2. What does +/- 5 mean? Discuss the concept of margin of error in detail.
The margin of error states how sure the pollsters are. For example, a margin of error of +/-5 means that if the current population was randomly selected again, no less than five percent and no more than 5 percent would choose the candidate. In other words, if 90% of the people randomly selected said I was going to win the presidential election with a margin of error of +/- 5, that means if the poll were taken again with randomly selected people no fewer than 85% and no more than 95% would say I would win.
3. How can there be errors in telephone polling?
First, not everyone owns a telephone or is in the telephone book. Second, most telephones are answered by the elderly or women, which could mean no variety in sampling and possible bias. Third, half of American registered voters do not vote, which could really mess up the predictions. Fourth, most Americans work outside and will have a small chance of actually picking up the phone.
4. How can the phrasing of the question determine the answer?
If the questioner asks a question where one candidate seems favored over the other, the one answering may phrase their answers in the same way the questioner phrased their question. For example, if the questioner phrases a question where one candidate is associated with positive words (like winning) the answerer may subconsciously associate that candidate with winning as well.