

Presidential race a 'dead heat' with 6 days to Election Day – Paul Steinhauser reports

With less than one week left until Election Day, the race is extremely sensitive. And with Superstorm Sandy in the mix, this is a very different race.

The storm stopped the race in its tracks and may very well have become the “October Surprise” to change the course of the race in its critical final days. But now the candidates return to the campaign trail after a brief break from politics. Mitt Romney makes three stops in Florida today while President Obama resumes campaigning tomorrow with a stop in Wisconsin.

This morning on "Early Start," CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser explains the dead heat in the presidential race.

Nationally, there have been eight polls, live operator and non-partisan polls, since the last presidential debate. CNN's Poll of Polls averaged them all together and Steinhauser says, “Basically, it is a dead heat.”

The poll places Mitt Romney at 48% and President Obama at 48% among likely voters. But Steinhauser points out what’s really important. “The battle for the White House is a battle for the states and their electoral votes.” The latest QuinnipiacUniversity/New York Times/CBS poll out this morning shows the president in the lead in Ohio, Florida and Virginia. But the race is still tight.

The topic of political discussion now is what Mitt Romney would do with FEMA if he were elected. “Democrats in the Obama campaign are pointing back to some comments that Mitt Romney made way back in June of 2011 in a CNN debate, a Republican presidential debate, in New Hampshire moderated by our John King.” But Romney avoided answering questions about what he would do with FEMA when reporters asked him numerous times at a disaster relief event yesterday in Ohio.

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Filed under: 2012 election • Politics
October 31st, 2012
07:50 AM ET

Rep. Pallone: Broken power, gas lines in Long Branch after Sandy

Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) on the latest in the rescue and clean up efforts in Long Branch, NJ after superstorm Sandy.

Filed under: Hurricane Sandy
October 31st, 2012
07:45 AM ET

Sandy's effect on your deductible – Christine Romans reports

Christine Romans shares tips on how people who were affected by Sandy could have an insurance deductible for damages.

October 31st, 2012
07:42 AM ET

Big market movers after superstorm Sandy – Christine Romans explains

Christine Romans looks at how the markets could react after being closed for two days for superstorm Sandy.

October 31st, 2012
06:41 AM ET

Nevada voters pin hopes on next President – CNN's Miguel Marquez reports

The United States is only six days away from electing the next president. It’s a particularly difficult decision to make in Northwest Nevada, one of the final battlegrounds where the unemployment rate is highest in the nation. CNN’s Miguel Marquez visits Washoe County, Nevada on the “Deciders Tour” to meet with voters who may very well decide this election.

Nevada’s unemployment rate is nearly 12%, yet polls show that Obama is consistently up by a point or two over Romney. While some believe Obama has made things better, others think recovery would be faster under Romney. And many are undecided. Marquez rides a horse in Maplewood Stables and speaks to fellow rider Julie WinkeI. She expresses the feeling in the state. “I hope the next president can turn things around so we can get back to where we were four years ago or even eight years ago even,” she says.

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Filed under: 2012 election
October 31st, 2012
06:15 AM ET

What's trending for Oct. 31st, 2012

Long Island man captures Sandy uprooting a tree and Disney buys Lucasfilm, promising a new "Star Wars" trilogy.

Filed under: Trending
October 31st, 2012
03:26 AM ET

Best Advice: James van der Beek

Former Dawson's Creek star James van der Beek shares the best advice he's ever received.

Filed under: Best Advice
October 30th, 2012
09:02 AM ET

Boat rescues continue after berm breach in New Jersey – Little Ferry Police Chief Verdi explains

Little Ferry, NJ Police Chief Ralph Verdi shares details on rescues of residents after a berm breach in Bergen County.

Filed under: Hurricane Sandy
October 29th, 2012
09:26 AM ET

VIDEO: Red Cross preps Philadelphia residents for Hurricane Sandy – Dave Schrader explains

American Red Cross's Dave Schrader on how they're preparing for residents in Philadelphia to ride out Hurricane Sandy.

Filed under: Hurricane Sandy
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