The widely anticipated final installment of the pre-Iowa caucus Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll was abruptly scrapped Saturday after Pete Buttigieg's campaign raised concerns about how it was conducted.
According to Carol Hunter, executive editor of the Register, the poll was not publicized after "a respondent raised an issue with the way the survey was administered."
Nothing is more important to the Register and its polling partners than the integrity of the Iowa Poll. 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, that could not be confirmed with certainty. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, the partners made the difficult decision not to move forward with releasing the poll.
The development is significant because the poll would have signaled which Democratic candidate is most likely to win the Iowa caucuses, which take place on Monday.
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.
Liz Smith, a senior adviser to Buttigieg's campaign, confirmed the timeline on Twitter.
"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. "We shared this with the organizations behind the poll, who conducted an internal investigation and determined not to release it. We applaud CNN and the Des Moines Register for their integrity."
Since people are asking: Our campaign received a report from a recipient of the Iowa Poll call, raising concerns t… https://t.co/kolSVMJLKA— Lis Smith (@Lis Smith)1580614834.0
Still, the explanation did not stop alternate theories from circulating online. One of the most popular theories is that the poll was not published because it likely shows that Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading the race for the Hawkeye State.
"So Bernie topped 30% basically," one person said in response to the Register's announcement.
"Hi," the official People for Bernie Twitter account responded.
"Must be good for Bernie," another person said.
"They dont want to show Bernie beating Biden," another critic responded.
"DNC hard at work," another person responded.