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Pew: Quarter of Dems Say Iowa Caucus Delay Was on Purpose

A quarter of Democrats (25%), and even more Republicans (41%) said they believe there were "major efforts to purposefully delay the results of the Iowa Democratic caucuses last month. 

That is according to the latest Pew News Pathway Survey, conducted Feb. 18-March 2. 

Related: Survey Finds Concern Over Election Impact of Made-Up News 

It took days to declare a winner, reportedly due to problems with the app for reporting the tallies, leading to frustrated news outlets vamping for hours, candidates losing potential momentum--like winner Pete Buttigieg--and to the resignation of the state party chair in charge. 

Following the fiasco some Sanders supporters complained that rival candidates were conspiring to to keep them from winning delegates, the Washington Examiner reported. 

In the lead-up to the candidate Joe Biden's Super Tuesday turn-around, he was considered the candidate with the worst news coverage (by 27% of the respondents), followed by Michael Bloomberg (20%), then Sanders (13%). On the other side of that commemorative coin, Sanders was thought to have had the best coverage at 39%, Bloomberg next at 24%, Buttigieg (13%), and Biden (8%). 

That is not a big surprise given that after Biden's poor showings early on, many were leaving his campaign for dead while crowning Sanders the presumptive nominee if he remained on the same trajectory, as appeared likely at the time.

The survey was of 10,300 U.S. adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 1.5 percentage points. 

In January, Pew Research Center launched its Election News Pathways initiative, which will extend through the 2020 election and explore how American's news habits and attitudes affect their perception of the election.  

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.