Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A poll is either an election or a survey of a particular group. The word often refers to the election itself, as the place where voters cast their ballots is called a polling station. However, polls may also be surveys that merely canvass opinions and have no binding force. In this sense, a poll is often assumed to relate to politics, but it may simply refer to any survey of popular opinion.
Usually a poll is taken by asking a random sample of people a question. The sample is then calculated as a figure of the entire population, sometimes giving re-weighting answers based on how representative different groups were within the sample population.
Polls are frequently used by politicians in democratic countries to determine policies. Some think this is a good idea, other say this leads to a phenomenon known as "governing by the polls" which is devoid of real leadership.
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