Pre-Iowa caucus poll results withheld over polling error

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The Des Moines Register decided Saturday night to not release the results of their poll in Iowa due to a human error in their polling process. 

The poll is conducted by phone operators who call citizens in Iowa and read off a list of candidates names for voters to choose from. One operator enlarged the font to read the names better, accidentally cutting off former Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s name from the list. The accident was reported to the Buttigieg campaign by a supporter who had received the call. The campaign contacted The Des Moines Register, which quickly moved to cancel the hour-long CNN special set to release the results that night. 

The Buttigieg campaign has urged voters not to attack the paper for their mistake and applauded the publication for managing the situation with integrity.

Without results from what has been considered the gold standard of Iowa polls, newspapers have turned to other pre-caucus polls to speculate what the results would have been. The Washington Post reports that in an average of the most recent state polls, Joe Biden polled first at 23 percent, followed by Bernie Sanders at 21 percent, Pete Buttigieg at 18 percent, Elizabeth Warren at 15 percent and Amy Klobuchar at eight percent. All other candidates sat at three percent or below. 

Andrew Yang has played the uncertainty of the results to his advantage. The night the news broke, he opened an event by referencing a popular online conspiracy theory that the results had been withheld due to his good standings in the caucus. Yang’s supporters are well-known to be outspoken followers who sometimes make outlandish claims to spread word of his campaign. 

The Iowa caucus results will be released Feb. 3. Texas’ state poll will occur March 3 (Super Tuesday).