Even before Hurricane Sandy swept the East Coast, it was being reported that polls were close enough to show Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney winning the popular vote, but President Barack Obama winning the electoral college ... and therefore Obama being re-elected for a second term.
Now with devastating effects of Sandy being felt in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, it could cost President Obama over 300,000 votes. And yet, he would still capture the Electoral College votes in those states (a total of 50 votes).
If the election is as close as polls are reporting, coupled with the lack of voter turnout and other complications due to Sandy, Romney could see a clear victory in the popular vote and never become president.
The effects of a popular vote loss for Barack Obama would make for a very difficult second term: The public would lack confidence in a non-popularly elected incumbent, likely costing the president negotiating power in a Republican-majority House of Representatives.
This is obviously not the first time that an elected president did not win the popular vote. Other presidents in American history that have lost the popular vote but won the job are John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, and, of course, George W. Bush.