Blizzard to Wallop Iowa Days Before Caucuses

Haley cancels Friday campaign events but DeSantis, Ramaswamy plan to press on
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2024 5:10 AM CST
Iowa Under Blizzard Warning Days Before Caucuses
The Iowa State Capitol Building is visible as Spud Glaser of Carlisle, Iowa, plows the sidewalk in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Iowa holds its first-in-the-nation caucuses Monday, but campaigns and caucusgoers are facing some of the worst weather in the event's history. The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for Friday and Saturday, saying "life-threatening winter weather" is on the way. A winter storm earlier this week broke snowfall records in central Iowa and more records could fall in the coming days, the Des Moines Register reports. The NWS says that after the storm, "extreme wind chills" as low as -45 Fahrenheit could be possible through early next week. Monday is likely to be the coldest caucus day in state history and there are fears the weather could affect turnout, reports NBC News.

"Travel is not recommended except if absolutely necessary, especially by Friday afternoon into the evening," the agency said. Nikki Haley canceled in-person town hall events planned in the state for Friday, saying "telephone town halls" would be held instead, but Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy said their campaign events would go ahead, the New York Times reports. Both candidates have five events planned Friday.

Earlier this week, Ramaswamy mocked Haley for canceling an event due to the weather, saying, "if you can't handle the snow, you can't handle Xi Jinping." The Trump campaign also canceled events Monday. Politico reports that Ramaswamy later posted on X saying his vehicle had become stuck in snow on the drive back to Des Moines from an event in northwest Iowa. "5 of us tried to push SUV out, finally got it done with extra help from a good Iowan," he said. (More Election 2024 stories.)

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