Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas took to his website Tuesday morning to announce his recent decision to file a lawsuit against former pollster, Research 2000.
According to Moulitsas, a recent report carried out by "three statistics wizards" shows that a certain amount of the data compiled by the Maryland-based polling company for the Daily Kos's weekly "State of the Nation" poll was, in fact, "bunk."
"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," Moulitsas wrote in his post.
"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," he continued.
Moulitsas pledged to hire "a new pollster (or pollsters) to work with, helping us to fulfill our vision of surveying races and issues that are often overlooked by the traditional media and polling outfits."
According to Hotline On Call:
The analysis was conducted for Moulitsas by political consultant Mark Grebner, retired physicist Michael Weissman and wildlife research technician Jonathan Weissman. Grebner was also involved in an analysis of polls by GA-based GOP pollster Strategic Vision that concluded the surveys may have been fabricated. The Strategic Vision analysis was reported on FiveThirtyEight.com, where the three have associated in the past.
Moulitsas cut ties with Research 2000 earlier in June after Nate Silver's popular website FiveThirtyEight.com rated the company as one of the least accurate pollsters in operation.
FiveThirtyEight met Tuesday's news of the forthcoming Research 2000 lawsuit by highlighting a particularly questionable data trend from the company's polls. Visit the site for a graphic interpretation of the data:
In particular, Obama's favorability number rarely remained the same from week to week in Research 2000's tracking, instead almost always moving in one direction or the other by at least a point.
Compare this to Obama's weekly approval numbers in Gallup's polling, which resembled a far more natural and indeed fairly normal distribution.
The bombshell is already already beginning to reverberate across online news outlets. Talking Points Memo has already purged Research 2000's data from their polling databases.
R2K president Del Ali told Talking Points Memo Tuesday:
"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."