US President Barack Obama has cancelled a planned campaign trip to vital swing-state Ohio on Wednesday to stay at the White House to manage the response to superstorm Sandy, his spokesman said.
Obama has effectively frozen the presidential race a week before his clash with Republican nominee Mitt Romney, triggering unprecedented political uncertainty, and headaches for campaigns plotting the election endgame.
"The president will remain in Washington, DC on Wednesday to monitor the response to Hurricane Sandy and ensure that all available federal resources continue to be provided to support ongoing state and local recovery efforts," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.
"As a result, the president will not participate in the campaign events that had been scheduled in Ohio tomorrow."
The decision leaves Romney with a political headache -- whether to resume his own campaign schedule and risking looking like a political opportunist or stay off the trail and potentially stall his momentum.