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Suppose you are designing and conducting a poll to see which of the Congressional candidates are popular in your area. Discuss the following: the population that you are trying to predict; where and how are you selecting your sample; what sampling method would you use; and how you would ensure that you are selecting a representative sample. Show an example of how you would present your data.

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When creating a poll to judge the popularity of particular Congressional candidates, it's important first to determine which candidates will be part of the poll and which districts they represent. Knowing the boundaries of the district will keep the pollster from samplings outside of the requisite voting area.

Generally, the wider the net the pollster casts across the entire district and the greater number of voters sampled, the more accurate the poll will be. This includes sampling voters from different neighborhoods within the district, different ethnics groups, different age groups, different sexes, and different religions, among other factors. By oversampling, say, young Latinas, the pollster may get a very different reaction than if all sexes, ages, and ethnicities are sampled. Naturally, the makeup of the district will have an effect on whether certain groups are more heavily sampled than others.

Two primary sampling methods are commonly used. The first is called a "probability...

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