Welcome to a summary of US election coverage of a day when President Barack Obama had the luxury of dominating television screens without having to pay an extra cent in advertising, while his opponent Mitt Romney was forced into an uncomfortable position in the wings of a great drama.
In the Financial Times, Alan Rappeport reports from Atlantic City that Mr Obama’s position as incumbent gave him the opportunity not only to be pictured coming to the aid of a storm-battered New Jersey, but also inspecting damage alongside the state’s governor, Chris Christie, who has been one of Mr Romney’s main surrogates in attacking the president. Read more
Welcome to a summary of US election coverage on a day when the advantages of incumbency will surely continue to work on behalf of President Barack Obama.
His role in supervising the clear-up of damage caused by the biggest storm to hit the eastern US in 75 years puts the president in centre shot of news footage that for at least the next 24 hours will be broadcast into every home of the US, airtime that could not be bought.
Latest polls show the presidential race is still being fought on the thinnest margins in states that have either been dealt glancing blows by Sandy – Ohio, Virginia, New Hampshire, – or know only too well what it is like to be mangled by the forces of nature – hurricanes in Florida, tornadoes in Iowa. Read more
If Barack Obama is re-elected on November 6, a large part of that will be down to the Latino vote. The big question for Mr Obama, then, is will enough Latinos be motivated to turn out on election day to boost his chances nationwide? Read more
It may be a contest to become the most powerful human on the planet, but even the US presidential race has to bow to the might of nature sometimes. As Hurricane Sandy summoned up her powers to hammer the east coast of the US, organisers of the two campaigns hurriedly changed their plans and moved inland.
The weather is likely to have two effects, according to the US press, with practical concerns about travel and safety affecting both. But the campaign of President Barack Obama will be worse hit by a second factor, as the Wall Street Journal explains:
Today is the last day for in-person and mail-in voter registration in deadlocked New Hampshire, where the weather threatens to scuttle campaign stops planned by both camps next week. First lady Michelle Obama has canceled a Tuesday trip to the University of New Hampshire campus, which will be closed Monday and Tuesday in preparation for Sandy.
Mr. Obama’s campaign team is relying on banking votes during the early voting period in many states. Campaign aides are privately nervous about a potential disruption in early voting in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.
In the process of undermining the Obama administration’s record during the Monday night debate, Mitt Romney painted a distorted picture of the Middle East, writes Roula Khalaf. Read more
Welcome to the round-up of reaction to Monday night’s third and final presidential debate, in which President Barack Obama went on the offensive.
The debate’s topic was foreign policy and it saw an unusual inversion of what might have been expected, with the incumbent taking up the cudgels and the challenger assuming a statesmanlike position. Mitt Romney frequently agreed with his opponent’s foreign policies, although they clashed more fiercely on China, the final subject of the final debate. Read more
Is it just me, or has the mood changed? I did a panel discussion on the American election at the Battle of Ideas festival here in London this morning and was surprised that the general consensus seemed to be that Obama is heading for defeat. This did not reflect the ideological bias of the panel: we had liberals and conservatives up there. Nor does it reflect the consensus opinion, as represented by the markets. Intrade still gives Obama a 60% chance of victory. Read more
Just 34 days before the election, the debate could be a crucial moment in the race for the White House, especially if Mr Romney is deemed to have done well after weeks of campaign missteps and discouraging polls numbers.
Anna Fifield, the FT’s US political correspondent, is covering the debate live with assistance from Arash Massoudi in New York and with additional comments from FT colleagues. All times are EST.
23.02 And with that, we’re signing off at the FT’s live election blog. Keep checking FT.com for news and analysis over the coming hours as we examine how this debate shapes the course of the campaign.
23.00 The question of which presidential candidate is more fiscally responsible is likely to come up repeatedly over the remaining days of the election.
Mr Obama said Mr Romney’s tax cuts would cost $5tn, portraying him as fiscally reckless. Mr Romney denied any such suggestion and railed against the president’s healthcare plan. We can expect this story line to endure.
22.57 Some commentators were pleasantly surprised by the level of detail in tonight’s debate, especially on taxes and Medicare, compared to previous campaign discussions.
22.55 After the debate, two of Mr Obama’s top campaign advisers, David Axelrod and Stephanie Cutter, both conceded that Mr Romney won on style, even as they said the president won on substance. Read more
Notes from the Heartland
In Denver tomorrow, the first presidential debate will see the candidates discuss the role of government in the economy. Some Republican commentators argue that Barack Obama’s healthcare and tax policies make him a “socialist”. About half of Americans believe the term “socialist” applies well or very well to Barack Obama.
Obama meets campaign staff in Nevada. Photo AFP
In the primaries Mitt Romney admirably declined to play this game. Obama may be a “big government liberal” (a phrase oxymoronic to British observers) but he isn’t a socialist. But don’t take Romney’s word for it. The US branch of the Workers International League agrees with him. Read more
Another late night in Boston, another Romney fire-fighting operation. “God Bless Half of America,” said one of the milder tweets on the audio of Mitt Romney complaining about the 47 per cent of Americans who “do not pay taxes”.
Viral Romney disaster moments are beginning to crop up with almost metronomic regularity. Read more