A growing chorus of Republicans are arguing that the deadly storm that rocked the East Coast last week also jeopardized Mitt Romney's presidential prospects, and they appear to be backed up by one of the leading polling organizations in the country.
Gallup on Monday found Romney leading President Barack Obama by a mere point in its final survey before Election Day — a change from the larger margins boasted by the GOP nominee before superstorm Sandy caused Gallup to suspend its daily tracking poll last week. In the final pre-storm poll last Monday — conducted during the 7-day tracking period of Oct. 22-28 — Gallup found Romney earning more than 50 percent among likely voters nationwide and leading the president by 5 points.
From Gallup's analysis:
Current voting preferences mark a return to the status of the race from Oct. 1-7, when Obama and Romney were tied at 48% among likely voters. After that, Romney moved ahead in mid-October during the presidential debate period, holding a three- to five-point lead in Gallup Daily tracking shortly before superstorm Sandy devastated many areas on the East Coast Oct. 29-30. Romney's and Obama's current close positioning in the Nov. 1-4 poll was measured as the Northeast continued to recover from superstorm Sandy, and after Obama's highly visible visit to the region.
Between Oct. 22-28 and Nov. 1-4, voter support for Obama increased by six points in the East, to 58% from 52%, while it held largely steady in the three other regions. This provides further support for the possibility that Obama's support grew as a result of his response to the storm.