GOP Senate candidate: Heavy rains on Election Day are ‘Republican weather’

GOP Senate candidate: Heavy rains on Election Day are ‘Republican weather’
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Republican Senate candidate Bob Hugin said at a rally in New Jersey on Monday that he looks forward to weather forecasts of rain in the state on Election Day because it's “Republican weather” and he thinks it will help his chances in his bid against incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezGovernment watchdog: 'No evidence' Pompeo violated Hatch Act with Kansas trips No time to be selling arms to the Philippines Senate panel approves Trump nominee under investigation MORE.

“This election is about who gets the vote out and who doesn’t,” Hugin said at the rally in Toms River, according to The New York Times, “and I hope it rains hard tomorrow.”

According to the Times, multiple studies have shown that bad weather can decrease voter turnout on Election Day, which has helped Republican candidates in the past as a majority of groups deterred from voting due to bad weather have tended to vote for Democrats.


“Not just whether to vote but how to vote can be influenced by the weather,” Yusaku Horiuchi, a professor of government at Dartmouth, told the newspaper. “When the weather is bad, people’s mood is affected. People tend to be more risk-averse. When people become more risk-averse, people are more likely to be more conservative, and therefore they’re likely to vote for the Republicans instead of the Democrats.”

However, Horiuchi told the Times the effect is small and estimated that only 1 percent of voters were susceptible to changing their votes due to bad weather.

The Times noted, though, that such an effect could translate to an increase of roughly 3 percentage points in votes for a Republican candidate, which is enough to tip the scales in a close race.

Menendez currently has a 15-point advantage over Hugin in the New Jersey Senate race, according to a recent Quinnipiac University Poll survey.