Obama, Romney halt campaigning in Sandy's wake

GOP presidential candidate holds a disaster relief event to solicit donations for those impacted by Sandy; President Obama pledges fed support for those affected by the superstorm. CBS News

(CBS News) Hurricane Sandy blew the presidential election right off the front pages, but it is now just one week away and as tight as can be. A CBS News-New York Times poll out Tuesday finds President Obama with a one-point lead over Mitt Romney, 48 percent to 47.

On Tuesday, the president did not campaign. Instead, he held a conference call with the CEOs of major utility companies to discuss ways to get utility workers from as far as California to help restore power in the disaster zone. Earlier, he visited Red Cross headquarters in Washington, D.C., urging Americans to donate.

Watch Nancy Cordes' report President Obama's response to superstorm Sandy:

"Obviously, this is something that is heartbreaking for the entire nation," said Obama, "and we certainly feel profoundly for all the families whose lives have been upended and are going to be going through some very tough times over the next several days and perhaps several weeks and months. The most important message I have for them is that America is with you. We are standing behind you and we are going to do everything we can to help you get back on your feet."

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Meanwhile, Mitt Romney also paused from campaigning as his attention was on the storm victims."It's part of the American spirit, the American way, to give to people who are in need," he told an audience. "And your generosity this morning touches my heart."

Watch Jan Crawford's report on Mitt Romney holding a disaster relief event for those affected by Sandy:

After canceling campaign rallies Tuesday in Ohio and Iowa, Romney held a disaster relief eventoutside of Dayton with thousands of supporters.

Complete coverage of Hurricane Sandy

"We won't be able to solve all the problems with our effort this morning," he said. "There are a lot of people that will still be looking for goods even though we've gathered these things, as you know. One of the things I've learned in life is that you make the difference you can. And you can't always solve the problems yourself, but you can make the difference in the life of one or two people. "

With a week left until the election, Romney's challenge is to maintain a public presence -- at a time when his opponent has the power of the presidency behind him.

  • Nancy Cordes On Twitter»

    Nancy Cordes is CBS News' congressional correspondent.

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