Hurricane Matthew’s wrath may have a major impact on the presidential race as the powerful storm zeroes in on the key battleground state of Florida and forces both Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s campaigns to refocus with just days to go before Sunday night’s critical debate.
“Florida is always close, and every candidate is going to look for every angle to win,” Republican strategist Ford O’Connell said.
But the deadly Category 4 hurricane presents a double-edged sword to the candidates, providing them with an opportunity to look presidential during a crisis situation but also presenting the perilous possibility of appearing to capitalize on a tragedy that places the homes, businesses and lives of millions of Americans in danger.
But O’Connell said he expects Trump to travel to Florida and other areas affected by the storm either before the debate or immediately after — similar to the trip he took to flood-ravaged Louisiana in August when he beat both Clinton and Obama to the region.
“If anybody was going to try it before the debate, it would be Trump,” O’Connell said.