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It's war! Lawyer for DailyKos details lawsuit against Research 2000

Okay, I just got off the phone with a lawyer for DailyKos, and he gave me a bunch of interesting new detail about the lawsuit Kos is going to file against the polling outfit Research 2000.

The gist: This is likely to be a serious lawsuit that is going to flush a lot out into the open, and prompt a serious discussion about what news orgs should be doing to vet polling data they commission.

In case you missed it, DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas today revealed that he was preparing to sue Research 2000, which Kos has commissioned polling from for years. Kos said a trio of statistics experts dug into their polling and concluded that much of the polling "we ran the past year and a half was likely bunk."

Kos's lawyer, Adam Bonin, tells me:

1) The lawsuit will be for breach of contract, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation, and will be filed in the Northern District of California, where Markos is based.

2) This goes beyond the trio of experts that Markos cited today. Bonin says that they took their findings to "other experts in statistics and polling," and that they agreed with the analysis finding the polling to be highly questionable. This underscores the seriousness of the charge.

3) The president of Research 2000 promised Markos in an email that the firm would divulge all of its data supporting the polling conclusions sold to DailyKos, but never followed through, Bonin says. He adds that a June 14th email from Research 2000 president Del Ali to Markos says: "As far as I'm concerned you can have all the raw data."

"They handed us fiction and told us it was fact," Bonin charged. "It's pretty damn clear that numbers were fabricated, and that the polling that we paid for was not performed."

Research 2000 chief Ali rejected the charge that anything is amiss. "I will tell you unequivocally that we conducted EVERY poll properly for the Daily Kos," Ali told the Post's polling director, Jon Cohen.

Kos' lawyer, for his part, rejected the idea that DailyKos should have shown more skepticism about the polling. "This was a reputable polster who had done polling for a number of other organizations," he said. "This is about defending the Web site and defending our readers from a fraud that was perpetrated on them."

Wow.

Full disclosure: This blog, like Post blogs, regularly linked to Research 2000 polls, because the firm has been on the Post's "approved" list. Like I said above, this is likely to prompt a serious discussion about whether news orgs should be doing more to vet the polling they commission or publish.

UPDATE, 3:37 p.m.: The attorney for Research 2000 tells Justin Elliott that the firm may counter-sue.

By Greg Sargent  |  June 29, 2010; 3:26 PM ET
Categories:  Political media  
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Next: Document undercuts key GOP Senator's assertion about Kagan, Dems say

Comments

"This is likely to ... prompt a serious discussion about what news orgs should be doing to vet polling data they commission."

You mean like insisting on a AAA rating from Moody's or something? :-)

Posted by: jzap | June 29, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

And they were still more accurate than Rasmussen....

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 29, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"And they were still more accurate than Rasmussen...."

We can assume that was some sort of joke?

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/06/pollster-ratings-v40-results.html

Posted by: sbj3 | June 29, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I've never put much stock in Research 2000, but when a poll last year said that Obama had a 5% disapproval in the Northeastern US, that clinched it. I can't believe Kos stuck with them as long as they did. Shouldn't they have realized it then?

Posted by: SDJeff | June 29, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"Like I said above, this is likely to prompt a serious discussion about whether news orgs should be doing more to vet the polling they commission or publish.
"

I hope it will. I'm not so sure it will, though. But I bet we'll hear "Liberal pollster gets fired for publishing fake data" until the cows come home.

Posted by: CTVoter | June 29, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, I don't see a systemic problem.

Kos got burned by lousy supplier. R2K had a good rep a few years ago when Kos started using them, but they seem to have gotten lazy and greedy.

Dell Computers is in the news today for having sold a HUGE number of defective computers to large firms, even while knowing they had defective components. (There's more, all pretty much bad news for Dell.)

But there's no sign that Dell's misbehavior is widespread among computer suppliers. Similarly with R2K. I don't really see the need for news outlets to panic over vetting the polling firms with whom they contract. Ordinary, normal due diligence should continue to do just fine.

