GMAT Question of the Day - Daily to your Mailbox; hard ones only

It is currently 17 Dec 2018, 08:59

R1 Decisions:

Michigan Ross Chat (US calls are expected today)  |  UCLA Anderson Chat  (Calls expected to start at 7am PST; Applicants from Asia will hear first)


Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Close

Request Expert Reply

Confirm Cancel
Events & Promotions in December
PrevNext
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
2526272829301
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
Open Detailed Calendar
  • 10 Keys to nail DS and CR questions

     December 17, 2018

     December 17, 2018

     06:00 PM PST

     07:00 PM PST

    Join our live webinar and learn how to approach Data Sufficiency and Critical Reasoning problems, how to identify the best way to solve each question and what most people do wrong.
  • R1 Admission Decisions: Estimated Decision Timelines and Chat Links for Major BSchools

     December 17, 2018

     December 17, 2018

     10:00 PM PST

     11:00 PM PST

    From Dec 5th onward, American programs will start releasing R1 decisions. Chat Rooms: We have also assigned chat rooms for every school so that applicants can stay in touch and exchange information/update during decision period.

Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely

  new topic post reply Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
TAGS:

Hide Tags

Manager
Manager
User avatar
G
Status: EAT SLEEP GMAT REPEAT!
Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 168
Location: India
GMAT ToolKit User Reviews Badge
Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 24 Jun 2018, 00:33
1
15
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  75% (hard)

Question Stats:

51% (01:50) correct 49% (02:08) wrong based on 366 sessions

HideShow timer Statistics

Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely thrown away their congressional majority in the upcoming election. In polling ever since the bill was passed into law, Republican congressmen have consistently trailed their closest competitors by an average of 8 to 10 percentage points.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the pundit’s argument relies?

A. None of the Republican congressmen’s closest competitors were in favor of the tax bill.
B. The poll numbers prior to the tax bill’s passing were substantially different than those taken after the tax bill passed.
C. The tax bill is no less popular with likely voters than it is with unlikely voters.
D. A higher percentage of likely voters oppose the new tax bill than support it.
E. The tax bill has been the most unpopular piece of legislation passed by the Republicans since the last election.

_________________

Regards,
Adi

Most Helpful Expert Reply
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
User avatar
G
Joined: 01 Jul 2017
Posts: 61
Location: United States
Concentration: Leadership, Organizational Behavior
Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post Updated on: 30 Jun 2018, 11:43
8
2
There seems to be a lot of discussion and confusion about how to tackle this question, so here is the full "GMAT Jujitsu" for this question:

Our first strategic item of business is to use leverage from the question stem to identify the problem type. This one isn't subtle; after all, the question asks for an "assumption on which the... argument relies." Assumption questions are a sub-type of traditional Strengthen questions, but for those of you studying for the GMAT, it might be worth noting that Assumption questions play by slightly different rules.

If a question asks you for an unstated fact (in other words, an "assumption") upon which an argument "relies", that is a pretty high bar. With regular Strengthen questions, any answer choice that helps the conclusion to be valid can strengthen the argument. However, when a problem asks for an "assumption on which the... argument relies," you are looking for an answer choice FUNDAMENTALLY CRITICAL to the viability of the conclusion. In other words, you might look at the correct answer of an Assumption question and say to yourself, "Self, if that answer isn't a reality, there NO WAY the conclusion could function." This is why the tactic I call my classes the "Assumption Negation Technique" is so useful. The basics of the Assumption Negation Technique is this: if the OPPOSITE of an answer choice makes it impossible for the original conclusion to be true, then the original (non-negated) answer choice must be necessary for the conclusion.

However, in my opinion, the Assumption Negation Technique can be both overused and misused. First of all, sometimes it is quite difficult to logically negate a complex sentence. Then, once you have done that, many test takers start trying to add in all sorts of extra information into their logic to "prove" that the negated statement is crucial. For me, I only use the Assumption Negation technique once I have easily eliminated most of the other answer choices using regular logic. It is much easier to use when you are down to a 50-50 choice between two answer choices. Trying to negate all five answer choices -- and then evaluating them to see if their logical opposites undermine the conclusion -- can be a time-consuming process. I don't want to work harder than I have to. I bet neither do you. So, let's evaluate this question, but let's do it intelligently.

