HomeWorldArctic blast scrambles final weekend of Iowa campaigning - Times of India

Arctic blast scrambles final weekend of Iowa campaigning – Times of India

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With the final weekend before the Iowa caucuses upon them, Republican presidential candidates are battling two forces — brutally cold temperatures and the threat of low voter turnout — as they navigate snow, icy roads and stiff, subarctic winds, and urge people to show up Monday night.
As Iowans faced more warnings of blizzard conditions and life-threatening wind chills, former President Donald Trump canceled two in-person rallies he had planned this weekend, but he added a town-hall event in the evening that was streamed live.Trump, whose aides have worried that polls showing him with a big lead might lull his supporters into staying home, has predicted the weather might in fact help him because “our people are more committed than anybody else.”
By all indications, Trump has less at stake Monday than his two main rivals, Nikki Haley, a former U.N. ambassador, and Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor. Both are looking for a strong showing in Iowa to give them momentum in New Hampshire; some Republicans think DeSantis could have trouble continuing his campaign if he does not take second in Iowa.
Both pushed ahead with campaign events Saturday. DeSantis was 75 minutes late to his rally in West Des Moines later Saturday. He spoke for about 10 minutes.
“They can throw a blizzard at us and we are going to fight,” he said. “They can throw wind chill at us and we are going to fight.”
But his willingness to show up in the bitter cold was noted by some Iowa voters.
Richard Marriott of Atlantic, Iowa, said he had planned to see Trump on Saturday but the former president canceled. “And he’s from New York,” Marriott said. “He should be used to the snow. DeSantis is from Florida.”
Haley, who is from South Carolina, joked at a campaign stop that she thought Iowa had been cold in October and November, but the zero-degree weather Saturday was showing her the true meaning of the word. “I get it now,” she said to laughs. “I totally get it now. This is unbelievable.”
Here’s what else to know:
— Building on his criticism of Haley during their debate Wednesday, DeSantis told voters at his first stop in Council Bluffs that she was too liberal for Iowa Republicans. He also attacked her as representing a “warmed-over, corporate strain of the Republican establishment.”
— Haley mostly ignored DeSantis during her first stop of the day, other than to argue that polls showed that President Joe Biden would defeat DeSantis were he the Republican nominee. She instead drilled down on the dominant themes of her campaign: reducing federal spending, securing the border and supporting Ukraine and Israel. “You’ve got the opportunity to look back at the past and continue or go forward and start new,” she said.
— The Trump campaign quickly turned a hotel ballroom in Des Moines into a makeshift studio for a livestreamed town hall. Trump spoke with the state’s attorney general, Brenna Bird, who has endorsed him, and took questions from a friendly audience. He continued a recently adopted strategy of portraying himself as the presumptive nominee and relentlessly promoting his record in office, often by exaggerating or even concocting statistics.
— The snowstorm hindering the final days of campaigning is truly once-in-a-generation. A measurement at the Des Moines airport recorded 22.3 inches of snow so far this week, the most in a five-day period since 1941, according to the National Weather Service.





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