Not surprisingly, the IBD/TIPP presidential tracking poll has been taking its share of lumps from critics who don't particularly like the results the poll is showing.
This isn't new. In 2012, when the poll showed President Obama leading Mitt Romney, at a time when other polls showed the opposite, conservatives accused IBD/TIPP of oversampling Democrats.
During the presidential primaries in 2015, when our poll showed Ben Carson leading Donald Trump, fans of Trump went ballistic, saying the sample size was too small, that it was an outlier, or that IBD had fudged the numbers.
Later, however, other polls showed Carson doing well against Trump. After the IBD poll came out, for example, the New York Times/CBS News poll showed Carson with a 26% to 22% lead over Trump.
IBD/TIPP has been the most accurate pollster over the last three presidential election cycles.
Then, Fox Business News decided to include the IBD/TIPP poll as one of four it used to determine which of the huge GOP field would be on its main debate stage, and which would appear in the undercard debate.
In that case, fans of Chris Christie went ballistic.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said that "If people in Christie's campaign might suggest there's a conspiracy for some reason to keep him off the stage, you would look at the polls that Fox Business chose. Investor's Business Daily was rated as one of the worst in 2012, polls that had John McCain getting over 70% of the youth vote in 2012 over Barack Obama."
"It is historically inaccurate and bad, and it's almost like they cherry-picked the one poll to specifically keep Chris Christie off the stage," he added.
But Scarborough had cherry-picked one subgroup from Day 11 of IBD/TIPP's 2008 tracking poll, which did show the youth vote going for McCain 74% to 22%. IBD itself made note of this peculiar finding, saying that this age group "has much fluctuation due to small sample size."
In the end, the IBD/TIPP poll proved to be the most accurate in the 2008 election outcome.
Now, critics are saying that IBD/TIPP wasn't the most accurate in the last election.
Frank Luntz tweeted that IBD/TIPP had Romney up by 5 points on October 10, 2012, as if to prove this point.
Unfortunately, Luntz's tweet was widely shared, despite the fact that it was totally misleading as a measure of the poll's accuracy.
As it turns out, that the result on that particular day came soon after the first presidential debate, in which Romney by wide acclamation soundly defeated Obama.
Several polls at the time showed Romney gaining ground as a result of his debate performance, and many other polls had him in the lead by Oct. 10.
But less than two weeks later, Romney had lost that ground, and IBD/TIPP showed Obama up by 2 points.
Others complained that IBD has been claiming to have had the most accurate final results in 2012.
Josh Marshall, publisher of the liberal Talking Points Memo, says "For days Donald Trump has been banging this gong about being ahead in the IBD/TIPP poll which he says was the most accurate poll in 2012. They're now claiming it was also the most accurate in 2008 and 2004. This has been driving me a bit nuts since this is unquestionably false. I decided to check my memory. So I went back to look the latest polls in 2012. As you can see, this isn't remotely true."
But Marshall never bothered to check the record. Whatever Trump might be saying, IBD didn't make the claim he was attacking.
The finding about our poll's accuracy in 2012 was the conclusion of Nate Silver, who now runs the FiveThirtyEight blog and was then writing for the New York Times.
Rather than look just at the final poll, Silver looked "at all the polls that a firm conducted over the final three weeks of the campaign, rather than its very last poll alone."
The reason, he said, "is that some polling firms may engage in "herding" toward the end of the campaign, changing their methods and assumptions such that their results are more in line with those of other polling firms."
When Silver did that analysis, he concluded that "Among the more prolific polling firms, the most accurate by this measure was TIPP, which conducted a national tracking poll for Investors' Business Daily."
Marshall was either unaware of this article (which is odd because it has been widely linked to by us and others) or he purposefully ignored it to make his point.
Also, notice that Marshall doesn't mention the results of the 2004 and 2008 elections, although he says it's "unquestionably false" that IBD/TIPP was the most accurate. That's probably because our final poll numbers were the most accurate in both those elections. IBD/TIPP was off by 0.4 points in 2004, and called the outcome exactly right in 2008.
Attacking polls that don't provide answers you want — without first checking the facts — isn't journalism. It's being childish.