Donald Trump directed his attention onto his most prominent supporter amid the Republican nomination contest contenders on Saturday, specifically targeting Vivek Ramaswamy and informing his followers on Truth Social that the Republican entrepreneur does not align with the principles of “Make America Great Again” (MAGA). Furthermore, his allies are also causing widespread havoc.
Trump is heading to Iowa for the caucus voting, which will occur amidst exceptionally frigid temperatures.
Trump noted that the weather conditions may potentially favor his campaign in the state. Additionally, he believes that diminishing any backing for Ramaswamy would also be advantageous. Consequently, he openly criticized the primary rival who is significantly less inclined to retaliate.
“Vivek started his campaign as a great supporter, ‘the best President in generations,’ etc. Unfortunately, now all he does is disguise his support in the form of deceitful campaign tricks. Very sly, but a vote for Vivek is a vote for the “other side” — don’t get duped by this,” exclaimed Trump. “Vote for ‘TRUMP,’ don’t waste your vote! Vivek is not MAGA. The Biden Indictments against his Political Opponent will never be allowed in this Country, they are already beginning to fall! MAGA!!!”
Chris LaCivita, who works on Trump’s campaign as an adviser, strongly criticized Ramaswamy on X shortly before Trump made the above comment. This criticism was accompanied by a retweet of a picture that likely triggered the subsequent events. The candidate uploaded a photograph depicting himself beside a gathering of voters donning t-shirts that said “Save Trump, Vote Vivek”.
“Here is a great picture of this campaigns number one FRAUD,” LaCivita posted on X, declaring, “Trump doesn’t need ‘saving’.”
Here is a great picture of this campaigns number one FRAUD –
— Chris LaCivita (@LaCivitaC) January 13, 2024
Right after that, Trump posted his comment on Truth Social, and LaCivita published it to his X account, stating “And here ya go….”
And here ya go…. https://t.co/5vNyAMpeuP
— Chris LaCivita (@LaCivitaC) January 13, 2024
The influence of weather on voter turnout remains uncertain, and it is a subject of controversy as to which candidate, if any, would be advantaged or disadvantaged by it.
In 2007, a widely cited study by Southern Political Science Association reads in part:
The relationship between bad weather and lower levels of voter turnout is widely espoused by media, political practitioners, and, perhaps, even political scientists. Yet, there is virtually no solid empirical evidence linking weather to voter participation.
This paper provides an extensive test of the claim. We examine the effect of weather on voter turnout in 14 U.S. presidential elections.
Using GIS interpolations, we employ meteorological data drawn from over 22,000 U.S. weather stations to provide election day estimates of rain and snow for each U.S. county.
We find that, when compared to normal conditions, rain significantly reduces voter participation by a rate of just less than 1% per inch, while an inch of snowfall decreases turnout by almost .5%.
Poor weather is also shown to benefit the Republican Party’s vote share. Indeed, the weather may have contributed to two Electoral College outcomes, the 1960 and 2000 presidential elections.
According to a source on Friday, former President Trump’s campaign in Iowa has shown substantial improvement in its “ground game” since 2016, as the first primary in the country looms on Tuesday. This time, Trump is “taking nothing for granted” and is being cautious.
According to The Federalist, four days before the event, “Donald Trump Jr. rallied the troops in suburban Des Moines on behalf of his frontrunner father,” adding that “motivation was a hard commodity to come by on a cold and gray January day, with the remnants of the first heavy snowstorm of the season mucking up the streets with dirty slush.”
However, the source mentioned that the participants of “Hawkeye Cauci” are “are hearty stock” and have consistently attended the event, with some attending for over 50 years, “and they take their role as first-in-the-nation ambassadors of the presidential nomination chase very seriously.”
The Federalist went on:
We’ll see just how serious Iowa’s Republican voters are come Monday, caucus day, when the high is expected to drop below zero. By 7 p.m. Iowa time, when this internationally watched political pageant gets underway, temperatures could plummet to as low as minus-15 degrees with a wind chill of Ouch!
But if the 2024 presidential campaign and the past eight years have taught us anything, it’s that there are people in this deeply divided republic who would crawl through broken glass, barbed wire, and solid ice to vote for the former president.
Despite Trump’s substantial lead of at least 50 points over his rivals nationally and approximately 35 points in Iowa, his campaign is not “taking anything for granted,” and remains cautious, according to the publication.
“That’s why this Monday is so critical. We’ve got to send a message,” Don Jr. said to over 80 Trump supporters in Urbandale’s Machine Shed restaurant during an event arranged by the Des Moines Bull Moose Conservative Club, emphasizing the need to convey a message.
“I understand it’s going to be minus-4, but if I can get my Florida butt back up here … everyone can get back up here,” he exclaimed.