Liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos, dropped a bombshell on the blogosphere this week when he announced that the Research 2000 polls his site had been publishing for a year and a half were "likely fabricated or manipulated." While Moulitsas says he will file a lawsuit accusing Research 2000 of selling him fraudulent data, the firm's president, Del Ali, refuted the charge "unequivocally," saying "we conducted every poll properly for the Daily Kos." What does this polling scandal mean?
This confirms conservatives' suspicions: Plenty of conservatives knew that Daily Kos' Research 2000 polls were "worthless" all along, says Jim Geraghty in National Review. Particularly suspect was R2K's infamous poll reinforcing liberal stereotypes of conservatives, which Markos Moulitsas "relied heavily" on while writing his forthcoming book, American Taliban. But, obvious as the fraud was, "this turn of events is pretty shocking."
"Was our skepticism of Kos/R2000 polls justified? Every bit, and then some!"
This proves we all should be wary of polls: Anybody could "be defrauded by a pollster," says Alex Pareene in Salon. Unless you're a statistician, you have little choice but to trust the numbers polling specialists give you. That goes for liberals and conservatives alike — don't forget that "lots of liberals have criticized suspiciously convenient-for-Republicans high-profile results from Rasmussen Research."
"Pollster accused of fabricating data, defrauding Kos"
At least Kos 'fessed up: It's too bad Moulitsas let himself be taken in by the infamous poll that said "Republicans are, like, the awfulest, stupidest people in the entire known universe, says Megan McArdle in The Atlantic, but it is to Markos Moulitsas' "eternal credit" that he reviewed the polls and renounced them when he found them to be fishy. Unfortunately, even though Research 2000 has been discredited, the damage has been done.
"Department of Awful Statistics"
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