Obama, Romney cancel rallies in response to Sandy

The campaigns of Mitt Romney and President Obama have canceled campaign rallies in swing-state Virginia because of Hurricane Sandy.

The Romney campaign said Friday afternoon that a Sunday night rally in Virginia Beach, Va., would be rescheduled due to the approaching hurricane. 

A few hours later, the Obama campaign announced that Vice President Biden's trip to Virginia Beach on Saturday had been canceled due to "disaster preparedness and local security concerns." Biden had been scheduled to visit with his wife, Jill Biden, and his son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden (D). 

"This change in schedule is being taken out of an abundance of caution to ensure that all local law enforcement and emergency management resources can stay focused on ensuring the safety of people who might be impacted by the storm," the Obama campaign said.

The Obama campaign also announced Friday that first lady Michelle Obama's speech at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire, on Tuesday had been canceled, also because of the storm.

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Hurricane Sandy could bring heavy rains, winds and snowfall to the Mid-Atlantic region, and has been labeled "Frankenstorm" by forecasters because it is on track to collide with a mass of cold air in the days before Halloween.

The president has urged residents along the East Coast to be prepared for the hurricane and keep track of weather reports. He received a briefing on the storm Friday morning from administration officials.

“The president asked his team to continue to ensure there were no unmet needs and to keep him regularly updated on weather forecasts and hurricane preparations,” the White House said in a description of the call.

The hurricane, which is expected to be a Category 1 storm upon landfall, could force both the Romney and Obama campaigns to alter their schedules more in the coming days. The storm could even have an impact on early voting in battleground states if it causes power outages and flooding.

Sandy could also pull media attention away from the presidential campaign, an unwelcome prospect for both Romney and Obama as they try to reach undecided voters in the final days before the election on Nov. 6.

— This post has been updated with new information.

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