NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In his victory speech Tuesday night, President Obama referenced the spirit of the community surrounding our area after Hurricane Sandy.

What kind of impact did the storm have on the election?

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Republican strategist Dee Dee Benkie and political consultant John Hlinko, who worked on Obama’s 2008 campaign, joined The Couch to discuss Sandy’s affect on Tuesday night’s election.

“The timing of the storm and then the reaction from both the White House and local leaders helped Obama,” said Hlinko.

Benkie agreed.

“It changed everything, Mitt Romney had the momentum…When Sandy came, forget it,” she said. “Governor Christie is so respected, and he just went on and on about the leadership of President Obama and it really helped him significantly.”

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Watching coverage of Obama on the ground in New Jersey, it would be tough for anyone to disagree.

“People rally around the leader in the time of crisis, and that’s exactly what happened with President Obama.”

For the full debate, check out the video  below.

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