Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lies, damned lies and the Daily Kos poll

Back in February, when Daily Kos released a poll showing that nearly a quarter of all Republicans believe their state should secede from the Union, I scoffed:
I’m no expert on polling, but: nearly a quarter of Republicans think their state should secede from the Union?* Really? Something doesn’t add up here. It makes for a rather convenient narrative from a liberal-Democratic point of view, but is it actually true? Sorry, but I can’t imagine that it is. And if that’s not true, then the rest of the poll results are questionable, to say the least. I’d like to believe the GOP is this crazy, but I don’t.
Turns out I was right:
Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas announced today he will file a lawsuit against MD-based pollster Research 2000, alleging that polls Research 2000 was conducting for the liberal blog were fabricated.

Moulitsas today published a report by three readers he describes as "statistics wizards" that he says shows "quite convincingly" that Research 2000 was manufacturing the results of weekly national polls.

"Based on the report of the statisticians, it's clear that we did not get what we paid for," Moulitsas wrote on his website today.

"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."
As I said in February: Beware polls that too neatly confirm your biases. I knew that. It's too bad that Kos didn't.

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