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On the road with the 2012 US election.

Election 2012: Sandy surprise

Delayed elections, deadlocked electors — nothing is too shocking to consider in this very unusual election year.
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Homes and businesses burned down in the Rockaway, Queens during superstorm Sandy. Can New York City and other areas hit hard by the storm recover in time for the Nov. 6 election? (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. — Sandy’s berserker rage may not yet be exhausted: If the damage is severe enough, and if the states cannot get things under control quickly enough, the storm could still cause another major disruption: postponement of the 2012 presidential election.
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Sandy makes life difficult for Romney

In the wake of one of the worst natural disasters in a century, does the Republican candidate really want to get rid of FEMA?
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US President Barack Obama takes part in a meeting at headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Oct. 31, before visiting New Jersey see areas hit hard by superstorm Sandy. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)
BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. — As the East Coast began to come back to life on Tuesday following Sandy’s wrathful rampage, the brief respite from electoral politics came to an abrupt end. While President Barack Obama struggled to deal with the aftermath of one of the country’s worst natural disasters in history, his Republican challenger was confronting the ghosts of his own political past.
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Which candidate will get Hurricane Sandy’s vote?

The real October surprise comes in the form of a 'perfect storm,' throwing the presidential campaign into turmoil.
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US President Barack Obama walks to the West Wing of the White House Oct. 29, returning from campaigning to monitor Hurricane Sandy as it makes landfall. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. — With all the money, time and effort the two major candidates have expended in this interminable presidential election campaign, they forgot to lobby the one voter who really counts right about now: Mother Nature. Hurricane Sandy has targeted the Eastern seaboard, disrupting the campaign, suspending early voting and threatening massive and extended power outages.
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Endorsements: Good news, bad news

Who is Jack Bauer backing for president?
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U.S. President Barack Obama greets supporters during a campaign rally at Byrd Park October 25, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia. With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, Obama and his GOP opponent former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are criss crossing the country attempting to sway voters in all-important swing states. (Chip Somodevilla/AFP/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, Fla. — “A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth,” said that wily social anthropologist, Charles Darwin. The same might be said of endorsements, especially in a tense political race. But right about now one or both of the presidential candidates might be wondering how they might back out of the unwelcome embrace of a few of their “pals."
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Campaign 2012: Sununu plays the race card

Romney surrogate suggests Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama was based on race.
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Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu (L) stands at the podium on the abbreviated first day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 27, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. The RNC is scheduled to convene today, but will hold its first full session tomorrow after being delayed due to Tropical Storm Isaac. (Win McNamee/AFP/Getty Images)
Colin Powell’s endorsement of President Barack Obama keeps spinning out bad news for the campaign of his challenger, Mitt Romney — this time in the form of injudicious comments by an adviser who just can’t seem to keep his mouth shut.
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Obama to Floridians: Don’t get 'Romnesia'

The president woos residents of a crucial Florida county as the race heads into its final stretch.
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US President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally at the Delray Beach Tennis Center on October 23, 2012 in Delray Beach, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
YBOR CITY, Fla. — The president looked tired and sounded hoarse. He has been crisscrossing the country in a last, frantic burst of campaigning, trying to gain a firmer foothold in what has become an extremely close race. Florida is key to winning the presidency; with its 29 electoral votes and politically mixed population, it could once again play the kingmaker, as it did in 2000.
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Third party debate: Ready for prime time?

Larry King hosted a debate with presidential candidates Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, Virgil Goode and Gary Johnson that comparatively few people will see, although perhaps more should.
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Presidential candidates debate Oct. 23 in Chicago. From left: Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, Virgil Goode and Gary Johnson. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
BOCA RATON, Fla. — For a glimpse of what politics could be if it were divorced from big money, special interests, and televised reality, there are few venues more instructive than the debate between the third party candidates held on Tuesday evening in Chicago. Hosted by the Free and Equal Election Foundation and moderated by the venerable Larry King, the debate brought four presidential no-hopers together to discuss the issues that have been ignored by the major parties.
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Final US presidential debate: Much ado about very little

Foreign policy largely took a back seat to domestic issues as US President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney met for the last time before the election.
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US President Barack Obama (L) greets Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) following the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, October 22, 2012. The showdown focusing on foreign policy is being held in the crucial toss-up state of Florida just 15 days before the election and promises to be among the most watched 90 minutes of the entire 2012 campaign. (Saul LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
BOCA RATON, Fla. — The third and final presidential debate came to a close Monday night, bringing little clarity to a long and confusing campaign. Those who were undecided are likely to be still in the dark after 90 minutes in which it was sometimes difficult to tell what the topic under discussion actually was.
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Final debate: Third time’s the charm?

The presidential candidates will face off on foreign policy for their last debate in an agonizingly close race.
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Electoral placards supporting US President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney are seen near Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 20, 2012, where the third and final presidential debate will be hosted on October 22. Obama and Romney began boning up on foreign policy ahead of their final debate, with the president opting for Camp David's seclusion and Romney jetting to the showdown site in Florida. As the candidates ducked off the campaign trail, they let their running mates stump for votes in the political battlegrounds that will likely determine the November 6 election. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)
BOCA RATON, Fla. — Monday night, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will meet at Lynn University here in Boca Raton, near the southern tip of the Sunshine State. In a race that gets tighter and more perplexing every day, the debates have taken on an almost mystical significance. The first meeting, in Denver, dramatically changed the dynamic of the campaign, stopping what had seemed an Obama juggernaut and transforming almost certain defeat for Romney into a possible, even likely, win.
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Virginia: Not for lovers

The mood in this swing state is pretty grim in the run-up to the election.
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In Virginia, a tried-and-true coal-mining state, anti-Obama billboards like these are everywhere. (Jean MacKenzie/AFP/Getty Images)
ABINGDON, Va. — The billboards stand right at the intersection, ugly and jarring in this lovely southern town. “If you voted the last election to prove you weren’t racist, vote this election to prove you’re not an idiot,” reads the largest and most aggressive one. “Our jobs depend on coal. Why does Obama want to take them away?” says another. A third has a smiling Obama cartoon and “His promises = lost jobs” with a picture of a “cancelled” coal miner.
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