The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

October 29, 2012

Sandy disrupts presidential campaign 8 days out

(Continued)

Obama advisers said they said they were confident in their ground game even if Obama has to curtail his campaign appearances. Senior campaign adviser David Axelrod insisted Obama is winning even if Romney's campaign argues he's riding a surge.

"We're obviously going to lose a bunch of campaign time," Axelrod told reporters in a conference call. "We'll try to make it up on the back end."

Republicans concede that the storm essentially pushes a pause button on the momentum Romney had been building in key states across the country. They insist they are in strong positions in battlegrounds like Ohio, Florida, Colorado and Iowa, but acknowledge that Virginia could be a problem. Romney was forced to cancel three rallies planned for the state on Sunday and it's unclear when he'll be able to return.

Romney's campaign is considering a plan to send the candidate to New Jersey later this week, where he could meet with victims and gauge damage with political ally Gov. Chris Christie. The move would follow the path Romney took in the wake of Hurricane Irene following the Republican National Convention, when he toured storm damage in Louisiana with Gov. Bobby Jindal, also a supporter.

Former President Bill Clinton still planned to appear before voters at the Orlando rally in Obama's absence. Later Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden were appearing together in Youngstown, Ohio.

Clinton planned to campaign in Minnesota Tuesday with likely stops on college campuses, before continuing on a tireless swing to help fill Obama's void this week to Iowa, Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, New Hampshire and Wisconsin.

Both campaigns used social media to urge supporters to donate to the Red Cross and said they would stop sending fundraising emails on Monday to people living in areas in the storm's path.

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