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LETTER: Don’t believe latest presidential poll on Nevada

Your Tuesday editorial referenced polls by The New York Times, Sienna College and the Philadelphia Inquirer showing Donald Trump leading Joe Biden in Nevada by double digits. As someone who has taught statistics and research methods for many years, I have serious problems with the surveys.

First off, the sample size consisted of only 600 people, with 39 percent independent, 26 percent Republican and 25 percent Democrat. Six-hundred registered voters does not represent a valid sample when you consider that there are more than 1.9 million registered voters in Nevada. Are we to believe that a sample size this small represents the voting population in our state?

This poll fails the test of scientific credibility. A sample is supposed to represent the population from which it is drawn. Where were the sample voters located? There are counties that are solidly Republican (Nye), and those that are populated by a majority of Democrats (Clark). What about the demographics, such as age, race, ethnicity, sex, gender and social class? These factors have the potential to influence the outcome.

Despite the findings of this poll, the only one that matters is the one that happens at the ballot box. I suspect we will see a very different outcome in November.

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