Shock: Release of Famed Iowa Poll Cancelled at the last Minute After Buttigieg Campaign Complains

The final Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll of likely Iowa Democratic caucus-goers was pulled Saturday night shortly before it was to be released, supposedly because of a complaint that a name was left off the list of choices. As a result, the historically accurate, 76-year-old Iowa poll will not be released before Iowa voters caucus on Monday.

CNN had planned an hour-long show to cover the results of the poll live and had to cancel at the last minute.

The announcement stunned the political world and led to widespread speculation that the real reason the poll was spiked was because they didn’t like the results.

According to The New York Times, Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign complained that his name was left off the list of candidates in one call interview.

The poll is conducted by telephone from a call center, where operators read from a prepared script of candidates’ names to determine who a voter plans to support. One operator had apparently enlarged the font size on their computer screen, perhaps cutting off Mr. Buttigieg’s name from the list of options, according to two people familiar with the incident who did not have permission to speak about it publicly.
After every phone call, the list of candidates’ names is randomly reordered, so Mr. Buttigieg may not have been uniquely affected by the error, one of the people said. But the poll’s overseers were unable to determine if the mistake was an isolated incident.

There was also a report that a poll taker mispronounced Buttigieg’s name.

“Nothing is more important to the Register and its polling partners than the integrity of the Iowa Poll,” DMR executive editor Carol Hunter said in a statement.

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.

The Register has published the Iowa Poll for 76 years, and it is considered the gold standard in political polling. Selzer & Co., which conducts the poll, is recognized for its excellence in polling. It is imperative whenever an Iowa Poll is released that there is confidence that the data accurately reflects Iowans’ opinions.

A pollster who spoke on condition of anonymity told American Greatness that it was “highly unlikely” that Buttigieg’s name would be mispronounced on such an important poll. “The phone workers are prepped on pronunciation,” she said, adding, “this was an important poll, little chance this was just blown off.”

The pollster also explained that a call center manager walks around and listens to the calls while they’re being made.

“Ann Seltzer [of Selzer & Co] is pretty reputable,” she noted. “Call centers should be monitoring the calls, if they notice something wrong, they can fix ASAP and not trash the entire poll … there’s no way this poll was messed up.”
Some reactions to the move on Twitter:

Folks on both the left and the right were suspecting foul play, Saturday night.

Two polls last week showed Sanders surging.

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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

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