'How Hurricane Sandy Could Swing the Election'

Adam Serwer, writing for Mother Jones:

Political scientists have found that extreme weather affects how voters evaluate presidents and governors, and botching disaster response can dash incumbents' reelection hopes. Andrew Reeves and John Gasper, political science professors at Boston University and Carnegie Mellon University, respectively, found that voters punish leaders for failing to react adequately to natural disasters-and reward those who respond effectively.

"Voters did in fact punish both governors and presidents for damage caused by natural disasters, but that that effect was really swamped by their response," Reeves says. "[Voters] rewarded when governors [asked for] and presidents [gave] help, and they punished when they didn't."

[...]

"Most of the time these kinds of things I think are a boon for presidents," Reeves says. "Machiavelli talked about [how] every crisis is an opportunity."

Interesting piece, especially when you consider Romney's feelings towards FEMA.