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Sampling

Prior to the November, 2000 presidential election George W. Bush had a comfortable lead in the polls. But on election day Bush ended up losing the popular vote by a small margin (although winning the electoral vote). Read the following article below written before the election:

Larry Kudlow (2000) The Weak-End of Polling, Retrieved February 27, 2008, from http://www.nationalreview.com/kudlow/kudlow071800.html

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Write a three to five page paper answering the following questions:

A. Why do you think different polls got such a wide range of estimates of Bush's lead in the polls, ranging from a 12% lead to a 4% lead?

B. What sampling techniques would you use to get the most accurate estimate of which candidate would win on election day?

Make sure to use information from the background materials in your answers.

Solution Preview

I can't write the paper for you, but here are some things to think about when completing the assignment:

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A. Why do you think different polls got such a wide range of estimates of Bush's lead in the polls, ranging from a 12% lead to a 4% lead?

There were lots of different estimates of Bush's lead. For example:

* CNN/USA Today Gallup poll:48% of likely voters would choose Bush
* CBS News poll: 43% of registered voters say they will vote for Bush
* Newsweek: 4-point lead for Bush
* AP poll had the race dead even

Estimates can be influenced by several factors:

* When the poll was conducted: weekend vs weekday, right after a news event, etc.
* Wording ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides guidance in completing the assignment; it offers ideas to think about, definitions, and references for writing the essay.

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