A poll receiving media attention in recent days found that a majority of Democrats following Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Russiagate probe support the investigation of Hillary Clinton personally, but methodology issues make the poll’s findings less clear.
The TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics (TIPP) found that 66% of Democrats, 91% of Republicans, and 65% of Independents following the investigation believe that it is “somewhat” or “very” important that Durham investigate Clinton. However, only 364, or 28%, of the 1,308 adults surveyed from Jan. 5-8 described themselves as “closely” following the investigation. That number includes 33% of Democrats, 31% of Republicans, and 23% of Independents.
The poll does have some technical drawbacks though. Pollsters often criticize internet opt-in surveys for a consistent bogus response rate and a lower response rate overall. Other pollsters have suggested that internet opt-in surveys are more prone to selection bias than other forms of polling.
On the other hand, TIPP, which often partners with International Business Daily (IBD), has an A+ rating from FiveThirtyEight. The bureau has correctly called 81% of races for which it has released polls.
TIPP’s president, Raghavan Mayur, noted his organization’s weighting process, which is intended to correct for selection bias.
“TechnoMetrica weighted the study dataset by gender, age, race, education, and geographical region to mirror known benchmarks such as the U.S. Census,” he told the Daily Caller.
Mayur added that TIPP uses online surveys because the “cost of telephone surveys is prohibitive. For directional trends, online surveys are cost effective. We have done pretty well and our results speak for itself.”
The TIPP survey resurfaced following the release of a new legal filing from Durham in the case of Michael Sussmann, a former Perkins Coie attorney charged with lying to the FBI about his work for the Clinton campaign. Sussmann is accused of denying that he was working for a client when he passed information to then-FBI General Counsel James Baker about Russian meddling in the 2016 election. (RELATED: Top FBI Official Met With DNC Lawyer On Russia Prior To 2016 Election)
The filing revealed that Durham believes the Clinton campaign paid a tech company that had access to internet data associated with Trump Tower, Trump’s New York apartment and the Executive Office of the President. The tech company, Neustar, and its executive, Rodney Joffe, used the proprietary data to “establish ‘an inference’ and ‘narrative’ tying then-candidate Trump to Russia,” according to the filing.
Throughout the course of Durham’s investigation, the U.S. government has charged three individuals, Sussmann, Russia analyst Igor Danchenko and ex-FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, for crimes related to the origins of the federal government’s investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.