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On Eve of Iowa Caucuses, a Major Snafu

'Des Moines Register' poll scrapped after Buttigieg raises concerns that it's been compromised
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2020 6:11 AM CST
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In this Jan. 14, 2020 file photo, from left, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar, stand on stage before a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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(Newser) – After eons of campaigning, the first state in the nation is set to vote in the 2020 presidential election on Monday, and we would normally have in our hot little hands the final Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll to reliably tell us how the fine people of Iowa are going to vote. Not so this election cycle, Politico reports, after the Register decided to pull its poll on Saturday night after Pete Buttigieg's campaign cried foul, as one adviser said, over "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." What apparently happened: one pollster enlarged the font on their monitor, cutting off some randomized candidate names, including Buttigieg's in the one reported.

"We are unable to know how many times this might have happened, because we don’t know how long that monitor was in that setting," a source tells Politico. "Because we do not know for certain—and may not ever be able to know for certain—we don’t have confidence to release the poll." The last-minute poll has often had a make-or-break effect for candidates, including Barack Obama in 2008. (Read more Iowa caucuses stories.)

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