Apparently liberal web site Daily Kos thinks its polling firm has bilked it, and it’s relying on a statistical analysis of poll results that appear to show some extraordinarily unlikely patterns.
The pollster, Research 2000, vigorously denied the accusations. And it is fighting the accusations hard, to the point of having its lawyer insist that another critic, Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com, cease and desist from his harsh commentary.
The analysis can be found here. And I think the analysis is worth summarizing. Of course, I don’t know whether any results or fabricated. Nor do I know what legitimate adjustments Research 2000 makes to its raw data. I think the discussion is important for actuaries and other number crunchers to understand.
Parts of the critique are tough to follow, in part because the authors – a political consultant, a retired physicist and a wildlife research technician – are trying to explain fairly sophisticated analysis in Everyman terms. That’s never easy. It’ll take a long post from me just to summarize their work.
Basically, the authors work off two principles. Continue reading