Candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination kicked off the last weekend before the Iowa caucuses with late-night returns to Iowa and cable news interviews. Saturday night was marked with a surprise announcement, that one of the most-watched polls of the Iowa caucuses would not be released.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.) returned quickly to the campaign trail, with a full spate of events planned throughout Iowa — and, for Bennet, New Hampshire — through the weekend.

Already in Iowa, former vice president Joe Biden flexed his history degree, quoting George Washington to criticize President Trump and defend himself against Republicans’ accusations of “corruption.” Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, meanwhile, invoked the 1918 Spanish flu to illustrate the doomsday warning at the heart of his campaign. Meanwhile, a top surrogate for Sanders in Iowa led a crowd Friday night in booing former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, prompting an uproar between Sanders supporters and others in the Democratic Party.

Financial reports filed Friday also offered a fresh look at how much the candidates are pulling in, and how they’re spending their money. The records show the top-polling Democratic presidential candidates are spending at a rapid clip.

Get ready for Iowa’s caucuses:

4:00 a.m.
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Iowa poll cancellation linked to font size change

Pollsters called off the release of one of Iowa’s most-anticipated surveys because an interviewer tinkered with the font size of the questionnaire, causing one of the candidate’s names to be hidden from view and left off at least one interview, according to a person with knowledge of the incident.

The interviewer enlarged the font size, which bumped the bottom name on a rotating list off the survey terminal screen, the person said. Once the pollsters — Selzer & Co. on behalf of the Des Moines Register, CNN and Mediacom — discovered the error, they struggled to determine whether it affected a single interview or if it could have happened in more cases.

The team dealing with the problem worried that if the poll were released there would be a sense that it was tainted and they would have no control over the subsequent controversy or discussion.

J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., told The Washington Post that the poll’s standards are especially high.

“There was a very high bar set,” she said of the poll’s release. “If there was any uncertainty, no go.”

3:45 a.m.
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Buttigieg campaign says it flagged poll issue

The Buttigieg campaign praised the decision not to release the pre-caucus Des Moines Register poll, saying it informed the pollsters of a report that not all candidates were named in at least one phone survey.

“We applaud CNN and the Des Moines Register for their integrity,” tweeted Lis Smith, an adviser to the Buttigieg campaign.

The lack of a poll didn’t stop candidates from spinning the lack of results in their favor.

The survey, widely considered one of the best, was called off after pollsters found irregularities they feared could compromise their data. The shocking, last-minute announcement frustrated some supporters, especially those of Sanders, who felt the poll would bring positive news for their candidates.

Many were awaiting the results to see how the senator from Vermont, who has seen an uptick in recent Iowa polls, would perform. But Sanders’s campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, downplayed the cancellation.

“Let me break the suspense: it’s a very tight race,” he said in a Saturday night tweet. “And any of a number of candidates could win. So let’s work hard to turn people out.”

Yang opened an evening event with talk of the canceled poll and an apparent reference to a conspiracy theory circulating online linking the scrapped survey to Yang’s performance.

“They said they’re not releasing it, and we’re like, ‘What happened, what happened?’ ” Yang told the crowd. “So all these rumors are flying, and one of the rumors we’ve gotten is that we did really, really well in that poll.”

Biden, meanwhile, told reporters he was unfazed.

“I don’t care,” he said. “I don’t want to focus on that.”

3:03 a.m.
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Here’s what the polls that have already been released say

Even though the release of one of the most eagerly awaited polls of the young election season has been canceled, more than a dozen state surveys of Iowa voters have been published since October — and taken together, they represent the most complete picture of voters’ feelings ahead of the state’s caucuses.

A Washington Post average of the most recent Iowa state polls shows four candidates clustered closely at the top, with Biden at 23 percent, Sanders at 21 percent, Buttigieg at 18 percent and Warren at 15 percent, along with Klobuchar at 8 percent and other candidates at 3 percent or below.

The Des Moines Register-CNN-Mediacom poll published Jan. 10 revealed a similar picture of the race’s top tier, showing Sanders at 20 percent support, Warren at 17 percent, Buttigieg at 16 percent, Biden at 15 percent and Klobuchar at 6 percent.

The followup to that poll, which was supposed to be released Saturday night, was unexpectedly canceled after the pollsters found that a candidate’s name had been omitted from at least one survey call, potentially compromising the data.

2:40 a.m.
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Michael Moore accuses DNC of working against Sanders and for Bloomberg

CEDAR RAPIDS — Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, who has been introducing Sanders at events across Iowa in recent days, took sharp aim at the Democratic National Committee on Saturday night for changing its debate qualification metrics, accusing DNC officials of conspiring against Sanders and trying to boost former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg.

The DNC's change to a key fundraising requirement could enable billionaire Bloomberg to qualify for a future debate.

