Most of the country will be mild and clear on Election Day, thoughstormy weather could pose problems for voters in the battleground stateof Florida.
"Heavy rainfall and strong winds are likely over thestate on Tuesday," says AccuWeather meteorologist Alan Reppert. And, hesays, thunderstorms could reach severe levels in central and southernparts of the state.
Much of South Carolina, along with southern Alabama and Georgia, also will see rain.
"Peopleheading to the polls in Charleston and Columbia, S.C., Savannah, Ga.,and Jacksonville, Fla., will have to brave the heaviest of the rains,"AccuWeather meteorologist Meghan Evans said.
This same storm willturn into a nor'easter for the mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Wednesdayand Thursday, not good news for places recovering from Sandy'sdevastation, Reppert said. Rain, wind and coastal flooding are likelyfrom Delaware to New England, including hard-hit New Jersey.
Whilethe coast deals with rain, the mountains of West Virginia,Pennsylvania, New York and New England will see snow. Although fierce,the storm will be more of a "typical nor'easter," Reppert reported.
Elsewhereon Election Day, light rain and snow are forecast to develop over partsof the Upper Mississippi Valley and the upper Great Lakes. Snow showersare possible in northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and the UpperPeninsula of Michigan, but Reppert said "there shouldn't be any majoraccumulations."
Light rain also is likely in western portions ofWashington state and Oregon on Tuesday, as a storm approaches thePacific Northwest.
How does weather affect elections? A studyconducted by political scientists in 2007 verified the old Americanpolitical adage that Republicans should pray for rain on presidentialelection days. The researchers found that for every one inch increase inrain above its Election Day normal, the Republican presidentialcandidate received approximately an extra 2.5% of the vote.
"Ourevidence supports the claim that bad weather lowers voter turnout," theauthors wrote in the study, which was published in the Journal of Politics."Bad weather (rain and snow) significantly decreases the level of voterturnout within a county ... and poor weather conditions are positivelyrelated to Republican Party vote share in presidential elections."
InFlorida on Tuesday, more than an inch of rain is forecast in some partsof the state. A typical early November day in Jacksonville, forexample, sees less than a 10th of an inch.
The study was conductedby political scientists Brad Gomez, of the University of Georgia;Thomas Hansford, of the University of California-Merced; and GeorgeKrause, of the University of Pittsburgh.
"In political science,it's known that Democrats bear higher costs for voting thanRepublicans," Krause said. "And there is a greater cost to voting duringinclement weather, which disproportionately affects people who are morelikely to vote for Democrats."
Whether rain or snow,precipitation was the major weather issue that kept voters away, as theauthors found that "cold temperatures do not significantly decreasevoter turnout."