Monday in politics: Sandy forces Obama back to Washington, Romney inland, and more

Phil Pruitt

UPDATE 7:30 a.m. EDT: President Obama will not attend the morning rally in Florida, and is traveling back to Washington.

Blame it on Hurricane Sandy.

The giant storm, which is affecting parts of four battleground states — Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio and New Hampshire — has the presidential campaigns scheduling and then re-scheduling events.

President Barack Obama had planned to hold three events in Florida, Ohio and Virginia on Monday with former President Bill Clinton. Late Sunday, he scaled that back to only attending a morning rally in Florida before heading back to Washington to oversee the government's emergency response to Sandy, but early Monday morning he canceled attending the rally to get back to Washington even sooner.

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Vice President Joe Biden had been scheduled to campaign Monday in New Hampshire, but is now scheduled to join Clinton in Ohio.

Republican nominee Mitt Romney is scheduled to campaign Monday in Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin. He canceled three Virginia events Sunday, and already has cancelled a Tuesday evening stop in New Hampshire.

Romney running mate Paul Ryan planned to spend Monday in Florida, well south of Sandy's path.

Meanwhile, first lady Michelle Obama plans to campaign in Iowa and then head to Massachusetts to attend a fundraiser featuring a performance by singer Carole King.

What to expect? More scheduling changes.

And then there is this: Will Sandy have a significant impact on early voting in the battleground states in its path? And will the storm ultimately influence the outcome of the election? Nature's October surprise is raising lots of questions.

Sources: Yahoo! News, Associated Press