Posted by: jzap | June 29, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Greg? Check out how memeorandum is referring to The Plumline--: Ezra Klein / The Plumline--and it's a link to your earlier post....

Posted by: CTVoter | June 29, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

CT -- thanks. They always do that. drives me nuts. :)

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 29, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

OMG - on the countersuit and the public brawl - this guy Ali is overlooking THE #1 LESSON about having such disputes with the media, one that have been proven time and again, i.e., Mark Twain, newspaperman and humorist had many a great quote attributed to him, including his observation on newspapers, "Never pick a fight with someone who buys his ink by the barrel." ........MODERN VERSION: http://www.greenberg-art.com/.toons/.Toons,%20Media/MarkTwain.html

Posted by: smd1234 | June 29, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

When Liberals shoot Liberals, everybody wins.

Posted by: LdSentinal | June 29, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Once again, we are all supposed to be caught unawares that everybody lies. Everybody.
This may not be the truth, either.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | June 29, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Cue Nelson from The Simpsons
HA-ha!

Posted by: OttoDog | June 29, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Well, WAPO, let us know who is on you approved list.

Then, let us no what important names are NOT on the list, and why.

response would be something like: oh, no it's a secret, not really news.

Posted by: docwhocuts | June 29, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

The vast majority of political polling is conducted via telephone - it should be fairly easy to establish whether or not there are telephone records that match the raw data. Additionally, around 10% of telephone surveys are silently monitored by supervisors - it should be possible to match payroll records with reported supervisory hours.

Also, if Markos Moulitsas was on the ball, project managers at the DailyKos would have been silently monitoring a small percentage of all telephone surveys as they were conducted.

Posted by: ashafer_usa | June 29, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

So the liars at the Daily Kos are whining about the liars who provide them the lies. No honor among thieves or moral relativists. The real casualty is objective truth.

Posted by: NCMike | June 29, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

New document seems to undercut key GOP attack on Kagan:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/document_undercuts_key_gop_sen.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 29, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Here is a pair of posts from Nate Silver over at 538 about the situation:

"BREAKING: Daily Kos to Sue Research 2000 for Fraud"...
http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/06/breaking-daily-kos-to-sue-research-2000.html

followed up by...

"My Own Suspicions About Research 2000"
http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/06/my-own-suspicions-about-research-2000.html

and lastly, this tweet on the 538 twitter feed just read:

"Just got a cease & desist letter from Research 2000. We will be posting it in full."

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 29, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

"...this is likely to prompt a serious discussion about whether news orgs should be doing more to vet the polling they commission or publish."

Not only that, but it should also prompt a discussion about polls that are released WITHOUT their internals. We constantly see polls, both internal and commissioned by news sites, that don't release the full cross-tabs (as DailyKos did). The idea that WaPo or NYTimes or CNN would run a poll and then not release the full set of data surrounding it should be getting a LOT more scrutiny.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 29, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Was there anyone that took any the polls form the Daily Kos seriously? I mean this is the poll cited by Kieth Olberman, and everyone always new it was wrong.

Posted by: Realist201 | June 29, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Most likely, the DailyKOS posting fraudulent polling data was about to be exposed, so Moulitsas had to get in front of the story so he feigns offended and mounts a lawsuit.

It'll become a pi$$ing match, a fradulent pollster vs a fraudlent website. It'll be worth watching for the entertainment factor.

Posted by: dcunning30 | June 29, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

LdSentinal: "When Liberals shoot Liberals, everybody wins."

Research 2000 has provided polling to, among others, Wall Street Journal, THe Nevada Gaming Commission and the conservative Portland Tribune. He is a regular commentator on Fox-TV and has a radio show on right wing talk radio-dominated KPAM in Portland, OR.

When conservatives fail to research and spout off it's called normal (or Fox News).

Posted by: ricknettles | June 29, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Typical lefties -- can't accept the truth no matter how it's presented. If the exit polls don't jive with the results, well, then the election must be rigged. If the polls don't agree with what lefties want them to say, then the polls must be rigged.

Anybody who disagrees with you must be insane. Yes, nothing's changed since Marx. Lefties are always correct, and everyone ALWAYS agrees with them; no matter how outrageous their claims are.

