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One was Bill Clinton, the popular former Democratic president who became an exceptional surrogate, holding dozens of campaign appearances for Obama and vouching for his economic record.
The second was Sandy, the storm that struck the East Coast during the final full week of the campaign. Obama scrapped three days of campaigning and returned to Washington to manage the government’s response.
It was an opportunity for Obama to project command and comfort in a crisis. His response won bipartisan praise, most notably from New Jersey’s Republican Gov. Chris Christie, a vocal Romney supporter.
Forty-two percent of voters said Obama’s response to Sandy was important in their vote for president. Most of those voters supported his re-election.
Associated Press writers Ben Feller in Washington and Jim Kuhnhenn in Chicago contributed to this report.
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