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The Des Moines Register and CNN canceled the release of their much-awaited final poll before the Iowa caucuses after Pete Buttigieg’s campaign raised concerns about how it was conducted.
The poll, long considered the gold standard in Iowa, was shelved just minutes before CNN was set to host a special hour of TV on Saturday night dedicated to the poll results and the state of the race in Iowa.
The Buttigieg campaign reported that one of its supporters was called about the poll but wasn’t read Buttigieg’s name in a list of Democratic presidential candidates. The voter who experienced the issue declined to comment to Bloomberg News on Saturday night.
“The results of the poll could have been compromised,” CNN political director David Chalian said on TV.
The survey is conducted by Selzer & Co., a respected Iowa pollster.
“While this appears to be isolated to one surveyor, we cannot confirm that with certainty,” Register Executive Editor Carol Hunter wrote in a statement. “Therefore, the partners made the difficult decision to not to move forward with releasing the Iowa Poll.”
The final Iowa Poll, released just days before Monday night’s caucuses, is closely watched because it can give a boost to the leading candidate or demoralize supporters of one who falls short. The problem with the poll was first reported by The New York Times.
The Register/CNN poll has marked the changing fortunes of the top candidates over the past year: Biden led in early 2019, Warren took the lead in September, Buttigieg led in November and Sanders was in the top spot in early January.
(DISCLAIMER: Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic nomination for president. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)
— With assistance by Ryan Teague Beckwith
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