Unfortunately for you guys, the proles and the bourgeois middle class have caught on to all of your lies, and no longer buy them, and THAT'S your real problem.

The fact is, if Obama didn't have solid, 95% support from black voters, his approval ratings would be subzero right now, because he's screwing things up, they're getting worse, and everybody knows it.

Can't wait until November. And I can see 2012 from my house. Time for the lefty, nabob, loser, kleptocrat elitist pols who taxed us into this mess to become unemployed themselves. Now THAT'S one kind of reeducation I'd like to see.

Posted by: John1960 | June 29, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

relax ricknettles, what you fail to understand is that even though somehow, someway Fox and WallStreet Journal may have had a business dealing at some time, those outfits DIDN'T use the results. If you were a consumer of WallStreetJournal or FoxNews, you would know that.

Posted by: dcunning30 | June 29, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

"...this is likely to prompt a serious discussion about whether news orgs should be doing more to vet the polling they commission or publish."

Hah!
I wish it would do more than that...like maybe vet every "news" item for real "facts" before publishing.

But that will likely never happen...

Posted by: AWTH | June 29, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Postscript:

Kos complaining about being "misled" is like Hitler claiming he was lied to about the Jews.

This site has spent years folding, spindling and mutilating the facts to fit the lefty worldview. And, now, Moulitas wants to complain that the pollsters are to blame? Well, pal, to paraphrase Apocalypse Now, everyone gets what he wants, and you wanted a mission, and for your sins, they gave you one.

Posted by: John1960 | June 29, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Only the lunatic-left would believe a pol by kos, whose bias is unquestionable and whose ethics are non-existent. A poll by kos is as big a fantasy as one by washington post. Like the WaPo, kos polls fix the results by "enhancing" the number of lunatic-left respondents.

Posted by: TeaPartyPatriot | June 29, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/happy_hour_roundup_39.html

Posted by: sargegreg | June 29, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

SO! ...they're just now finding out that using ACORN troglodytes to collect numbers may've not been such a good idea after all.

Ooops...

Posted by: moovova | June 29, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I think the Daily Kos deluding itself into thinking that anyone other than those who wished Tony Snow suffer a painful death would ever read them as if they were a serious news source. They ran the polls because they were what they wanted to salt the news arena with....not that they cared a whit about truth, honesty and the American Way. It is way too late for them to try to be legitimate. It sort of like an 90 year old STD hooker trying to pretend she is an ingenue.

Posted by: 4NoParty | June 29, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

"They handed us fiction and told us it was fact," ...

Pretty much sums up what the incompetent empty suit Obama and his band of merry thugs and Democrats do every day.

Posted by: KJS1953 | June 29, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Holy Moly! It is going to come out the the US voting population is really made up of 85 percent conservatives, not 40 percent as recently reported. It could be that less then 10 percent of voters are progressives.

Wow won't the progressives be upset!

Posted by: cpameetingbook | June 29, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse


On the day of the Scott Brown - Marsha Coakley election in Massachusetts, WaPo ran an article calling the race "a dead heat". They referenced a Daily Kos poll that called it "a tie".

Every other pollster that day had Brown winning by from 5 to 10 points. Brown won by about 7 points.

WaPo hacks ignored all the other polls and only mentioned the Daily Kos poll.


Posted by: screwjob16 | June 29, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Daily Kos should have examined each poll for language, order, specific word choices, and phraseology. I would imagine they did this much. Secondly, supporting detail (all operant detail) of each poll should accompany the results. I am sure that Daily Kos would have done this.

I am still left unsure if the real complaint is the results of the polls or a complaint that the polls were simply fraudulent.

ABC, CBS, NBC learned long ago under the loving hand of Brill's Content that simply spouting poll numbers without any escape route was, well, humiliating.

When it comes to polls, one word can dramatically change results.

Daily Kos should have been in control of each and every word, so as long as the polls were actually performed in the manner prescribed, the problem results belong to Kos.

It will be interesting to find out which finding will surface.

