The complicated calculus of using inclement weather to woo voters

As the weather around the country gets warmer, it is turning cold again. Meteorologists are warning of freezing temperatures across the South and East Coast on Friday — the same days the two presidential…

As the weather around the country gets warmer, it is turning cold again. Meteorologists are warning of freezing temperatures across the South and East Coast on Friday — the same days the two presidential campaigns are gearing up for the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, respectively.

During the presidential campaign, many voters express concerns about the effect inclement weather could have on how cold it is outside. Both Democratic and Republican presidents have been more comfortable opening their doors to the public during that time of year, before the chilly weather sets in. And the weather poses a challenge to the campaigns, which would ideally want people to attend rallies, town halls and other events outside — but would also prefer people are free to vote if they don’t want to brave the cold.

At the start of the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump mocked Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for being “scared” of the weather in Iowa. And in 2016, New Hampshire primary night saw that both parties have defended their frontrunners, especially when it comes to weather and their audiences.

Months before the 2008 caucuses, The New York Times obtained an e-mail from Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle suggesting her team had made a decision to ban outdoor political activities during that time of year in consideration of possible snowfall. “We are going to raise a glass of champagne and read a book and let’s see if the weather is cooperative,” Doyle wrote in one message.

In a later e-mail, Doyle noted that New Hampshire would have “some slushy conditions” but asked one of her top aides to report back on what precipitation she predicted and gave a forecast for snowfall.

“Thankfully, we know we have New Hampshire supporters who are not afraid of anything,” she wrote.

Solis Doyle later reversed course when she sent a response: “Hello Patti. Weather scenario looks promising to me. So if it is snowing in a snow place like NH in IA, will it affect the vote or anything else I care about for caucuses. Your wish.”

Read the full story on The New York Times.

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