“They did this because they are so nervous and worried about Bernie,” Moore alleged.

A Sanders campaign spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the campaign agreed with Moore’s assessment.

Moore added, “We have a 1 percent in our party, too, and they think they can buy their way onto the stage with a billionaire.”

He said that “after watching the all-white Iowa debate — the fact that they would let Bloomberg into the next one because he has the cash and not allow Cory Booker and Julián Castro into the Iowa debate ... this is wrong.”

Moore concluded, “We must speak out against this. We must not allow this to happen.”

He said the DNC officials might change their minds if they heard from enough people. “Let them hear you right now!” he said, raising his microphone to the crowd as they erupted in cheers.

“This is totally false,” Xochitl Hinojosa, a DNC spokeswoman, said of Moore’s comments. “This is a conspiracy theory. Our criteria reflects the actual votes in two states and broad support through polling.”

2:30 a.m.
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Steyer encounters pre-caucus scrutiny — about his tie

WATERLOO, Iowa — Iowans are asking Tom Steyer tough sartorial questions in the final days before their first-in-the-nation caucuses. During a stop here Saturday evening, a voter queried the candidate’s choice of neckwear, asking whether he had different versions of the red plaid tie he always wears or if he dons the same one every day.

The billionaire former hedge fund manager assured her he has many versions, saying if there were just one tie, it would have “gravy all over it.”

Steyer indulged her with a bit of the backstory about his unusual neckwear, which has become something of a fascination, trending on Twitter during the January debate.

He explained that he has been wearing Scottish ties to work for 25 years, ever since he went into a shop and requested every such tie in stock. The salesperson even agreed to throw in a scarf free, Steyer said.

Satisfied, the voter asked the investor turned impeachment activist turned presidential candidate about the ballooning federal deficit.

2:02 a.m.
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Final Des Moines Register poll won’t be released

The highly anticipated release of one of the most vaunted Iowa state polls has been canceled after the pollsters said a candidate’s name was not included on at least one survey phone call, raising fears that their data may be compromised.

The final Des Moines Register-CNN-Mediacom poll before the Monday night caucuses was set to be released live on CNN on Saturday evening. But instead of that presentation, the network’s political director, David Chalian, announced that the poll would not be released “out of an abundance of caution.”

Chalian did not refer to a specific complaint, but said the issue could have compromised the results of the poll.

“We were unable to ascertain what happened during this respondent’s interview, and cannot determine if this was a single isolated incident,” Chalian said.

Meanwhile, the Des Moines Register, which was also set to release the poll results on its website, instead published a statement from its executive editor, Carol Hunter.

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

Hunter said the problem appeared to be limited to one surveyor, but the pollsters “cannot confirm that with certainty.”

“Nothing is more important to the Register and its polling partners than the integrity of the Iowa Poll,” she wrote.

The final Des Moines Register poll before caucus night is something of an electoral tradition. Conducted by the pollster Selzer & Co., the poll is widely considered one of the best, and campaigns pay close attention to the results — not only to see who is winning, but also to see whose support is surging and whose is falling away.

1:25 a.m.
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Biden parries protesters at consecutive Iowa events

WATERLOO — Biden’s final weekend in Iowa was marked by protesters, so much so that he started warning his audiences that there may be not-so-supportive people in the crowd.

“Someone’s probably going to stand up soon,” he told the Saturday evening crowd here. “At the last three events we did, someone stood up and shouted something.”

Biden’s first event of the day was interrupted by members of a comedy duo. One wore a shirt that said “settle for Biden.” Another asked for advice on how to get his wife back. Biden told the man they could certainly talk after the event. When the man pressed, Biden said, “I’m starting to see why she left you.”

An event in Cedar Rapids was also interrupted, but it was friendly fire. The interrupter was dressed as Santa Claus and said that a Biden presidency would be an early Christmas present.

1:03 a.m.
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Warren weighs in on Tlaib’s comment that she would ‘boo’ Clinton

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Warren weighed in Saturday evening on the controversy that emerged after Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), a surrogate of Sanders, said she would “boo” Hillary Clinton.

“I understand that during primaries, people can get heated,” Warren said.

Warren then pivoted to her new theme as a unity candidate, encouraging supporters to see her as the Democratic hopeful best able to bind a fractured party. “What’s important is we come together as a party, because we have one really important job, and that is to beat Donald Trump,” Warren continued. “And our best chance to do that is when Democrats work together.”

Tlaib expressed regret for her remarks Saturday, though some Sanders supporters are defending her.

Warren had raised some eyebrows earlier Saturday when, at a stop in Cedar Rapids, she appeared to be drawing a contrast between her approach and that of Sanders.

“This is not a campaign that says, ‘it’s us and nobody else,’ ” Warren said at that stop, a rare departure from her usual stump speech. Sanders’s campaign slogan, plastered on the side of his bus, is: “Not me. Us.”

But when asked by reporters if she was subtly criticizing Sanders, Warren said the refence wasn’t specifically directed at any of her competitors.

“It was not a knock on anyone,” Warren said. “I’m trying to build a grass-roots campaign that works for everyone,” she added.

Warren made a point of thanking supporters, who have moved to her from other candidates such as Sens. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Those are voters she hopes to move to her corner during the realignment process on Monday’s caucuses.

12:35 a.m.
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‘We better not screw this up’: Democrats take different approaches to Trump in Iowa closing messages

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Sen. Klobuchar doled out some advice at a stop here about handling President Trump. Sometimes, it’s best to ignore him, the senator from Minnesota said.

Then, she proceeded to recount the joke she used to jab back at the president when he mocked her for launching her candidacy in a blizzard — asking how his hair would fare in the snow.

The moment underscored the difficulty that Democratic candidates are having with messaging on Trump. They insist on the need to come up with a positive message that cuts through the noise.

But they also can’t stop discussing him, especially because they know the chief concern of likely caucus-goers on Monday is beating him.

Different candidates have taken different approaches in their closing messages to Iowans. Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., started his campaign talking about the need to “change the channel,” and he is closing out his tour through Iowa talking about the need to “turn the page.”

Warren has largely ignored the president as she maps out a broader argument about corruption that transcends Trump. That’s where she kept the focus during a town hall in Cedar Rapids on Saturday — her first since returning to Iowa from the impeachment trial in Washington.

Meanwhile, Biden used a dueling town hall in Cedar Rapids to take on Trump, who is virtually the singular focus of the former vice president’s closing pitch in Iowa.

“I shouldn’t get going,” he said, pausing as he began to get worked up. Then he got going anyway, quoting Trump’s comments from flash points of his first four years in office, including the deadly march in Charlottesville, Va.

“Everyone knows who Donald Trump is,” he concluded. “We have to let them know who we are.”

Klobuchar put it differently.

“We better not screw this up, because the stakes are just too high,” she warned.

12:15 a.m.
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Sanders’s caucus target: Latino voters usually overlooked in mostly white Iowa

DES MOINES — For Luis Gomez, community has always meant soccer. Growing up in Mexico, he would tag along with his father as he played with his friends on Sunday mornings. After moving to Iowa, they kept playing together, drawing in new friends.

So when Iowa organizers for Sanders encouraged the presidential hopeful’s supporters to find ways to bring people together and prepare for Monday’s caucuses, Gomez suggested a soccer tournament.

On a cold Saturday night in January, about 150 players — mostly Latinos, although there were also Bosnian, Nepalese and Bhutanese players — gathered at East High School for some 5-on-5 indoor matches. Members of the diverse high school’s JV soccer team, which Gomez coaches, were also there.

Before play began, campaign organizers coached players in Spanish and English on how to participate in the nation’s first presidential nominating contest and explained why they should caucus for Sanders. A Salvadoran team won the tournament and, as a prize, will meet Sanders on Sunday. The campaign walked away with contact information for 150 people.

Although Latinos make up just 6 percent of Iowa’s population — the vast majority of the state’s residents are white — they have more than doubled in number over the past two decades. There are more than 50,000 registered Latino voters in the state, plus thousands more who are eligible, making them a potential force in caucuses that campaigns expect to draw up to 240,000 voters.

Sanders’s operation has done far more than his competitors in seeking the support of those voters, having belatedly realized in his 2016 campaign the growing heft of Iowa’s Latino voters — and their attraction to him.

11:55 p.m.
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Buttigieg treads carefully on health care, potential running mates

ANAMOSA, Iowa — A woman at Pete Buttigieg’s gathering in Anamosa — a town of a little more than 5,000 people who voted for President Trump in the 2016 election — asked Buttigieg if he would consider choosing Klobuchar to serve as his vice president if he wins the nomination. The crowd at the town hall applauded the suggestion.

“I have a lot of admiration for her and for each of my competitors,” Buttigieg said. “We’ll be excited to team up with them in different ways.”

The former South Bend, Ind., mayor’s diplomatic response came at a time when many Iowans say they’re still undecided about who they’ll caucus for. Iowa contest rules also mean voters’ second choices could be nearly as important as their first, because voters backing candidates who earn less than 15 percent in an initial vote are free to shift support to other candidates. And, nationally, Klobuchar voters have shown a willingness to shift their support, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll.

The same woman at the Buttigieg event also said she had heard her friends, who are supporting other candidates, argue that he was involved in job-cutting operations during his time at McKinsey. He acknowledged that he had helped a health insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, cut administrative costs, but said he wasn’t “involved on that side of it.” Then, he provided a talking point for her to share with those friends.

“It’s worth pointing out to your friends supporting Senators Warren and Sanders that the idea of Medicare-for-all, whether you want it or not, would mean 100 percent job cuts for anyone who works for any insurance company,” he said.

But Buttigieg has also said that a public option, like the one he’s proposing, can lead to Medicare-for-all eventually.

“I’m skeptical of private insurance,” Buttigieg told the audience.

11:30 p.m.
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‘I’m behind there’: As Iowa caucuses near, Bennet stumps in New Hampshire

Bennet, too, was talking about Iowa on Saturday — but unlike nearly all of his Democratic rivals, he was doing so from New Hampshire, where his campaign has focused nearly all of its time and resources.

In an evening interview with CNN, Bennet explained why he was appearing on air from Manchester, rather than Des Moines, Clive or the constellation of other Iowa towns his fellow candidates have flocked to this weekend.

“To be honest with you, I’m behind there,” he said, referring to his bedraggled polling numbers in Iowa, where he’s hovering around 1 percent, according to the Washington Post polling average.

When asked whether his campaign in the state was a lost cause, Bennet said “not at all,” before conceding that it might be.

“We’ve tried to stick with them,” he said of his supporters in Iowa. “But they know a caucus state is a hard state to compete in if you don’t have the resources or the name recognition like some other candidates.”

As for the race in New Hampshire, he said, he feels more confident about his candidacy there, saying voters “aren’t as committed here” as they were in months past, a sign they’re “worried about whether the leading candidates can beat Donald Trump.”

Bennet also signaled he would back any Democratic nominee who isn’t him.

“I think any Democratic candidate could win, and I will do absolutely anything I can to support our nominee, no matter who it is,” he said.

However, Bennet said later in the interview, possibly referring to his own campaign, “It’s important we are not weeding people out prematurely in this race. I think this race has a long way to go.”

11:14 p.m.
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A look back at the 2016 Des Moines Register poll

Tonight, the Des Moines Register will release its Iowa poll, an event of nearly religious importance. The conventional wisdom is that Ann Selzer’s modeling is never wrong. That’s not quite true; Selzer herself joked that she’d been downgraded from the gold standard to “the silver standard” after her final poll of the 2016 GOP caucuses underestimated a surge of evangelical voters who would win the night for Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

One slip over many years isn’t so bad, though, and campaigns are watching Selzer’s poll not just for the leader, but also for a sense of who’s surging and who could get the second and third “tickets” out of Iowa.

In the 2016 Democratic caucuses, the last DMR poll showed Hillary Clinton at 45 percent (up three points from the previous poll), Bernie Sanders at 42 percent (up two) and Martin O’Malley at 3 percent (down one).

The Clinton-Sanders dynamic had locked into place months earlier, and while Sanders never led the DMR poll, his campaign was encouraged when support for Clinton stayed under 50 percent. The theory was that undecided voters, or voters still with O’Malley, would move toward the challenger, and they did. Clinton edged out Sanders by a few tenths of a percentage point in actual results.

Before the 2016 Republican caucuses, it was Donald Trump at 28 percent (+6), Ted Cruz at 23 percent (-2), Marco Rubio at 15 percent (+3), Ben Carson at 10 percent (-1), Rand Paul at 5 percent (no change), Mike Huckabee at 2 percent (-1) and Carly Fiorina at 2 percent (no change).

The one real miss in the poll’s recent history was simple to explain: Evangelical voters, who broke heavily for Cruz, turned out at a higher rate than expected, and nervousness about Trump helped move soft conservative supporters of Carson over to Cruz. The poll could never have captured another last-minute development: A CNN report on caucus night, about Carson heading to Florida for a short break, turned into a rumor that Carson would quit the race. Cruz’s better-organized forces capitalized on that to turn Carson voters in caucus rooms, a move that helped him win but that permanently alienated Carson.

Cruz ended up with 28 percent of the vote, compared with 24 percent for Trump, 23 percent for Rubio and 9 percent for Carson.

10:30 p.m.
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‘It’s time!’ New Warren chant spotlights gender in 2020

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Warren and her team have been trying to directly take on one of the more uncomfortable questions that voters and pundits have discussed in 2020: Can a woman beat President Trump?

In Iowa City on Saturday evening, they tried something a little different. A group of about a dozen self-identified former and current elected officials from the area took the stage in a gym here and chanted: “It’s time! It’s time! It’s time for a woman in the White House! It’s time!”

They cycled through it a few times to cheers, kicking off the Warren event with an argument about gender and a push for the first female president, which hasn’t been a motivator this year for many voters.

Nevertheless, the Warren campaign has persisted with this theme. The campaign has deployed signs that read “Women win,” and Warren has added a section of her stump speech dedicated to data about how well female candidates have done since 2016 in competitive races.