Final Iowa Poll Scrapped After Candidate ‘Omitted’ During Survey

Feb 1, 2020


Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, right, waves to the crowd next to Waterloo, Iowa Mayor Quentin Hart during a campaign event Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in Dubuque, Iowa.
Credit AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

It was called “the most consequential poll in politics” by Politico, but it won’t be released.

The final pre-caucus survey from vaunted Iowa pollster J. Ann Selzer was supposed to come out on Saturday night, but the Des Moines Register, which sponsors the poll along with CNN and Mediacom, says a candidate’s name may have been left out in at least one interview.

“Today, a respondent raised an issue with the way the survey was administered, which could have compromised the results of the poll,” wrote executive editor Carol Hunter. “It appears a candidate’s name was omitted in at least one interview in which the respondent was asked to name their preferred candidate.” Some reports suggest that former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s name may have been skipped during a survey interview.

“While this appears to be isolated to one surveyor, we cannot confirm that with certainty,” Hunter added.

CNN political director David Chalian said, “We take the standards that we apply to our polling very seriously, and to keep the highest possible standards we wanted to present this information to the public.” The news broke just before the network was planning a primetime special to release the final Iowa Poll results.

But in just 48 hours, we may know how the race turned out.