Kirk Jowers, head of the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics and a longtime Romney supporter, said the storm has put Romney in a difficult situation.
"The president gets to act presidential and he gets the free 'earned' media. Romney is forced to sit out the storm," Jowers said. "In a perfect world, there would be no perfect storm a week before the election."
Jowers said the storm is impacting early voting, important for both campaigns because it is expected to account for some 40 percent of the ballots cast in the presidential race.
"There's a lot of conventional wisdom, but the fact is it can and will hurt both candidates," he said of the storm.
Just how the candidates are being affected by the storm, however, won't be clear until pollsters return to the field.
It's not clear when the polling postponed in the wake of the storm will resume, but Jowers said if voters view the president more favorably as a result of how he has handled the disaster, that's going to be a problem for Romney to overcome.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, a key surrogate for Romney, said he expects the campaign to be in full swing again by the weekend
Chaffetz, set to hit the road for Romney in several swing states later this week, said he isn't changing the campaign speech he delivers as a result of the storm.
"You feel for the people who are going through suffering and heartache," the congressman said, noting that he has several relatives hit hard by the storm. "But the election is still about jobs and the economy and our future."
University of South Florida political professor Susan McManus said voters expect the campaigns to continue with Election Day so near. Both Obama and Romney have been sending their running mates and other surrogates to campaign events.
"It's really unrealistic, and I don't think the average American expects them to put their campaigns on hold," she said. "I'd have to say both of them have found the right balance so far."
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