SIOUX FALLS, SD -
With more than 70 people dead and millions still without power, Hurricane Sandy quickly became a top issue among the presidential candidates.
Earlier this week, both candidates cancelled events due to the storm. But now as it passes, both President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney are back on the campaign trail.
"Nothing like this has ever happened, and especially this close to an election. So I think what both candidates are grappling with is how to proceed these final few days," Augustana College Assistant Professor of Political Science Emily Wanless said.
The candidates have already cancelled their plans and even toured the devastated areas. Wanless says this helps President Obama's campaign by crossing party lines.
"I definitely think that Obama has the advantage in this situation in that he can appear presidential while also running for president. He's going to get a ton of free media and air time coverage and it will be largely bipartisan," Wanless said.
But while rebuilding the Northeast is a top priority for many, Wanless says it's not enough for the candidates to stop talking about the other important issues.
"While much of the media attention is going to be focused on how these candidates handle the issue of Sandy, at the end of the day people in Iowa really care about what's going on in Iowa," Wanless said.
Wanless says the best thing the candidates can do for themselves is show their support for the victims of Sandy, but also not forget about everyone else because historically that's what voters have said is most important.
Election Day is this coming Tuesday. You can find more of our coverage of the presidential race and local 2012 election races on the Campaign 2012 page of KELOLAND.com.
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