Iowa poll release scrapped after Buttigieg cries foul

A mistake by one of the poll interviewers has resulted in the results of the critical Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom poll being scrapped just before the critical Iowa caucus.

According to a Politico report, the interviewer enlarged the script on the computer, possibly removing 2020 Democrat candidate Pete Buttigieg from the survey answers, which left the Des Moines Register, CNN, and Mediacom no choice but to cancel the release of the poll. This will be the first time since the 1940s that the poll will not be published in the Des Moines Register.

Just can’t trust them

It’s important to establish that most polls are far too unreliable to place one’s ultimate faith in. In the majority of cases, these polls expect about 1,000 people to predict the opinion of the entire nation.

They can and often do show a trend, but as far as hard numbers go, you can hardly rely on these polls — and that’s if everything is on the up-and-up.

When mistakes like this happen, and they surely do all the time, it completely throws the entire system out of whack.

The mistake

Had it not been for a random phone call alerting Buttigieg of the problem, this would have gone completely unnoticed and Buttigieg’s campaign probably would have been put into panic mode.

Politico reported that the interviewer increased the font size on his or her computer monitor, which ended up squeezing off some of the names that were to be read, with Buttigieg’s name among them.

After a voter was called by the interviewer, the recipient of the call made Buttigieg’s campaign aware of the call and the fact that Buttigieg was not among the choices listed. The organizations were then contacted and an internal investigation ensued.

When the investigation was completed, the organization was unable to determine just how many interviews were possibly tainted, so the entire poll was scrapped, much to the delight of the Buttigieg campaign.

CNN also issued a statement on the matter.

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