Jan 16, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Iowa on track for lowest turnout since 2000 in competitive GOP caucuses

 Two pedestrians brave the sub-zero temperatures downtown as extreme temperatures and snow have gripped Iowa during Iowa Caucus week on January 14, 2024 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Two pedestrians brave the sub-zero temperatures downtown as extreme temperatures and snow have gripped Iowa during Iowa Caucus week on Jan. 14 in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Approximately 110,000 Republicans turned out for Monday's Iowa caucuses, according to preliminary results from the state Republican Party, in what is on track to be the lowest levels of GOP turnout since 2000.

Why it matters: Voter turnout was a major question ahead of Monday's caucuses as extreme weather slammed the state, creating treacherous conditions for Iowans wishing to support their candidate.

  • 187,000 Republicans turned out to caucus in 2016, the last competitive Republican nomination contest, which was a record high.
  • 122,000 Republicans turned out in 2012; 118,000 turned out in 2008; and 87,000 turned out in 2000, according to NPR.

Between the lines: The results from the Iowa GOP are as of 1:00 AM ET, with between 97% and 98% of counties approved.

Zoom in: Candidates in their final pitches before the caucuses urged their supporters to turn out despite the extreme weather.

  • Former President Trump, who cruised to victory during Monday's caucuses, told supporters over the weekend to turn out at all costs.
  • "You can't sit home. If you're sick as a dog, you say, 'Darling, I gotta make it,'" Trump said at a rally on Sunday.
  • "Even if you vote and then pass away, it's worth it, remember."

Go deeper: Sub-zero temps and snow make turnout a wildcard at Iowa caucuses

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