Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-846f6c7c4f-whwnh Total loading time: 0.362 Render date: 2022-07-07T11:30:44.942Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Sandy the Rainmaker: The Electoral Impact of a Super Storm

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 March 2013

Yamil Velez
Affiliation:
Stony Brook University
David Martin
Affiliation:
Stony Brook University

Abstract

The arrival of Hurricane Sandy within a week of the 2012 presidential election caused unprecedented disruption to the final days of the campaign and Election Day in areas that were affected. The precise impact of the storm on those areas hit hardest was not necessarily clear. Contrary to prior research on the effect of disasters on electoral outcomes, we find that the president's vote share was ultimately increased in storm-affected areas by about four percentage points, plus or minus two points. While those states most heavily affected were unlikely to give their electoral vote to Romney because of other factors, we present counterfactual analyses that show that such a storm could have had a significant impact on swing states: although the storm only affected some areas, we show that Virginia would likely have been won by Romney were it not hit at all, whereas North Carolina would likely have gone for Obama had it been directly in the storm's path.

Type
Features
Copyright
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2013

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

ABC News/Washington Post. 2012. “ABC News/Washington Post Poll: Election Tracking No. 11.” http://www.langerresearch.com/uploads/1143a11TrackingNo11.pdf.Google Scholar
Achen, Christopher H., and Bartels, Larry M.. 2004a. “Blind Retrospection: Electoral Response to Drought, Fly, and Shark Attacks.” Unpublished manuscript. Princeton University.Google Scholar
Achen, Christopher H., and Bartels, Larry M.. 2004b. “Musical Chairs: Pocketbook Voting and the Limits of Democratic Accountability.” Unpublished manuscript. Princeton University.Google Scholar
Arcenaux, Kevin, and Stein, Robert M.. 2006. “Who is Held Responsible When Disaster Strikes? The Attribution of Responsibility for a Natural Disaster in an Urban Election.” Journal of Urban Affairs 28 (1): 4353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berry, Christopher R., and Howell, William G.. 2007. “Accountability and Local Elections: Rethinking Retrospective Voting.” Journal of Politics 69 (3): 844–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boyd, Christina L., Epstein, Lee, and Martin, Andrew D.. 2010. “Untangling the Causal Effects of Sex on Judging.” American Journal of Political Science 54 (2): 389411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bruni, Frank. 2012. “Sandy the Soothsayer.” The New York Times, Oct. 29. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/30/opinion/bruni-sandy-the-soothsayer.html.Google Scholar
Chen, Jowei. 2013. “Voter Partisanship and the Effect of Distributive Spending on Political Participation.” American Journal of Political Science 57 (1): 200–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
The Daily Show. 2012. “A Daily Show Tribute to Institutional Competence.” http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-october-31-2012/a-daily-show-tribute-to-institutional-competence.Google Scholar
Downs, Anthony. 1957. An Economic Theory of Democracy. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
Fiorina, Morris P. 1981. Retrospective Voting in American National Elections. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Fox News. 2012. “Christie Keeps His Priorities Straight During Sandy Ordeal …” Fox Nation. Oct. 30. http://nation.foxnews.com/hurricane-sandy/2012/10/30/christie-keeps-his-priorities-straight-during-sandy-ordeal.Google Scholar
Garrett, T. A., and Sobel, R. S.. 2003. “The Political Economy of FEMA Disaster Payments.” Economic Inquiry 41 (3): 496509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gasper, John T., and Reeves, Andrew. 2011. “Make It Rain? Retrospection and the Attentive Electorate in the Context of Natural Disasters.” American Journal of Political Science 55 (2): 340–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gomez, Brad T., Hansford, Thomas G., and Krause, George A.. 2007. “The Republicans Should Pray for Rain: Weather, Turnout, and Voting in US Presidential Elections.” Journal of Politics 69 (3): 649–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Healy, Andrew, and Malhotra, Neil. 2009. “Myopic Voters and Natural Disaster Policy.” American Political Science Review 103 (03): 387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Healy, Andrew, and Malhotra, Neil. 2010. “Random Events, Economic Losses, and Retrospective Voting: Implications for Democratic Competence.” Quarterly Journal of Political Science 5 (2): 193208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Healy, Andrew J., Malhotra, Neil, and Mo, Cecilia H.. 2010. “Irrelevant Events Affect Voters' Evaluations of Government Performance.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107 (29): 1280412809.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Herbert, Keith, and Harrington, Mark. 2012. “Sandy: LIPA Boss Resigns: Amid Heat over Storm Response, He'll Leave at End of Year.” Nov. 14. Newsday. p. A3Google Scholar
Hetherington, Marc J., and Husser, Jason A.. 2012. “How Trust Matters: The Changing Political Relevance of Political Trust.” American Journal of Political Science 56 (2): 312–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ho, Daniel E., Imai, Kosuke, King, Gary, and Stuart, Elizabeth. 2007. “Matching as Nonparametric Preprocessing for Reducing Model Dependence in Parametric Causal Inference.” Political Analysis 15 (3): 199236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hopkins, Daniel J. 2010. “Politicized Places: Explaining Where and When Immigrants Provoke Local Opposition.” American Political Science Review 104 (1): 4060.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Iyengar, Shanto, and Kinder, Donald R.. 1987. News that Matters: Agenda-Setting and Priming in a Television Age. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Jensen, Tom. 2012a. “Florida and North Carolina Too Close to Call.” Public Policy Polling, http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2011/PPP_Release_FLNC_1105.pdf.Google Scholar
