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Trump’s Dominance and Snowy Weather Put Iowa’s Caucus Economy on Ice

Even before a snowstorm brought Des Moines to a near standstill on Friday, the city felt decidedly more subdued than it usually does around the Iowa caucuses: quiet restaurants, empty streets, bartenders with little to do.
The numbers confirm it: The 2024 caucuses are expected to bring less than 40 percent of the direct economic impact to the capital that the 2020 contest provided — an estimated $4.2 million, down from $11.3 million four years ago. Direct economic impact measures what visitors do, like sleeping, driving, eating and drinking.
It is a striking decline that reflects, among other things, diminished media engagement in a presidential race that is less competitive than in past years, when the state has been inundated by presidential hopefuls, their campaigns and teams of journalists in hot pursuit.
“Media is way down,” said Greg Edwards, the chief executive of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau, which provided the numbers. “The major networks aren’t sending their major anchors like they have in the past.”

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