PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell said Hurricane Matthew could end up playing a significant role in the outcome of the presidential election, potentially tipping the scales to one side depending on the adequacy of the governmental response.
Rendell, while talking with Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, said a poor federal reaction could siphon votes away from the Democrats.
“Depending on the response of both the state governments and the local governments, that could be, if it’s a lousy response by FEMA and the hurricane is really bad, that would hurt the Obama administration, and, I think, hurt Secretary Clinton. If it’s a good response, it could go the other way. That’s a factor.”
He also believes state and local officials will be judged by their handling of any crisis.
“The severity of the hurricane, I don’t think citizens are going to blame that one side or the other, but the response is going to be important. It will important. By the way, there’s a gubernatorial race in North Carolina, as you know, and a Senate race in Florida. It might have an effect of those as well.”
However, Rendell does not see damage caused by the storm impeding anyone’s right to cast a ballot in the election.
“It could displace some voters, although in a presidential campaign, I think you’ll find the campaigns themselves going to those voters and getting absentee ballots or mail-in ballots…In both Florida and North Carolina, assuming the Trump campaign doesn’t have a good ground game, but Rubio will certainly have a good ground game and he’ll take care of that on the Republican side and in North Carolina, the Governor, who is a Republican, would take care of making sure those voters got re-registered.”