Far-Left Daily Kos Just a 'Political Blog' at the Times

Reporter Joseph Plambeck had every opportunity to identify Daily Kos as a far-left blog in his Thursday story "Politics Blog Questions Polling Data It Had Used," but failed to do so.

Political junkies are fascinated by the emerging brawl between Markos Moulitsas, founder of the far-left campaign blog Daily Kos, and the polling firm Research 2000, which has been providing him with encouraging data for Democrats and slams of Republican voters as racist and conspiratorial. Moulitsas is accusing the Maryland company of having "fabricated or manipulated" polling results, based on statistical analysis done by three of his readers.

The political blog Daily Kos said Tuesday that it could not trust the data it has used in its weekly poll featured prominently at the top of the Web site, raising questions for the second time in a year about the veracity of a widely used polling company.

Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga, the founder of Daily Kos, said in a post that an analysis done by three readers shows "quite convincingly" that the polling data provided each week to the blog by the widely used polling company, Research 2000, was "likely bunk." The weekly poll has been published since January 2009. He is planning to sue the company for breach of contract and misrepresentation.

The analysis, published on Daily Kos and written by Mark Grebner, Michael Weissman and Jonathan Weissman, describes "extreme anomalies" in the research they analyzed and concluded that the results did not accurately reflect random polls.

Del Ali, Research 2000's president, said in an interview Wednesday that "we're probably going to get this thing resolved soon," but that his lawyer had advised him to not comment further.

The Times has cited Research 2000's data in several news stories but has not commissioned polling from the group itself. More significantly, liberal columnist Charles Blow used the firm's research to mock Republicans as conspiracists in his August 8, 2009 column.

Plambeck returned again to Moulitas (in a concluding paragraph that didn't make the print edition) touting "his blog's success" and portraying Kos, who notoriously dismissed with an obscene phrase the brutal murders of four civilian contractors in Iraq a newly discerning data-miner.

Mr. Moulitsas said that because of his blog's success, there are other polling organizations willing to work with him, adding that he will require them to provide all of the raw data. "I'm not getting out of the polling game," Mr. Moulitsas said. "I eat it. I breathe it. The last thing I want to do is see the demise of polling. I don't know what I'd write about."

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