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In order to get newspapers to subscribe to his weekly polls, George Gallup promised he would predict the winner of the 1936 Presidential Election

in order to get newspapers to subscribe to his weekly polls, George Gallup promised he would predict the winner of the 1936 Presidential Election. He actually guaranteed the newspapers that were subscribing to his poll that if he was wrong, he would refund all their money, and that was part of their bet. Gallup also guaranteed that he would predict percentages more accurately than the leading than the leading poll fo the day, conducted by the Literary Digest magazine. The Literary Digest poll had picked the winner in every Presidential election since 1916. The digest poll was conducted on a vast scale. A staff of several thousand workers stuffed ballots into envelopes, in some years as many as 20 million of them. The ballots were mailed to names polled from automobile registration lists and telephone directories. The assumption ws that the more people you interview, of course you’re going to get closer to the truth. But the method George Gallop relied on was called quota samplin. The idea was to canvas groups of people who were representatives of the electorate. Gallop set out hundreds of interviewers across the country, each of whom was given quotas for different for different types of respondents; so many middle-class urban women, so many lower-class rural men, and so on. Gallup’s team conducted some 3000 interiews, butnowhere near the 10 million polled that year by the Literary Digest. Who is going to correctly predict the winner of the 1936 Presidential election, the Library Digest, or George Gallup? Explain your answer by discussing the methodology of each pollster, and by using the terminology provided in chapter 10.

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