Frigid Temps Will Test Campaign Strength

[Crcjfly, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

As anyone who watched the NFL playoffs on Saturday knows, an arctic blast has hit the Midwest with the kind of cold weather that would make a polar bear shiver. 

The freezing temperatures, however, will do more than impact the path to the Super Bowl, they may very well help shape the road to the White House, as well. Tuesday’s Iowa caucus will likely be the coldest ever, according to the Des Moines Register. With temperatures expected to be as low as 15 degrees below zero, presidential campaigns are going to be relying on their campaign apparatus to get out the vote, especially if forecasts of a blizzard stay accurate.

Time recently reported that one campaign, in particular, may be ready to take advantage of the frigid weather. 

The prospect of dangerously cold weather is adding another element of uncertainty into a caucus night in which just about everyone expects former President Donald Trump to come out on top. But as the forecast for Monday draws predictions of icy roads and dead car batteries, such obstacles could discourage all but the most committed voters from making the trek to their caucus sites. 

“It’s already a bigger ask to ask someone to caucus than it is for them to vote in a primary,” says Nicole Schlinger, a Republican consultant in Iowa who worked on Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign. “So enthusiasm is going to really matter. You have to care a lot to show up on a regular day, you’re going to have to care even more to show up under adverse conditions.”

Interviews with caucus veterans and campaign officials suggests DeSantis, who has staked much of his bid on a strong ground game in Iowa, may be best positioned to beat expectations in a subzero caucus night.

The Florida governor has more than 1600 precinct captains across the Hawkeye State and has knocked on the doors of its target voters five times apiece, according to campaign officials. Dave Vasquez, national press secretary for DeSantis-allied super PAC Never Back Down, says the organization has kept up its pace of door knocking despite this week’s winter weather. Earlier this week, the candidate’s wife, Casey, took their son out in the snow to knock on the PAC’s three millionth early-state door, says Vasquez.

Trump may believe he already has Iowa wrapped up. During the final full week before the caucuses as his challengers braved icy roads and freezing weather for their final push to win over voters, the former president spent most of his time in court.

Over the weekend, along with DeSantis and Haley, Trump was forced to cancel events due to weather, but he promised that he would do everything he could to get out to the Hawkeye State “one way or the other.”  

In a video reminding them to caucus on Monday, Trump said, “One way or the other, I’m getting there you have the worst weather, I guess, in recorded history, but maybe that’s good because our people are more committed than anybody else. So maybe it’s actually a good thing for us.” 

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