Best Tweets: Chuck Todd, Markos Moulitsas Spar Over Polling

To robo-poll, or not to robo-poll

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It began with Charlie Crist's communications director saying that poor poll results merely reflected the "bad mood" of the electorate. This statement blossomed into a three-way philosophical debate about polling among Politico's Jonathan Martin, MSNBC's Chuck Todd, and Markos Moulitsas of the eponymous Daily Kos. Martin began casual tweet on the the Crist campaign's frustration, asking: "are we now at pt [point] where every poll is taken as equally legit? Seems like it." Moulitsas and Todd chimed in.
Martin: My poll point is not about ppp [Public Policy Polling] or any specific pollster. Just the trend of any and all numbers now being bandied about as legit.

Moulitsas: If a poll has a proven track record, why not?

Todd: It's the real problem with the coverage of polls; I'd argue a LARGE majority of the public state political polling is garbage

The debate eventually spiraled into a back-and-forth between Todd and Moulitsas on robo-polling:

Moulitsas: What's your case against robo polls? PPP and SUSA [Survey USA] have been solid performers, better than the live caller polls.

Todd (multiple tweets): Where to begin: But for 1 thing: robo-polls can get the order correct but they artificially inflate the actual results ... Also, these cheap robo-pollsters can "dial-a-poll" for almost nothing and then only use their FINAL poll as proof of their accuracy ... Obviously, you know that I'm obsessed with this issue; but these robo-polls flood unsuspecting media; again, they get order right ... but the MARGIN is where they get WAY off. I've seen robo-pollsters get results claiming no-name candidates have a 75% name I.D. ... Final word on robo-polls; if methodology were so accurate; campaigns would use it because it's cheaper; in this case, u get what u pay for

Moulitsas (multiple tweets): Campaign polling is more than just the horserace ... btw, I know 2 campaigns who ARE using robo ... So you won't actually support this claim?

Todd shoots for the last word: "Biggest beefs are inflated results & some WILDLY off crosstabs; Spent long time on this; wish I HAD confidence since I love numbers." Moulitsas challenges: "Write up your evidence. You have platform."

Other highlights from the Twitterverse include Mark Knoller of CBS's enthusiastic tweeting of Michelle Obama's donation of her inaugural gown to the Smithsonian, as well as ABC's Jake Tapper: "Janet Reno is on my plane"

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.