I’ve been scoffing at the results of the Research 2000 polls commissioned by Markos Moulitsas over at Daily Kos for a long while, but this turn of events is pretty shocking:
I have just published a report by three statistics wizards showing, quite convincingly, that the weekly Research 2000 State of the Nation poll we ran the past year and a half was likely bunk.
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.
Even worse for Markos Moulitsas, he apparently was working on a book, entitled American Taliban, that relied heavily on a Research 2000 poll of American conservatives.
UPDATE: Markos declares via Twitter, “No premises in American Taliban depend exclusively on R2K polling.”
On his site, he elaborates, “Book was stripped of references to R2K, except in two instances where I couldn’t do so without affecting page count (too late for me to do that since the index was done), but those two examples also references other supporting polling, so my premise didn’t depend on the R2K results.”