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29 October 2012 @ 12:57 pm
Hurricane Sandy  
So just to get it out of the way up front, i hope everyone on the east coast gets through the hurricane okay.

(Though to think about it cold-heartedly and analytically, what's the minimum storm size where you're pretty much statistically guaranteed to have at least one death? I'm pretty sure it's a lot smaller than this. But i am of course hopeful that none of the people i know will be one of those statistics.)

But given there was going to be a hurricane hitting the north east this season, i rather wish the timing had been different. On the more trivial side, Google's press conference to announce the Nexus 4, the new version of the Nexus 7, and the Nexus 10 was canceled. It's kind of frustrating that Apple and Microsoft got their big fall press conferences off last week but Google's PR plans have been thrown into total disarray. (They have announced the details for the devices, but without an actual press conference and with the hurricane overshadowing all the news i'm not sure how much play that announcement will get.)

On a more serious note, it's not as bad as if this was happening next week when it would actually interfere directly with the election, but i really wish the hurricane could have scheduled itself for two weeks later, or failing that a couple weeks earlier. As it is hopefully the storm will be done with and everything will be pretty much back to normal 8 days from now when people who haven't voted early need to make it out to their polling places. But, according to some articles i've read at least, statistically a depressing number of people allow their opinions about political leaders to be swayed by natural disasters. That's understandable in the case of things like Katrina where the government screws up the response, but apparently there's a negative impression of the incumbent just because bad shit happened, even if they respond to the disaster in a timely and effective manner.

I don't know what it is that makes the influence of the Fisher King/Mandate of Heaven mythology so hard to kick, but apparently it's a tenacious fallacy.
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Kirin: kirinkirinn on October 29th, 2012 09:45 pm (UTC)
Well, maybe if we're particularly lucky the incumbent effect will be balanced out by the people who noticed that Mitt's been saying he wants to scale back FEMA and all Federal disaster relief. :/

Of course, most of the most-affected states are in the bag for Obama regardless. Closest swing states are VA, NH, and OH, all kind of on the borders of the storm.
Pava: Osaka Sez!jmpava on October 29th, 2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
Actually I think your above assessment is only halfway there. Yes people will go undo blame if there are major above and beyond complications, but there's a lot to be said for having the last week image being of the president actually... Being the president. Not a campaigning politician. That will also stick in a lot of people's minds. Especially if Romney isn't able to handle not campaigning at the same time. S it could actually be an image boon, albeit one with a lot of possible variance.

As for depressed turnout, as already mentioned it shouldn't (under the scenario as of this moment) impact the most critical states. One possibility though is that it increases the chance of a split pop/elect decision since the impacted states are mostly ones where Obama would be going to win regardless but more people might not bother. That's more symbolic then anything else though.