President Obama is assuring Americans that there has been "extraordinarily close coordination" between state, local, and federal officials in the response to Hurricane Sandy, he said in a press conference this afternoon. But "millions of people are going to be affected," he cautioned. "The most important message that I have for the public right now is please listen to what your state and local officials are saying. When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate."
At the end of the press conference, a reporter asked what impact the storm might have on the election. "I am not worried at this point about the impact on the election, I'm worried about the impact on families," first responders, the economy, and transportation, Obama said. "The election will take care of itself next week." Of course, lots of people are worried about the impact on the election. Slate points to a study showing that the public tends to "punish the incumbent for so-called acts of God." Nate Silver reads the studies differently, saying they indicate that a well-run response can help an incumbent. But the storm, he notes, will also wreak havoc on polling.