RHL School

Reading Comprehension
Volume 6, Number 6, October 16, 2000

Political Polls

Many people are closely following the political polls during the final weeks preceding this important election. But how do these polls actually work?
Polls are surveys of a relatively small number of people compared to the actual number who will vote. They are an attempt to determine who may actually win an election in advance of the final vote.
Let’s say that 100 million people are expected to vote in the general election. If 100 people are asked for their opinions, each respondent represents a million voters. Obviously, the results of such a poll are not very reliable. The more people surveyed, the more meaningful are the results.
Pollsters have various ways of making their polls more accurate. They try to find a representative variety of people to question. For example, they look for people with similar backgrounds and from similar regions to those of all the voters.
Pollsters also ask questions that try to determine how many people who support each candidate will actually vote. If a candidate has a higher percentage of enthusiastic supporters than his opponent, he has a better chance of winning than the simple numbers might suggest. Pollsters may only count those who they consider to be “likely voters.”
If we look at polls that are taken over time, we can often detect a trend. We can tell if a candidate is gaining or losing support when we compare the most recent poll to earlier ones.
Polls often ask potential (those who could be) voters what they like or dislike about each candidate. The campaigns use those results to help them decide which issues to stress or which positions to clarify. They can also determine which voters to target with their messages.
Because no two people are the same, polls can never be perfect predictors of the real vote. But they can give important clues as to where things may be heading. At the very least, if you like politics, polls can be great entertainment.


Solve the puzzle using the highlighted words from the article.






2. Surveys
4. Make clear
6. Able to be counted on
7. Figure out
9. Correct
11. Clearly
12. Try
14. Stands for
15. Find, or notice


1. Matters of discussion
2. Coming before
3. Areas, or places
5. Really
8. Interested in; excited about
10. One who responds, or answers
13. The way that something is developing or changing

Puzzle created by Crossword Compiler.

rhlschool.com.RHL School - Free Worksheets and MoreCopyright 2000 RHL

G Delicious Delicious

Reading Comprehension Menu

RHL School Home