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Radwan 1

To What Degree are Polls an Accurate Measure of Public Opinion in the US?
Mohamed Radwan
US VA Government
4/14/13
Pd.3

Word Count: 1,748

Radwan 2
Table of Contents
Part A: The Plan of Investigation 3
Part B: Summary of Evidence 3
Part C: Evaluation of Sources 5
Part D: Analysis 6
Part E: Conclusion 8
Part F: Sources 9

Radwan 3
Part A. Plan of Investigation
Research Question: To What Degree are Polls an Accurate Measure of Public Opinion in the US?
This investigation analyzes if polls are an accurate measure of public opinion in the US. Some people believe that polls are not an accurate measure of public opinion in the US. This investigation will analyze why polls can be and frequently are very accurate in some aspects of polling. To analyze it further, this investigation focuses on study’s made by published authors who are respected in their field. Polls that measure facts, tend to be more accurate than polls that measure opinion, and polls that measure opinion are more accurate than polls that measure future intentions. Polls can be and frequently are very accurate in some aspects of polling.  
The two sources that will be evaluated on their origins, purposes, values, and limitations are Are Polls Accurate by Burns W. Roper and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Public Opinion Polls by Russell D. Renka.
 Part B. Summary of Evidence
Many people believe that polls are an inaccurate measure of public opinion. They believe that sampling error is to blame. Sampling error is not to blame because “While sampling error is the most commonly given reason for polling error, it is usually the smallest error in a survey” (Roper 24). Other reasons for error in a survey; “poor timing of the survey, misinterpretation of survey results, and improper context in which a question or question series is asked” (24). The greatest error of all, however, “results from question wording. “Yeasay”...

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