Posted by: SeanShryne | June 29, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Here you see the difference between liberals and conservaties. Liberal are concerned with the truth and accuracy of their polling. Conservatives only care if Rasmussen boosts the Republican viewpoint - and bother if Ras is a 28 point outlier like it was with Angle a couple of weeks ago.

Obarmann and Madow have never been caught in a lie. Limbaugh and Beck are caught in well documented lies on an almost daily basis.

Liberals deal with facts and conservatives work to obfuscate facts, because conservatives have no other choice.

Posted by: Miss_Fedelm | June 29, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

As an earlier poster wrote:

Cue Nelson Muntz from the "Simpsons":
Ha! Ha!

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Posted by: kaixindian | June 29, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Research 2000 has a sketchy looking website and little real information. It is reportedly based in Olney, MD, yet it is not a registered business in Maryland under that name.

Most of the clients listed are small media outlets in swing states. Have not researched to see if they exist.

Many questions. Few answers...yet.

Posted by: vintageaccent | June 29, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Excellent news! Liberal outlets the the initiative to ensure they're presenting as much factual information as possible. When are the conservo sites going to initiate a similar investigation of Rasmussen who has (as indicated on 538) shown similar suspect results as R2K?

You'll understand if I don't wait up for conservos to behave ethically...

Posted by: washpost18 | June 29, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

@dcunning30: Took me all of 30 seconds to debunk your claim. From May 6: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/05/06/paul-mongiardo-lead-in-ky-senate-poll/

And from 2006: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,238636,00.html

Now what do you want to make up?

Posted by: ricknettles | June 29, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Funny to think how many times DailyKos calls FOX FAUX NEWS when in fact its Kos thats giving FAUX info. Its easy to provide daily pablum to the leftists zombies who do no thinking for themselves.

Posted by: dencal26 | June 29, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Reading the DailyKos is like watching a deformed fetus grow into a monstrous, cancerous, pulsing tumor that wants attention at all costs.

Posted by: joesmithdefend | June 29, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Reading the DailyKos is like watching a deformed fetus grow into a monstrous, cancerous, pulsing tumor that wants attention at all costs.

Posted by: joesmithdefend |

------------------------------------------------------------

Gee, kinda like a Faux-news sponsored teabagger rally. Makes the hate you people spew even harder to understand.

Posted by: washpost18 | June 30, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

This nice poll is apparently what got some people questioning the product:

http://www.dailykos.com/statepoll/2010/1/31/US/437

These were questions supposedly asked of "2003" (number, not a year) self-identified Republicans from all geographic regions of the U.S. and all ages. The RP is about 51/49 male/female right now - so they said they interviewed 1125 males and 878 females (56/44%). It should go without saying that they said they interviewed 89% or over 1,700 "whites" and the remaining 11% "other" races. That is also not corresponding to the current membership.

Any one of the many insane, offensive questions asked by a pollster would have gotten me to hang up or laugh loudly and ask for the number of a supervisor or other responsible party. Questions like:
Do you believe Barack Obama is a racist who hates white people? Yes 31% No 36% Not sure 33%

and

Should openly gay men and women be allowed to teach in public schools? Yes 8 % No 73% Not sure 19%

They paid for it, they printed it, they LOVE IT. Something much worse has to have happened. Maybe even THEY couldn't take it any longer. Right now today they're reporting that Barbara Boxer has a "thin lead" over Carly Fiorina in the California Senate race - of course! I remember when Cruz Bustamante had a "healthy" lead in that gubernatorial "recall" election to replace Gray Davis.

I'm a 5th-generation female Republican, very much by choice. I have a graduate school education, I am a single mother, and I am among the top 5% in female income earners. I have 3 different successful careers, including college professor. My union mailboxes have been stuffed with Democratic candidates, demands, and solicitations for years.

Do you really think every Republican is like this fake poll describes? I bet you don't know what party was the party of Frederick Douglass, or Abraham Lincoln, or why my forebears from Missouri would have fought for the Union or been Republicans? What is worse - to have comparative religions taught in school, or to have history books take away the beliefs of over 260,000 Union soldiers and 90,000 African-Americans and Mr. Lincoln in the Civil War? You tell me which is worse, because I am a Republican because I believe in freedom. For all Americans.

