The Daily Rundown | October 31, 2012
>>> from washington. it's wednesday, october 31st , 2012 . happy halloween. this is "the daily rundown." i'm chuck todd . let's get right to may first reads of the morning. we're still a long way from recovery. today after hurricane sandy 's devastation we're seeing the very first signs of a return to what may be some normalcy as millions attempt to put the pieces back together. this hour new york city mayor michael bloomberg will ring the opening bell at the new york stock exchange which plans to be fully operational despite blackouts and flooding in lower manhattan . two of the area's major airports, jfk and newark in new jersey have opened with some limited service this morning. but new york 's laguardia airport remains closed after major flooding. overall, nearly 19,000 flights canceled since sunday. the presidential campaign is resuming sort of. while the president will spend one more day off the trail focused on sandy re0 covery efforts, governor romney will be back on the trail full time today. he has a packed campaign schedule in florida . hurricane sandy has left at least 46 people dead. early estimates puts the cost of the storm at a staggering $50 billion in damage and lost business. crews are working over time to restore power to 17 affected states , believe it or not. still, there's over 6 billion homes and businesses without power right now. new york city 's 108-year-old subway system suffered unprecedented damage and that does remain shut down. the metro transportation authority could not give an estimate tuesday about how long it will take to get the subway up and running. train tunnels under the east river used by amtrak and the long island railroad are flooded and tracks damaged. workers will have to walk hundreds of miles of track to even begin to assess what needs to be fixed. across the hudson river in hoboken, new jersey, members of the national guard arrived to evacuate residents. half of the town 0 of 50,000 people was flooded leaving the residents stuck in their homes. meanwhile, you're looking at live pictures here of the streets of hoboken. look at all that water. miles of jersey shore , meanwhile, are unrecognizable. homes have been leveled. boardwalks torn up, debris is everywhere. across the state residents are trying to cope.
>> within ten minutes we had four feet of water in the basement. it was unbelievable. i never saw anything like that in my life.
>> it was the scariest thing i've ever seen.
>> pools are ripped in halves. flagpoles are down. sidewalks are gone.
>> the water is rushing in. the water is going by and you don't know what to do.
>> the president in storm rachaged new jersey offering residents more of the message he delivered tuesday at red cross headquarters.
>> my message to the federal government , no bureaucracy, no red tape . get resources where they're needed as fast as possible, as hard as possible.
>> the president will survey storm damage with republican chris christie who with presidential politics hanging in the balance has had nothing but praise for the federal government and the president.
>> the president has been outstanding in this. the president has been all over this. he deserves great credit. he's been incredibly supportive and helpful to our state and not once did he bring up the election.
>> among the issues christie plans to bring up, what he said, is how to rebuild a more weather proof jersey shore .
>> one of the things i'll be talking to the president about tomorrow is bringing the army corps in immediately to talk to us about the best way to rebuild the jersey shore .
>> new york governor andrew cuomo told brian williams last night that extreme weather is forcing his state and himself to rethink how it rebuilds infrastructure and how it does rebuild the transportation system .
>> we have to come to the realization that we are dealing with extreme weather patterns in a way that we haven't seen probably ever.
>> the second year in a row the area hit by this stuff. let's not bury our heads in the sand when it comes to something has changed in the atlantic, the climate has changed. it's called climate change , folks. who would have ever thought that it would be obama, by the way, and not governor romney spending time with christie in the final week of the election? that will be the picture of the day, the president and christie . mitt romney is back campaigning in florida today with three rallies scheduled in tampa. coral gables and jacksonville where he'll be joined by former governor jeb bush . with the president in new jersey, romney 's returned to the trail is tricky. romney suspended campaigning tuesday. he did hold what the campaign billed as a relief event but it was in the battleground state of ohio where the governor encouraged donations to the red cross .
>> i've had the chaps to speak with some of the governors in the affected areas and they've talked about a lot of people having hard times , and i appreciate the fact that people right here in dayton got up this morning. some went to the dproeshry store, i see, and purchased some things that these families will need.
>> given how close this election it, it won't be surprising if the losing side ends up blaming sandy . whether that's fair or not you can argue sandy has elevated the president, stopped 0 the momentum for romney . you could argue that sandy has kept the president off the trail for at least three days. just like the bush folks blame the story, partisans blame the bin laden video in 5504. sandy will get the blame from the losing side or in the case of bush 2000 the side that almost lost. whether sandy deserves the blame or not is a whole other story political scientists will study that for years on end. the two campaigns continue to battle over the perception of which one of them actually is winning and has the momentum. today new quinnipiac/"new york times"/cbs polls has the president up five points in ohio and then they have florida and virginia in a dead heat with the president up by one point in florida and two points in virginia . then you look at the romney mini surge in the nonbattleground states , maybe romney does have some momentum. think minnesota, michigan and pennsylvania. but then you have to look at the campaign body language and it's hard not to con chewed that rom romney 's campaign is acting as if they believe they are behind at least when it comes to the state of ohio . for starters, the romney campaign likely would not be airing this controversial jeep ad if they believe they were winning. both chrysler and gm are firing back at romney . chrysler ceo said in a statement jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the united states and will con sstitute the backbone of the grand. it is inaccurate to suggest anything different. a gm spokesman told the detroit news, quote, we've clearly enter ed some parallel universe during the last few days, no amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish the record of creating jobs in the united states . remember, this new romney jeep ad claims that all factual statements in it, the implication is different, but the statements themselves say jeep is being built in china, which the ad says for the implication, of course, is this idea that they're moving some operations out of ohio to china and that's what both gm and chrysler are fighting back on is that perception. ohio papers pummeling romney for the ad. they called it a ploy in an editorial yesterday and said romney is flailing in ohio . and don't forget that detroit , where the free press is heavily criticized romney is next door to northwest ohio . romney is campaigning in florida today . virginia tomorrow. and those are two states that he has to win and two states that two weeks ago seemed to be trending ever so slightly to romney . so what about all this talk of expanding the map? most campaigns are now advertising in three new normally reliable democratic states but they're leaning democratic states . let's not pretend they're solid. then this morning a new detroit news poll of likely voters has in michigan showed the president leading romney but only by three points. a new franklin and marshall poll in pennsylvania shows the president up by just four points. this week a minneapolis star tribune poll showed a three-point race in minnesota. the romney campaign says this is evidence they have expanded the map. the obama campaign says this expansion of advertising shows it's a sign that romney has run out of routes to 270 electoral routes in the nine battlegrounds and needs more ways to get there, so they're throwing hail marys. expanding the map is something the romney campaign has tried to do all along. the question is, is it too late? the bottom line if romney does somehow win nationally by four or five points which is what they believe in the end, then not only will they win the battlegrounds, they will win one, two, maybe three of those leaning states we talked about. throw in oregon. but if this is the one-point race it's a different ball game and those three states probably stay in the leaning column. mitt