If ever an election could get up-ended by late game-changing catalysts it's this one.
About a week before the election a super-storm washed across the northeast – leaving millions frustrated, without power and sifting through damage that could total $50 billion or more.
Then, on the Friday before the election a jobs report hit – at a time when nothing matters more to the health of the economy than jobs.
Where does it leave the election?
It's Still The Economy, Stupid
The October jobs report came in better than expected with the nation generating 171,000 new jobs – the Street had been expected 1250,000.
Democrats and President Obama immediately pounced on the improving trend. "Companies hired more workers in October than at any other time in the last 8 months," insisted the President.
The jobs report could give Obama an edge with swing voters who elect to stay the course.
The jobs report, however, was not without fodder for Republicans; they focused on a disappointing area - the unemployment rate, which ticked higher to 7.9%.
"Unemployment is higher today than it was when Barack Obama took office," countered Mitt Romeny. "Obama is 9 million jobs short of what he promised."
If this data point resonates with voters, they could pull the trigger for change.
No Power for the People
Meanwhile, Superstorm Sandy threatens to introduce a wild card into the election of a different sort.
In New Jersey Governor Christie acknowledged that there could be some polling places without power as of Election Day Tuesday. That could lead to problems for voters who will also be struggling with washed out roads and wrecked homes.
What happens in battleground states on the East Coast like Virginia and North Carolina remains anyone's guess – and the race so tight the smallest influence could change the outcome.
According to a report by NBC's Domenico Montanaro, the aftermath from the hurricane could depress the turnout in 'blue' states to the point that President Obama loses the popular vote but wins the Electoral College.
And that could be the most problematic outcome of all.
According to Dr. Michael McDonald of George Mason University, "A turnout drop could be the difference in a close national election, and thus could shape the political discourse over important policy issues in a possible Obama second term."