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We asked political analysts on both sides how weather, turnout issues could impact Iowa caucuses

Could weather impact turnout for the Iowa caucuses?
Could weather impact turnout for the Iowa caucuses? 02:48

MINNEAPOLIS — Monday night is the Iowa caucuses. 

It's going to be one for the record books — the weather record books. The forecast high is around minus 2, with windchills in the minus 30s

You might think that is not a big deal — people in Iowa and the upper Midwest are used to dangerous wind chills and cold. But Iowa is a caucus state, which means to vote, you have to go in person on Monday at 7 p.m. to your designated caucus site, no matter the weather, or whether something comes up, like a car problem or a sick child. 

That difficulty for anyone with something unexpected, or even someone who has a disability, is partially why in 2020 Minnesota stopped having presidential caucuses and switched to a primary. 

A number of the Republican candidates, including former President Donald Trump, have expressed concern about low voter turnout because of the weather. Trump and his team are also worried about another factor. 

For months, Trump has had an enormous lead in the Iowa polls. The Des Moines Register poll just out has Trump still far ahead with 48 points, Nikki Haley back at 20 and Ron DeSantis at 16. 

The Iowa caucuses are an expectations game. While Trump appears almost certain to win, if he doesn't win by a large margin, it would be seen as a weak showing. 

Trump's campaign has been trying to tamp down expectations by saying it will be a tremendous victory for him if he gets at least a 12-point victory. 

Republican analyst Amy Koch and Democratic analyst Abou Amara were guests on WCCO Sunday Morning at 10:30 a.m.

Political analysts break down Iowa caucuses, latest polls 05:14

"That is smart for them, they need to tamp down those expectations," Koch said. "Republican voters that go to the caucus, they have to be there at a certain time. There's tight rules around a caucus, they tend to be an older voter and so this weather is going to be a big impact."

"When it comes to Trump voters, disproportionately rural, the top part of the state and the bottom part of the state, whereas Nikki Haley voters are going to more be in the suburbs and so they are going to have to go farther away for their caucuses," Amara said.

You may be wondering about the Iowa Democratic caucuses. This year, Iowa Democrats are doing their caucus voting by mail and the results will be announced March 5, which is Super Tuesday. That's when Minnesota and 13 other states have primaries and caucuses. Early voting for Minnesota's primary starts Friday.

WCCO will have complete coverage of Iowa's Democratic caucuses Monday night with Caroline Cummings reporting from Des Moines.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning every Sunday with Esme Murphy and Adam Del Rosso at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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