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February 2, 2020

With No Final Prediction for Caucus Night, UChicago Campaign Groups Prepare to Canvass Even Harder


Bernie Sanders in 2015, at the IOP. At the time of the previous Register poll, Sanders topped the tally with 20 percent support from expected caucus attendees.

Courtesy of the Institute of Politics

The Des Moines Register Iowa Poll will not be released as planned ahead of Monday’s Iowa caucuses, according to a short notice the Register’s executive editor, Carol Hunter, published Saturday night.

The poll will not go public because of a methodology error in which a candidate’s name was not on the list of options for Iowans being surveyed.

“[A] respondent raised an issue with the way the survey was administered, which could have compromised the results of the poll,” Hunter wrote in the article. “It appears a candidate’s name was omitted in at least one interview in which the respondent was asked to name their preferred candidate.”

The New York Times reported that the candidate who was accidentally omitted was Pete Buttigieg.

Second-year Zander Arnao, who serves as UChicago for Pete’s membership and recruitment coordinator, said that the absence of the poll opens potential caucus-goers up to more possibilities without a final projected frontrunner.

Without the focus on each candidate’s ranking in the polling data, he told The Maroon, “you take away the ‘Oh, X candidate is leading with the other candidates by two points. He’s gonna win on Monday.’ I think that I think that means people make their own decisions.”

Arnao said that the lack of poll predictions puts more pressure on canvassers.

“That makes our job as canvassers—people advocating for the campaigns—all the more urgent, because when we go out, we know that people will be receptive. We know that there might be a little bit more indecision,” Arnao said.

Third-year Celia Hoffman of UChicago for Warren said that the group will continue to canvass in Polk County, regardless of whether there is a final prediction.

“We’re really excited to be out here in Iowa this weekend knocking on doors, and we're going to be focused on organizing,” Hoffman said.

The group’s goal for the weekend, Hoffman said, was simply “to continue to knock on doors and get out the caucus for Elizabeth Warren.”

Representatives from UChicago for Bernie Sanders did not comment by the time of publication.

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