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Iowa Voters: Political "Forecast" Could Depend On Weather

Tuesday, 11 Dec 2007 | 12:55 PM ET
Iowa map
AP
Iowa map

I am sitting in my hotel room in downtown Des Moines, looking out the windows at the reasons why no one can count out the chances of Mitt Romney or John Edwards in the Iowa caucuses next month: Snow and ice--lots of it.

Weather represents a major potential variable in the Iowa outcome. The worse it is, the smaller the turnout on the night of Jan. 3. If it storms then the way it is storming now, thousands will opt to remain on their family room sofas and watch the Orange Bowl.

And who would a smaller turnout help? Edwards is a safe bet on the Democratic side, since his strength is concentrated among veterans of past caucuses who are most likely to turn out in any weather. And among Republicans, Mike Huckabee is the smoking hot candidate but Mitt Romney has the most expensive organization.

In other words, the polls and TV ads aren't the only indicators to watch as caucus night approaches. Check the Weather Channel, too.

Questions? Comments? Write to politicalcapital@cnbc.com.