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 pollster Ann Selzer said that they would not be releasing the poll after a "respondent raised an issue with the way their interview was conducted, which could have compromised the results of the poll", they said in a statement.
As reported by the New York Times late Saturday, Buttigieg's name was not included on the list of candidates for at least one person surveyed, according to his campaign.
Hunter said that while only one respondent appeared to have been affected, "we can not confirm that with certainty".
An Iowa poll, long considered the most credible in the state and closely watched by political campaigns and observers, will not be released Saturday night as planned. "CNN, The Des Moines Register, and Selzer & Company strive to meet the highest standards in survey research, so the partners have decided not to continue", he said.
"Our campaign received a report from a recipient of the Iowa Poll call, raising concerns that not every candidate was named by the interviewer when asked who they support", she said.
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In a statement, CNN added that "we were unable to ascertain what happened during this respondent's interview, and can not determine if this was a single isolated incident".
The poll would have likely been the last one released before Iowa Democrats pick their preferred presidential candidate in February 3 caucuses. "It is imperative whenever an Iowa Poll is released that there is confidence that the data accurately reflects Iowans' opinions", Hunter said.
Prior to the sudden announcement, the poll was billed as the "gold standard" for the caucuses, which are notably hard to survey, particularly in a year with such an unsettled and competitive primary contest that lacks a clear front-runner.
Politico reported that Buttigieg's campaign contacted the poll's organizers about the apparent issue after a Buttigieg supporter, who was contacted to participate in the poll, noticed the error.
Andrew Yang, who was holding his final caucus rally in a packed Des Moines Marriott ballroom, talked about the poll at the top of his remarks. If they can't, then supporters of that candidate can either decide not to vote or switch to another candidate. Former Vice President Joe Biden was the front-runner in June, Massachusetts Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading the race for the Hawkeye State.