PUBLIC OPINION polls have become an accepted part of everyday life in the 21st century. Political pollsters announce what the public thinks about a candidate or issue after surveying a few hundred randomly selected individuals, sometimes using controls to develop subgroups based on characteristics such as sex, race, age, education, and level of partisanship. Presidents of both parties monitor their approval ratings religiously, despite the fact that the public is notoriously fickle. For instance, George H.W. Bush's approval ratings, which soared to 83 percent during and immediately after the Gulf War, were so high that few Democrats were willing to challenge him in the 1992 election. However, Democrat Bill Clinton defeated him 370 to 168 in the electoral vote and 42.93 percent to 37.38 ...

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