Iowa Republicans Will Vote in First Presidential Caucus of 2024 Amid Blizzard

Speaking at a campaign event ahead of the caucus, Donald Trump told supporters "Even if you vote and then pass away, it’s worth it"

Blend Images - Hill Street Studios Voting booth
Blend Images - Hill Street Studios Voting booth

Iowa Republicans on Monday will participate in the first caucus of the 2024 presidential nominating process amid record cold temperatures and blizzard conditions.

Already, candidates have cancelled events planned for Monday due to the weather. Still, the high-stakes vote is slated to take place as scheduled, with Republican candidates including Donald Trump imploring their supporters to caucus despite the record low temperatures.

The Iowa caucus will mark the first nominating contest of 2024 for Republicans, all of whom are vying for their party's nomination. Below, the details of the caucus and how the weather could impact the process.

Who Can Vote in the Iowa Caucus?

Those wishing to vote in the Iowa caucus must be at least 18 years old by general election day (Nov. 5, 2024) and must be registered with the Republican Party — but they aren't required to be lifelong Republicans. In fact, Independents or Democrats can participate if they re-registered as Republicans ahead of the caucus.

The candidates include former President Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

Related: Who Is Running for President in 2024? Confirmed and Rumored Republican and Democratic Candidates

How Does the Iowa Caucus Work?

The Iowa Republican caucus takes place Monday, Jan. 15, beginning at 7 p.m. local time (or 8 p.m. ET). Democrats are also hosting their caucus on Jan. 15, though they are collecting ballots entirely by mail, with results not released until March 5, or Super Tuesday.

Caucuses differ from traditional presidential primaries in that voters physically gather to discuss their choices. Following that discussion, caucus-goers will cast their vote via secret ballot, with votes then tabulated and announced to the room.

Candidates will then receive a number of delegates equal to their share of the overall vote (there are 40 Republican delegates up for grabs in Iowa total).

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Related: Chris Christie Suspends 2024 Presidential Campaign Days Before Iowa Caucus

How Will the Weather Impact the Caucus?

Blizzard conditions in Iowa disrupted candidate events in the days leading up to the caucus, with the event expected to be the state's coldest caucuses in history, according to CNN's reporting. The weather is sure to impact turnout, which is already expected to be low due to the in-person nature of the caucus. Still, the winner of the caucus is expected to gain momentum leading into the other nominating contests held around the country in the lead-up to the general election.

As the BBC reports, all of the candidates continued to implore their supporters to vote despite the life-threatening conditions across the state, parts of which will see windchill as low as -40 degrees.

"I know it's asking a lot of you to go out and caucus," Haley told supporters in a town hall event held via telephone, the outlet reports. "I will be out there in the cold."

Trump took a stronger tone, telling Iowa voters at a campaign event: "You can’t sit home. If you’re sick as a dog, you say, ‘Darling, I gotta make it.' Even if you vote and then pass away, it’s worth it, remember.”

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