Frigid Iowa weather will help Trump gain traction for 2024 nomination, Republican strategist says
Falling temperatures and snow in Iowa will disrupt the best efforts of candidates vying for the Republican nomination, handing the advantage to campaigns with the most solid base game, according to one of the state’s top strategists.
And that means Donald Trump, said Jimmy Centers, who is not aligned with either candidate.
Iowans will meet Monday during caucuses to choose their favorite candidates as a polar vortex sends temperatures into the low single digits.
Centers said Iowans were strong types who took their responsibilities seriously and gathered in all weathers.
“But a robust organization can ensure that no matter the weather forecast, your supporters still come and get all the support they need to get to caucus on a cold January evening,” he said.
Snow will fall in the Iowa state capital of Des Moines on Monday evening. Heavy snow has disrupted presidential campaigns and more frigid weather is forecast for the coming week
Republican strategist Jimmy Centers, who is not aligned with either candidate, said Ron DeSantis (left) had built an impressive ground game in the state, but that Donald Trump had spent the past eight years campaigning in Iowa, leaving him had an advantage in cold weather.
That gives Trump an advantage, he added, just ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“DeSantis has built a very strong organization, with caucus location captains for every location in the state,” said Centers, former communications director for Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.
“In any other year, that would be the gold standard for a caucus organization. Former President Trump’s team has the advantage of working in the state for eight years and building deep, meaningful relationships across the state.”
Monday and Tuesday brought heavy snowfall to the state, upending travel plans and forcing campaigns to cancel events.
Nikki Haley, who has been rising in the polls, left an appearance in Sioux City on Monday due to “travel issues.”
Trump’s campaign was also hit. With the former president set to appear in court on Tuesday, he planned to send a team of high-profile supporters across the state.
But his former press secretary Sarah Sanders and her father Mike Huckabee, who won the caucus in 2012, postponed their Monday meeting in eastern Iowa.
TV star Roseanne Barr was stuck in Hawaii after her flights were canceled, forcing her to make an appearance via video instead of in person on Tuesday.
The state is still under a winter storm warning, and as much as six inches could fall through Wednesday.
Nikki Haley canceled a campaign event in western Iowa on Monday due to heavy snow
Winter Storm Finn began dumping snow on western Iowa overnight Monday, canceling the 2024 Republican hopeful Nikki Haley’s am event in Sioux City, Iowa due to weather
Then it gets really cold.
A polar vortex – a vast area of high pressure and cold air over the North Pole, causing polar winds to flow across the US – means a high of just five degrees could occur on Monday, making it the coldest caucus on record.
It may be even colder in some places, especially around 7 p.m. when the caucuses begin.
“I’ll just grin and bear it,” DeSantis told reporters in Iowa during a briefing Monday.
“I looked at the forecast and saw the negative 2 (temperature forecast. I’m just bringing an extra layer.”
His campaign and an allied political action committee have spent huge sums building a ground game to get supporters to caucuses, meetings where they publicly select a candidate.
Dave Vasquez, of the Never Back Down super PAC, said it spent nine months building a grassroots infrastructure that was the best organized in Iowa.
A man shovels snow in front of Horizon Family Restaurant, where Nikki Haley was scheduled to hold a Monday morning event in Sioux City, Iowa, located in the western part of the state
A resident shovels snow in Urbandale, Iowa, Tuesday morning
“We are well prepared for any challenge on caucus night, including severe weather,” he said.
“Our community of district captains, volunteers and supporters know exactly who to call for a ride and who to turn to, regardless of the weather.”
For Trump, the challenge could be his huge lead in the polls in the state. He is polling around 50 percent, giving him a lead of 30 points or more over his rivals.
What if supporters look at the icy roads and decide that Trump can lose a few votes and still cruise to victory?
A senior adviser said: ‘I think complacency is a legitimate concern. It’s the one thing we’ve consistently emphasized.”
But he added that the campaign spent weeks planning transportation issues to ensure supporters could reach caucus locations.