Jensen, Tom. 2012b. “Obama Continues to Lead in Virginia.” Public Policy Polling, http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2011/VirginiaPollingMemo103112.pdf.Google Scholar
Karol, David, and Miguel, Edward. 2007. “The Electoral Cost of War: Iraq Casualties and the 2004 US Presidential Election.” Journal of Politics 69 (3): 633–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kayser, Mark Andreas. 2005. “Who Surfs, Who Manipulates? The Determinants of Opportunistic Election Timing and Electorally Motivated Economic Intervention.” American Political Science Review 99 (01): 1727. http://www.journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0003055405051464 (Accessed November 5, 2012).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Key, V. O. 1966. The Responsible Electorate: Rationality in Presidential Voting, 1936–1960. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ladd, Jonathan McDonald, and Lenz, Gabriel S.. 2009. “Exploiting a Rare Communication Shift to Document the Persuasive Power of the News Media.” American Journal of Political Science 53 (2): 394410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Leip, Dave. 2012. Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. http://www.uselectionatlas.org/ (Accessed 11/26/12).Google Scholar
Malhotra, Neil, and Kuo, Alexander G.. 2008. “Attributing Blame: The Public's Response to Hurricane Katrina.” The Journal of Politics 70 (01). http://www.journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0022381607080097 (Accessed November 5, 2012).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marcus, George E., and Mackuen, Michael B.. 1993. “Anxiety, Enthusiasm, and the Vote: The Emotional Underpinnings of Learning and Involvement during Presidential Campaigns.” The American Political Science Review 87 (3): 672–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mehta, Seema, and Hennessey, Kathleen. 2012. “In Storm's Wake, Politics is Again on Display.” Nov. 1. Los Angeles Times. p. A9Google Scholar
Memoli, Michael A. 2012. “Blame Falls on Romney, Say GOP Governors.” Nov. 16. Los Angeles Times. p. AA1Google Scholar
Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press. 2012. “Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll, Nov. 29–Dec. 2, 2012.” http://www.monmouth.edu/assets/0/84/159/2147483694/08b85cf6-3aae-41bf-b836-20840e832a06.pdf.Google Scholar
Moore, R. T. 2012. “Multivariate Continuous Blocking to Improve Political Science Experiments.” Political Analysis 20 (4): 460–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
NOAA. 2004. “NOAA Provides Wrap-Up on Very Active 2004 Atlantic Hurricane Season.” http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2004/s2347.htm.Google Scholar
Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. 2012. “The Final Days of the Media Campaign 2012.” Nov. 19. http://www.journalism.org/analysis_report/final_days_media_campaign_2012.Google Scholar
Plumer, Brad. 2012. “Is Sandy the Second-Most Destructive U.S. Hurricane Ever? Or Not Even Top 10?” Nov. 5. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/11/05/is-sandy-the-second-most-destructive-u-s-hurricane-ever-or-not-even-top-10/.Google Scholar
Reeves, Andrew. 2011. “Political Disaster: Unilateral Powers, Electoral Incentives, and Presidential Disaster Declarations.” The Journal of Politics 73 (04): 1142–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Riker, William H., and Ordeshook, Peter C.. 1968. “A Theory of the Calculus of Voting.” American Political Science Review 62 (01): 2542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sekhon, J. S. 2009. “Opiates for the Matches: Matching Methods for Causal Inference.” Annual Review of Political Science 12: 487508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Siena College Research Institute. 2012. “Siena College Poll, Nov. 26–29, 2012.” http://www.siena.edu/uploadedfiles/home/parents_and_community/community_page/sri/sny_poll/SNY120312%20Crosstabs.pdf.Google Scholar
Silver, Nate. 2012. “Nov. 4: Did Hurricane Sandy Blow Romney off Course?http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/05/nov-4-did-hurricane-sandy-blow-romney-off-course/.Google Scholar
US Congress. 2007. Weather Mitigation Research and Development Policy Authorization Act of 2007. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/110/s1807.Google Scholar
Wade, Stephen. 2008. “Rain Out: China Aims to Control Olympics Weather.” USA Today. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/weather/research/2008-02-29-china-weather_N.htm.Google Scholar
Wenger, Yvonne. 2012. “Frequently Asked Questions about Superstorm Sandy.” Baltimore Sun. Oct. 30. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-10-30/news/bs-superstorm-sandy-faq_1_wind-gusts-damaging-winds-winds-today.Google Scholar
Wolfers, Justin. 2007. “Are Voters Rational? Evidence from Gubernatorial Elections.” http://epge.fgv.br/we/MD/EconomiaPolitica/2007?action=AttachFile&do=get&target=wolfers_2007.pdf.Google Scholar
7
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Sandy the Rainmaker: The Electoral Impact of a Super Storm
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Sandy the Rainmaker: The Electoral Impact of a Super Storm
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Sandy the Rainmaker: The Electoral Impact of a Super Storm
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *