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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Moulitsas Admits Daily Kos/Research 2000 Polls Bogus

Markos Moulitsas from Daily Kos claims he will be filing suit against Research 2000 for fabricating poll results.

We have mentioned before that most Daily Kos/Research 2000 polls were off when compared to every other poll conducted on the same elections or topic.

For one small example out of the many to be found, take Nevada, Harry Reid against Sharron Angle, Rasmussen shows Angle 7 ahead of Reid, Las Vegas Review Journal/Mason-Dixon has Angle up my 3 and Daily Kos/Research 2000 has Reid up by 6.

This is one of the reasons I recently stopped using the Real Clear Politics averages, where they use all the latest polls to average out their numbers because they included the Daily Kos/Research 2000 figures which skewed those averages to the point where those averages were no longer reliable.

Tue Jun 29, 2010 at 10:01:39 AM PDT- Markos Moulitsas:

We contracted with Research 2000 to conduct polling and to provide us with the results of their surveys. Based on the report of the statisticians, it's clear that we did not get what we paid for. We were defrauded by Research 2000, and while we don't know if some or all of the data was fabricated or manipulated beyond recognition, we know we can't trust it. Meanwhile, Research 2000 has refused to offer any explanation. Early in this process, I asked for and they offered to provide us with their raw data for independent analysis -- which could potentially exculpate them. That was two weeks ago, and despite repeated promises to provide us that data, Research 2000 ultimately refused to do so. At one point, they claimed they couldn't deliver them because their computers were down and they had to work out of a Kinkos office. Research 2000 was delivered a copy of the report early Monday morning, and though they quickly responded and promised a full response, once again the authors of the report heard nothing more.

While the investigation didn't look at all of Research 2000 polling conducted for us, fact is I no longer have any confidence in any of it, and neither should anyone else. I ask that all poll tracking sites remove any Research 2000 polls commissioned by us from their databases. I hereby renounce any post we've written based exclusively on Research 2000 polling.

Kos initially explained in a post titled "Research 2000: Problems in plain sight"

A bit over two weeks ago, a group of statistic wizards (Mark Grebner, Michael Weissman, and Jonathan Weissman) approached me with a disturbing premise -- they had been poring over the crosstabs of the weekly Research 2000 polling we had been running, and were concerned that the numbers weren't legit.

I immediately began cooperating with their investigation, which concluded late last week. Daily Kos furnished the researchers with all available and relevant information in our possession, and we made every attempt to obtain R2K's cooperation -- which, as I detail in my reaction post here -- was not forthcoming. The investigators' report is below, but its conclusion speaks volumes:

He then provides the whole report.

Hot Line On Call reminds readers:

Moulitsas announced June 9 that he would terminate his site's relationship with Research 2000 after Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) defeated AR LG Bill Halter (D) in a Dem primary runoff; two Research 2000 polls had shown Halter, Daily Kos' preferred candidate, with small leads.

The dismissal also came shortly after ranked Research 2000 as one of the worst-performing prolific pollsters in their pollster ratings, which have come under fire from Research 2000 and other pollsters.

Research 2000 denies any wrongdoing in their polling for Daily Kos, via TPM:

R2K president Del Ali tells TPMmuckraker in an email, "I have much to say, however, I am following my attorney Richard Beckler' ESQ's counsel and referring all questions to him. I will tell you unequivocally that we conducted EVERY poll properly for the Daily Kos."

There is also some back and forth between Kos lawyers and Research 2000 regarding the data and billing. (Another TPM post)

While Moulitsas gets some kudos for bringing this out publicly, one has to wonder why it took others to point the errors out and how he could have missed the fact that most of the polls conducted for him were at serious odds with other pollsters. He has been using Research 2000 for years and it should not have taken this long to figure out that there was a problem. That is on him.