The Des Moines Register and CNN announced Saturday night that they would not release their crucial Iowa poll, citing an error in which one candidate’s name was left out of polling questions.
Jonathan Martin of the New York Times tweeted that the candidate who was left out was former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
News: The @DMRegister is weighing whether to release their @jaselzer poll as planned tonight after @PeteButtigieg camp complained that his name was left off at least one survey questionnaire https://t.co/9dNNMrtUmc
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) February 2, 2020
Pundits had been eagerly anticipating the release of what Politico called “the most consequential poll in politics,” as it reflects expectations of the outcome of the first contest of the presidential primary, to be held Monday..
But it was not to be.
A statement on the Des Moines Register website read, in part:
The Des Moines Register, CNN and Selzer & Co. have made the decision to not release the final installment of the CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll as planned this evening.
Nothing is more important to the Register and its polling partners than the integrity of the Iowa Poll. Today, a respondent raised an issue with the way the survey was administered, which could have compromised the results of the poll. It appears a candidate’s name was omitted in at least one interview in which the respondent was asked to name their preferred candidate.
While this appears to be isolated to one surveyor, we cannot confirm that with certainty. Therefore, the partners made the difficult decision to not to move forward with releasing the Iowa Poll.
CNN also had to cancel an hour of news programming that had been planned around the poll.
Politico reported: “Underscoring the attention paid to the poll, CNN had planned an hourlong TV program around its release. Instead, at 9 p.m. Eastern, the network’s political director, David Chalian, went on the air to explain why the poll wasn’t being issued.”
The stunning, last-minute decision, 48 hours before the Iowa caucuses are to be held, raised suspicions that the poll must have held bad news for one of the major frontrunners.
In 2016, supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) accused the Democratic Party of rigging the result for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after she won by a narrow margin in which some delegates were awarded to her by coin toss, and another was mysteriously switched to Clinton from Sanders.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.