Sample The Gallup Poll (Grades 6-8) Worksheet
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The Gallup Poll
By Tammy Scarbrough

1     What kind of peanut butter do you like? Crunchy or smooth? What kind of animal makes the best pet? Cat, dog, or rabbit? These are simple questions asked in a survey. If someone decided to ask a series of questions to many different people in many different places, you would have an "opinion poll" that would reflect the thoughts of most people.
2     George Gallup was born in 1901 in Jefferson, Iowa. As he grew up, he was very interested in what people thought. By asking simple questions in a way that the average person could answer, he could put his finger on the pulse of the nation. When he began the opinion poll, he called it "America Speaks."
3     There were other polls at the same time, such as The Literary Digest. This poll would mail out millions of surveys to people who would answer the questions and mail them back. At one time during a presidential election in 1936, two people were running for president - Landon and Roosevelt. The Literary Digest sent out survey questions to people who had cars and telephones. Using a mailing list of these people only got one kind of person's opinion - the rich. Remember that at this time, America was in the Great Depression, and only wealthy people could afford such luxuries as a phone or car.

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