Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos says he'll sue Research 2000, the polling firm that has conducted a weekly State of the Nation poll for the site for a year and a half.
Research 2000 -- whose client list includes the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal -- tells Talking Points Memo it has done nothing wrong. "I will tell you unequivocally that we conducted EVERY poll properly for the Daily Kos," company president Del Ali says.
Moulitas, aka Kos, disavowed every poll done by Research 2000 after getting a report from three "statistics wizards," who wrote: "We do not know exactly how the weekly R2K results were created, but we are confident they could not accurately describe random polls."
Among other evidence, the stats wizards present the following results as almost statistically impossible. Take a look and see if you can spot the same weirdness that caught their attention. I'll put the answer after the jump.
ANSWER, for those who ready to read it.
In every instance, the result is either even for both genders or odd for both genders. The investigators write that the pattern is repeated, a lot:
For their favorable ratings (Fav), the even-odd property matched 776 times. For unfavorable (Unf) there were 777 matches.
Common sense says that that result is highly unlikely, but it helps to do a more precise calculation. Since the odds of getting a match each time are essentially 50%, the odds of getting 776/778 matches are just like those of getting 776 heads on 778 tosses of a fair coin. Results that extreme happen less than one time in 10228. That's one followed by 228 zeros. (The number of atoms within our cosmic horizon is something like 1 followed by 80 zeros.) For the Unf, the odds are less than one in 10231. (Having some Undecideds makes Fav and Unf nearly independent, so these are two separate wildly unlikely events.)