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Superstorm Sandy: Effect On Romney and Obama US Presidential Election Campaigns (PICTURES)

30/10/2012 18:32 GMT | Updated 31/10/2012 09:50 GMT

With only a week to go before voters head to the polls to elect the next American president, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama should be vigorously campaigning in crucial swing states such as Ohio and Florida.

But Superstorm Sandy has changed that with both candidates cancelling planned election events around the country, wary of being seen to politicise the disaster.

President Obama has had to return to Washington to oversee the emergency response, aware of the effect a botched reaction could have on his election chances, with Hurricane Katrina still very raw in the American psyche.

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Obama was out of the public eye on Tuesday co-ordinating the emergency response

Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency at the time of Katrina accused Obama of reacting too quickly to the storm.

In a press conference on Monday Obama said: "I'm not concerned at this point about the impact on the election.

"I'm concerned about the impact on families, I'm worried about the impact on our first responders, I'm worried about the impact on our economy, our transportation.

"The election will take care of itself next week."

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Romney helped at a storm relief event in Ohio

Romney made a scaled back appearance on Tuesday at a storm relief event in Ohio where he made a few remarks before collecting supplies for victims of the storm.

Romney pleaded with people to donate to the relief effort. He said: "Our victory centres are making collections.

"Do your best to help."

A spokesman added: "Governor Romney believes that this is a time for the nation and its leaders to come together to focus on those Americans who are in harm's way."