Now that the Des Moines Register, the "paper of record" in Iowa, has made a decision to withhold the results of the paper's final Iowa caucus poll due to an issue reported by a poll respondent, the media world is having a collective freakout moment over the possible outcomes of the first caucus of 2020.
"CNN, the Des Moines Register and Selzer & Company will not be releasing the final installment of the CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll", CNN said in a February 1 statement posted on Twitter. "It appears a candidate's name was omitted in at least one interview in which the respondent was asked to name their preferred candidate".
Only a surveyor seems to be aware of this, but we can not confirm this with certainty.
David Chalian, CNN's political director, said on-air that CNN and The Register decided "out of an abundance of caution" not to release the poll after the network learned of a potential problem with the way the survey was conducted. "Things came to light late in the process", said J. Ann Selzer, whose company conducts the Iowa Poll.
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Axios reported that "an interviewer at the poll's call center increased the font size of the questionnaire on their screen so much that the bottom choice (which rotated between calls) wasn't visible", referring to an unidentified "CNN source". This final poll before the caucuses on Monday, the paper said, could have been "compromised" by one of the surveyors. "We applaud CNN and the Des Moines Register for their integrity".
"We weren't able to determine exactly what happened during this person's interview, and we don't know if it was an isolated incident", he added.
A crucial poll ranking Iowa's Democratic presidential candidates was suddenly canceled Saturday night, on the brink of its planned release just two days before the state's caucuses.
In typical years, Iowa would be the political epicenter until the caucuses and anything happening inside the beltway would be more of an afterthought. It is imperative whenever an Iowa Poll is released that there is confidence that the data accurately reflects Iowans' opinions. Each candidate can also dispatch people to try to convince voters in other areas to switch their picks. They can either pick one of the "viable" candidates or team up to push one of the "non-viable" ones over the 15 percent threshold. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. The latest Emerson poll had Sanders at 30 percent, leading Biden by 9 points.