J. Ann Selzer vividly remembers the moment when she first found out there was a problem.
“I was first alerted through a message on Twitter,” the renowned Iowa pollster recalled in an interview with POLITICO last week that represented her most expansive public comments yet about the four-year-old episode.
Selzer was at Drake University in Des Moines, preparing to release the numbers from her final poll of the 2020 Democratic caucuses — results so widely anticipated that CNN, a co-sponsor of the poll, had created an entire, hourlong show on which Selzer was set to provide commentary.
But those poll results never came out. Because of a technical error, CNN and the Des Moines Register scrapped the poll entirely. Two days later, a massive failure of the state Democratic Party’s infrastructure delayed the caucus results themselves for nearly a day.
Now Selzer — and Iowa — get another chance. The Des Moines Register’s final poll of this year’s Republican race, co-sponsored by NBC News and the cable company Mediacom, is scheduled to be released Saturday night.
The poll occupies a legendary space in the closing 48 hours before the caucuses. Even in a thus-far one-sided contest,