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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 05:13 PM ET, 06/29/2010

Polling wars: Kos takes on Research 2000

Writing on his eponymous blog, Markos Moulitsas has leveled a devastating fraud charge against the firm that has conducted its polls over the past two years.

In the detailed accusation, Kos presents statistical analyses he says suggest the Daily Kos tracking polls conducted by Research 2000 were "likely bunk." Del Ali, Research 2000's president categorically denies presenting fraudulent data. Both sides have threatened lawsuits.

However this dispute turns out, there's a new, blazing light on the rampant confusion about the right ways to judge poll quality. Saving the longer discussion, one thing is clear: to assess quality, one needs to know the facts. At this point, too little is currently known about the Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll to make definitive statements. (Research 2000 has a record of releasing more information than about their polling than some other prolific providers.)

We hope more information will emerge in the coming days.

On a closely related note, the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) has launched a "transparency initiative" to encourage greater openness among pollsters who conduct surveys for public consumption (Disclosure: I serve on AAPOR's executive council.) AAPOR also has recently updated its Code of Professional Ethics and Practices (PDF), including a revised standard for disclosure.

By  |  05:13 PM ET, 06/29/2010

Categories:  Polls, Polls, Polls

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