Temperatures across Iowa plunged below zero degrees on Monday evening as Republican voters trudged to caucus sites to cast the first votes of the 2024 presidential primary elections.
According to Fox Weather data, temperatures in the state’s capital of Des Moines hit 4 degrees below zero and 23 degrees below zero, factoring in wind chill on Monday night. Other cities in Iowa, including Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City and Iowa City, similarly plummeted to freezing-cold temperatures, with Sioux City hitting 26 degrees below zero.
The low temperatures were recorded as Iowa’s Republican caucuses statewide were called to order. The temperatures mean Monday night is the coldest caucus since the state began holding them in 1972, according to Fox Weather.
Some caucus sites were forced to delay proceedings slightly due to the weather.
“When it’s that cold, and you’re also talking about things that happen at night, this is not a ‘go out the middle of the day type of thing,'” David Richards, an associate professor and political chair at the University of Lynchburg in Virginia, told Fox Weather. “It’ll tend to turn some people off. And I think if you are a more casual participant, you might be turned off by the elements.”
It is unclear how the weather will impact Iowa voters’ decision to attend caucuses or if it will have a broad impact on the results of the election.
But ahead of the caucus, candidates called for voters to brave the cold weather and make their voices heard.
“I’m asking you to go out, brave the cold and support me in the Iowa Caucus,” Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on X. “You will never have an opportunity to have your vote make more of an impact than you will tonight!”
Fellow GOP candidate former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley told voters to “layer up” and head to their caucus site.
Fox News’ Matteo Cina contributed to this report.
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