Republican presidential hopefuls learned Monday there's one campaign foe they're powerless to stop: Mother Nature.
With 36 days left before the first votes of the U.S. presidential contest are cast by Iowa caucus-goers, the second-term governor and the first-term Florida lawmaker are struggling to close the gap with Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who leads polls in the state, and seemingly unstoppable Donald Trump.
Christie canceled town hall meetings in Dubuque and Davenport, scrubbing the first of what was to be a three-day swing in the state. Rubio scuppered a town hall in Burlington with a notice on his Twitter account that cited concern for "the safety of our attendees." But he told a radio host on local station WHO he would be in the state Tuesday.
While most Americans are enjoying a lull between the Christmas holiday and their New Year's festivities, there's no break for presidential politics.
Rubio and Christie plan to remain in Iowa through Wednesday, while Trump is scheduled to hold three rallies: in New Hampshire on Monday, in Iowa on Tuesday and in South Carolina on Wednesday. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will be in the Granite State Tuesday and Iowa the next. On the Democratic side, front-runner Hillary Clinton will be in New Hampshire on Tuesday for town halls in Portsmouth and Berlin.
Senator Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, was scheduled to hold a rally in Nevada on Monday and travels to Iowa for two more of town halls and a rally.
One candidate did press on with his Iowa schedule despite the weather: Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, a Democrat who spoke to a crowd of fewer than 20 people gathered in an Iowa Falls coffee shop "there's a fine line between imagination and delusion."
O'Malley spoke to the crowd for about 45 minutes before taking questions for reporters and driving to Waterloo for the opening of a planned field office there. He also has events in Webster City beforehand and a planned event tonight in Tama, Iowa.
"People in Iowa expect to meet each of us who's running for president three, or four or five times before you make a decision," said O'Malley, who told the group, which included three reporters and a handful of campaign staffers. "I also know it's in those last few weeks that the Rubik's cube of decision-making starts to spin."