It’s not surprising that it is cold in Iowa in mid-January, but it is surprising though that it is THIS COLD. The thermometer has been permanently stuck well-below freezing for days. That comes after the state experienced two consecutive snowstorms, the second of which blanketed the state with powdery snow that still flies up all over the road days after it fell.
Des Moines has been literally colder than Siberia. (Although it has warmed slightly, the forecast in Novosibirsk has a high of -3, whereas Des Moines is a relatively temperate -1 today).
The weather has forced the cancellation of a number of candidate events, not to mention prompted countless complaints from out-of-state visitors. It seems unlikely, however, that the deep freeze will cause much of an impact on turnout. Caucus-going Iowans who drive small less winter-friendly sedans live in urban areas where the roads are better. Those who live on gravel roads out in the country have pickup trucks.
A Monday afternoon event with Donald Trump Jr. was delayed for hours after the presidential scion had trouble getting back to the Hawkeye State. That left a cavernous event space in the Des Moines suburbs filled with bored reporters, bored political tourists, and even a stray bored Iowa caucusgoer or two. The New York Times had three different staffers at the event while various foreign media outlets interviewed Brick Suit, a MAGA personality who has gained attention for wearing a brick patterned suit and tie at Trump rallies. (The bricks of course are a tribute to the wall that the former president has pledged to build on the border with Mexico.)