Bitter weather batters Hawkeye State ahead of 2024 GOP Iowa Caucus

DES MOINES, Iowa — Frigid temperatures, heavy snowfall and slick roads are presenting complications for 2024 aspirants as they scramble to crisscross Iowa in the homestretch and draw voters out in below-zero weather on Jan. 15.

A blizzard pelted Iowa at the beginning of the week, dumping multiple inches of snow and prompting campaigns to scrap events Monday and Tuesday.

Candidates are set to reckon with more surprises from Mother Nature as additional snow is forecasted for Friday and negative-degree temperatures are projected for the weekend leading into caucus day.

“That’s going to be a challenge,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters when asked about the brutal forecast for caucus night.

“I think our voters are the type that that are going to come out. They vote.”

DeSantis had his own weather dilemmas back home with multiple tornados ripping through the Sunshine State this week. He assured reporters that Florida was “in good shape” and prepared for that storm.

The 45-year-old delivered the State of the State address from Tallahassee, then bolted back to Iowa, but forgot something important: His winter jacket.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis forgot to pack a winter jacket for his latest trip to Iowa. REUTERS
Iowans have a history of contending with frigid weather during caucuses. REUTERS

“I actually do have a winter coat, and I forgot it,” DeSantis joked to a crowd at the Associated Contractors of America Conference in Des Moines on Wednesday.

“So the next people that are coming up from Tallahassee — they’re gonna bring that up,” he added. “I looked at the forecast for Monday. I think I’m gonna need much more than that.”

His wife, Casey DeSantis, recently braved the weather and knocked on her 3 millionth door of the campaign cycle, the DeSantis-aligned Never Back Down Super PAC confirmed Wednesday.

All of his major rivals have seen their operations upended in some way by the winter weather.

On Monday, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was forced to cancel her “Pick Nikki Countdown to Caucus” event in Sioux City.

Nikki Haley canceled an event due to the weather. AP

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy needled her over the cancellation, quipping to an Iowa audience that, “If you can’t handle the snow, you’re not ready for Xi Jinping.”

The next day, his campaign scrapped three events in the northwestern part of Iowa. Despite the slick roads, Ramaswamy held more events than either of his rivals.

During one of his events in Pella, he was forced to confer with voters via iPad due to hazardous driving conditions.

Vivek Ramaswamy has plowed ahead with his brisk itinerary despite the difficult travel conditions. Getty Images

Ramaswamy explained that he has instructed his staffers not to risk it if conditions are too hazardous.

That same day, former President Donald Trump’s campaign announced that actress Roseanne Barr was withdrawing from her planned appearance in Boone.

Trump has been leaning heavily on surrogates to stump for him in the Hawkeye State as he tends to legal and other matters on his docket.

The Post observed dozens of cars abandoned on the sides of major highways both Monday and Tuesday.

Numerous cars slipped off major Iowa roads as a result of the icy highways. Getty Images

Iowa State Patrol claims to have addressed over 200 accidents and 600 drivers from Monday into early Wednesday.

One major 2024 GOP contender who is effectively shunning Iowa couldn’t escape the foul weather either — former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who powered through a New Hampshire snowstorm.

“I did not cancel. We don’t cancel. We do not cancel. As you can tell, I like talking too much,” Christie quipped during a town hall in Rochester.

The longshot, however, is reportedly expected to drop out of the 2024 GOP race Wednesday — shuttering his second White House bid just five days before the Iowa contest.

Iowa’s capital city of Des Moines is forecasted to have temperatures ranging between -3 and -20 degrees next Monday during the caucuses.

Over the weekend, parts of the state are expected to get snow and have temperatures ranging from 20 to -17 degrees.

Written by SaleemBaloch

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