February 2, 2020

The Iowa Caucus Poll

 The final and much-anticipated poll results from the Des Moines Register were not released yesterday. Questions about the validity of the polling caused the newspaper to withhold publishing what were seen as questionable results. (See, for example, the New York Times story here.) Apparently, the Iowa caucuses will have to go forward tomorrow without the poll results.

The polling snafu may be a blessing. Who knows what the ultimate result of such a poll might be? If candidate A is leading in the poll, does that encourage supporters to participate in a caucus or to confidently stay home? If candidate B is behind, does the candidate’s supporters, discouraged, stay home and drink hot chocolate, or do they trudge through the snow in the hope of showing the pollsters wrong?

We’ll likely never really know the effect of the absence of a last-minute poll. We will, however, know the result of the caucuses tomorrow.

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