Posted by: ASterling1 | June 30, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

I do not believe that a lawyer working for kos told you this, if they did they are making it up. When a lawsuit is about to happen they clam up not wanting to give details. They possibly gave you details knowing your going to print them making it look like they are correcting a wrong when in fact it is damage control and they are trying to save face.
In my opinion kos is a pathetic liar and his rag is nothing more than fodder from a pond of scum.

Posted by: muneshadowe | June 30, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

More liberal culture of DEATH. Everything left wing is about killing human life from the left wing, the Marxists, the progressives. Everything. This is like George Bernard shaw, master Eugenicist and liberal, quote:

"You must all know half a dozen people at least who are no use in this world, who are more trouble than they are worth. Just put them there and say Sir, or Madam, now will you be kind enough to justify your existence? If you can’t justify your existence, if you’re not pulling your weight in the social boat, if you’re not producing as much as you consume or perhaps a little more, then, clearly, we cannot use the organizations of our society for the purpose of keeping you alive, because your life does not benefit us and it can’t be of very much use to yourself."

In 1936, Shaw publicly defended Stalin's Great Terror, saying, “Even in the opinion of the bitterest enemies of the Soviet Union and of her government, the [purge] trials have clearly demonstrated the existence of active conspiracies against the regime... I am convinced that this is the truth, and I am convinced that it will carry the ring of truth even in Western Europe, even for hostile readers.”[15] Shaw likewise defended Stalin's mass executions, scolding, "we cannot afford to give ourselves moral airs when our most enterprising neighbor... humanely and judiciously liquidates a handful of exploiters and speculators..."

One of Shaw's long-term obsessions was mass murder by means of poison gas. In a 1910 lecture before the Eugenics Education Society, he said:
"We should find ourselves committed to killing a great many people whom we now leave living... A part of eugenic politics would finally land us in an extensive use of the lethal chamber. A great many people would have to be put out of existence simply because it wastes other people's time to look after them."


LIBERALISM IS A MENTAL DISORDER.

Posted by: mickrussom | June 30, 2010 1:46 AM | Report abuse

The conservo responses here just further demonstrate the conservo culture of DEATH. Everything right wing is about killing those who refuse to fall in line with the conservative delusions. This is like Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. From his manifesto, "Industrial Society and it's Future":

The psychology of modern leftism

6. Almost everyone will agree that we live in a deeply troubled society. One of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world is leftism, so a discussion of the psychology of leftism can serve as an introduction to the discussion of the problems of modern society in general.

7. But what is leftism? During the first half of the 20th century leftism could have been practically identified with socialism. Today the movement is fragmented and it is not clear who can properly be called a leftist. When we speak of leftists in this article we have in mind mainly socialists, collectivists, "politically correct" types, feminists, gay and disability activists, animal rights activists and the like. But not everyone who is associated with one of these movements is a leftist. What we are trying to get at in discussing leftism is not so much a movement or an ideology as a psychological type, or rather a collection of related types.

CONSERVATISM IS A MENTAL DISORDER

Posted by: washpost18 | June 30, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Americans: DailyKos Defrauded Us

I would never contribute a cent to this rag...MoveOn.org and ActBlue donors - this is how your money is spent. Wonder which law firm will gain all your hard-earned contributions as a result of this ridiculous, liberal, Progressive mental burp?

Posted by: joesmithdefend | June 30, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Kos is doing a CYA with the suit. My bet...they knew the polls were crap all along, most of what they handle is crap. Now, someone or somthing is going to blow and Kos needs the cover...I'm just sayin.

Posted by: Phocus | June 30, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

@Greg,

It is website and not Web site.

Posted by: davebarnes | June 30, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Research 2000 got busted because Markos insisted on publishing the crosstabs of every poll.

It's strange how you *never* see crosstabs from Rasmussen published. What do they have to hide?

Posted by: lol-lol | June 30, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

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