Anna Wiederkehr

Our Final Iowa Forecast

At 3 p.m ET today, we “froze” our 2020 Democratic primary forecast. Until we get the final results in Iowa, we’re not updating our forecast with any new polls, endorsements or additional information. Once we get final results from Iowa — whenever that may be — we’ll unfreeze the forecast, add Iowa in and see what the race looks like.

For the time being, however, here’s where our final Iowa forecast landed:

Clare Malone

That Last, Unreleased Des Moines Register Poll Of Iowa Really Did Show Biden In Fourth

If you’re the sort of person who was glued to political Twitter on Saturday night — and God help you if you are — you would have seen a mass freak-out when it was announced that that the Des Moines Register would not release the much-anticipated final version of its Iowa Poll (conducted in conjunction with CNN and Selzer & Co.). The Buttigieg campaign got word that at least one survey respondent had been read an incomplete questionnaire that did not include Buttigieg’s name. “While this appears to be isolated to one surveyor, that could not be confirmed with certainty,” the executive editor of the paper wrote, and acting with an abundance of caution, they declined to release the poll at all.

Nevertheless, a tweet made the rounds that night purporting to give the poll’s results, and after doing some reporting around this, FiveThirtyEight can confirm that it contains the correct final findings of the unreleased Iowa poll: Sanders 22 percent, Warren 18 percent, Buttigieg 16 percent, Biden 13 percent. Imagine the news cycle that would have been, with national front-runner Biden making such a poor showing in the last, highest-profile poll before the caucuses.

It should be noted that Selzer and Co., the pollster in charge of the Iowa Poll, has an A+ on our FiveThirtyEight Pollster Rating. You can read my 2016 profile of Ann Selzer here.

Anna Wiederkehr

Caucusing will get underway in about an hour, and one thing we’ll be watching for: How close do the polls come to the eventual result? (Polling caucuses is hard — don’t be surprised by a surprise.) For reference, here’s where FiveThirtyEight’s Iowa polling average ended up: