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Hurricanes for Bush?

Andrew Freedman @ 11:33 AM

Those upset with the election results may have mother nature to blame, as exit polling in Florida indicates the federal response to the barrage of hurricanes that tore through the state in late summer/early fall led many to vote to re-elect President Bush. With 99 percent of precincts reporting this morning, Bush led Kerry 52 to 47 percent, snagging the Florida's 27 electoral votes.

According to, 87 percent of Floridians said in exit polls that they approved of how the federal government responded to the hurricanes. Of those 80 percent, 54 percent backed Bush, MSNBC reported. Reinsurance giant Swiss Re has estimated the storms damaged nearly 22 percent of all homes in the state.

Bush made several storm-related visits to Florida, and his brother Gov. Jeb Bush (R) skipped the Republican Convention in NYC to help his state cope with hurricane damage. The storms have been called the biggest disaster relief operation in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's history.

The swift federal response contrasts with that of 1992, when Hurricane Andrew hit in an election year and then-President George H.W. Bush was criticized for not sending federal relief fast enough. Bush Sr. narrowly squeaked by Bill Clinton 41 to 39 percent, with 20 percent going to Independent candidate Ross Perot.

Perhaps The Weather Channel should hire a political analyst for 2008?

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