Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 4:36 pm
Campaign reporters spend a lot of time pointing at color-coded electoral maps like the one below, showing which states voted for Republican John McCain (in red) and Democrat Barack Obama (in blue) in 2008.
But these maps lie — visually speaking.
Red appears to be the clear winner, dominating a vast swath from the South to the Rockies. It's all geographically accurate, but electorally skewed. For example, Montana (three electoral votes) dwarfs Massachusetts (which had 12 electoral votes in 2008).
Amid the devastation caused by Sandy, there are signs the superstorm might have blown a fresh breeze into the nation's politics. Suddenly, everyone's talking about something that seemed impossible just days before — bipartisanship.
Nothing sums that attitude up better than the actions of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Republican Christie, who has worked closely with GOP hopeful Mitt Romney's campaign and has consistently proved one of President Obama's harshest critics, put that aside in the aftermath of Sandy.
Last week, after Donald Trump asked President Obama to produce more records to prove his citizenship, the president used an appearance on "The Tonight Show" to dismiss the issue with a one-liner. Host Jay Leno asked, what's this thing between you and Trump?
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO")
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya.
Just five days before Election Day, President Obama returned to the campaign trail after spending several days preoccupied with overseeing the federal response to the devastation in the Northeast in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
Obama began his campaign re-emergence Thursday with a rally in Green Bay, Wis., a state where his once-substantial lead in polls over Republican Mitt Romney has narrowed to only a few points in a majority of the polls.
The cleanup effort is underway after superstorm Sandy, and questions are cropping up about the country's aging infrastructure. Henry Gomez reports for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. He put his questions to President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney well before the storm hit. He speaks with host Michel Martin, as part of NPR's "Solve This" series.
Billboards declaring "Voter Fraud is a Felony" were recently taken down in some urban Ohio and Wisconsin areas. But not before civil rights groups said they could intimidate minority voters and decrease turnout. Host Michel Martin talks with WCPN reporter Brian Bull about the billboards, who paid for them, and concerns about their lasting impact.
The campaign calm after the storm is about to end.
Both President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will be out stumping for votes today. The race for the White House, which was just about put on hold as Superstorm Sandy bore down on the East Coast and then roared ashore, is back on with just five days to go before Election Day.
Romney will be in Virginia. The president will be in Wisconsin, Colorado and Nevada.