REUTERS/Marco Bello
Top Story United States World

US Republicans brace for frigid Iowa caucuses amid record cold snap

As the first United States Republican nominating contest looms in Iowa, presidential candidates are urging their supporters to face life-threatening cold weather to cast their votes. The predicted record cold snap raises concerns about potential low voter turnout, introducing an unpredictable factor in this crucial contest that could impact former President Donald Trump’s bid to secure the Republican nomination.

In a rally in Indianola, Trump encouraged his supporters to brave the cold, humorously stating, “You can’t sit home… Even if you vote and then pass away, it’s worth it.” The Des Moines Register/NBC News poll indicates strong enthusiasm for Trump, with 48% support, potentially mitigating the impact of the forecasted minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 30 degrees Celsius).

At the Indianola rally, Trump’s words echoed his signature humour: “Even if you vote and then pass away, it’s worth it.” The poll shows Trump leading with 48% support, while Nikki Haley secures second place at 20%, surpassing Ron DeSantis, who slipped to third with 16%.

Trump’s apparent popularity defies criticism and legal challenges, with Republican voters seemingly overlooking his controversies. The extreme cold weather is a wild card that could influence voter turnout, potentially altering the candidates’ expectations.


Haley and DeSantis are emphasising the importance of voter turnout despite the cold. Haley posted a video in the freezing weather, saying, “I know it’s cold, but we need you out there. Let’s finish this strong.” DeSantis, recognising the potential impact of lower turnout, urged supporters to bring friends and family to maximise their votes.

With Iowa highways dotted with abandoned cars and signs obscured by snow, concerns about turnout persist. The 2016 Republican caucus recorded record turnout, but weather conditions could play a role this time. Republican Party Chair Jeff Kaufmann expressed optimism, noting that Iowans know how to dress for the cold.

Trump received endorsements from North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Senator Marco Rubio. Despite facing criminal charges and controversies, Trump’s sway over the Republican base remains strong.

As the Iowa caucuses unfold on Monday, candidates are vying for momentum, with Trump’s victory margin being the main uncertainty. The results are expected to shape the narrative heading into New Hampshire.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.