There is a clear logical gap between the conclusion and the rest of the argument. The pundit seems to be arguing that the Republicans' passing of the tax bill will cause them to lose their majority in an upcoming election. You could drive a truck through this logical gap. In my classes, I call this type of error "Correlation is not Causation." Just because the Republicans passed a tax bill before an upcoming election doesn't mean the tax bill -- and the tax bill alone -- would cause them to lose the majority. The problem states that ever since the bill, the Republicans have been trailing their opponents. But could there be other factors that might cause this? Who says the tax bill is even a deciding factor in the election? We need to find an answer choice that connects the polling numbers to the tax bill. Anything else is a trap.

Answer choice "A" is a classic trap I call "Overkill." First of all, extreme statements that begin with "never", "always", or "none" are rarely NECESSARY for an argument. Even if the tax bill was a major sticking point in the election, is it easily possible that a few opponents on the other side of the aisle liked the bill. The argument doesn't require "none." Get rid of "A". (Incidentally, an extreme statement like "A" could be used in a regular Strengthen question. There is a reason why I said Assumption questions play by slightly different rules.)

Answer choice "B" also contains a classic trap of the GMAT, but for entirely different reasons. If you eliminated answer choice "B", the test totally used your own thinking momentum against you. Many people might read "B" and think: "But 'substantially different' could be either higher or lower!" Yes, "substantially different" could mean higher or lower. And yet, think about it: the primary assumption of the pundit is that there is a causal link between the bill and the polling numbers. If there was no substantial difference in the polls before and after the tax bill, then the tax bill clearly couldn't have been a cause of the polling numbers! Answer choice "B" is necessary for the argument. (By the way, can you see how I modeled the "Assumption Negation Technique" here? It isn't used haphazardly. You have to understand what the problem is asking, as well as understand the logical gap!)

Many test takers incorrectly eliminate answer choice "B" because they misunderstand the structure of the question. If this were a regular "Strengthen" question (where you are simply looking for information that helps the conclusion) then "B" would be a poor choice. After all, "substantially different" could mean lower or higher. But this is not a regular "Strengthen" question. The question stem explicitly asks for something upon which the argument "relies." The argument assumes that the tax bill caused a difference in the polling. If the tax bill didn't cause a difference, the argument fails. Answer choice "B" says there is a before-and-after difference. We don't know what that difference is, but the argument needs there to be a difference! "B" is it.

Answer choice "C" tries to sound complicated by inserting awkward negation. Don't fall for it. If you slow down and pick apart the answer, you should be able see that, if anything, "C" would actually help -- not hinder -- the Republicans. It says that the tax bill is not "less popular" with likely voters. If it is not less popular, then the bill could be more popular with likely voters. This would help the Republicans, not hurt them. "C" is easy to eliminate.

"D" is a very common wrong answer. When you contrast "D" with "C", it sounds like "D" isn't far from the mark. This answer choice strengthens the argument by implying that, on average, likely voters do not support the tax bill. But this is not a regular "Strengthen" question. We need to focus on what the question is actually asking: we are looking for an assumption necessary for the conclusion to function. While "D" helps the argument, it is not necessary for the argument to be valid. Think about it: what if 10% of the voters don't like the tax bill, 9% like it, and 81% don't care at all? A higher percentage of voters might not like the tax bill, but we still don't know if the tax bill even matters to the majority of the public! Additionally, while likely voters might not like the tax bill, it is equally possible that the polling results are due to something else. What if the Republicans in this question were already behind in the polls? What if they were going to lose the majority anyway? If this were the case, then the pundit's assumption that the reaction to the tax bill caused the poll results (and will cause problems with the election down the road) falls apart. "D" is useful, but isn't required by the argument. Get rid of it.

A parallel argument might be instructive here. Imagine if the problem said, "Candidate A has really bad facial acne. Most people don't like facial acne. Therefore, Candidate A is going to lose the election." Yes, it might be true that most people dislike zits. But we still can't assume a causal link between acne and elections. Ugly candidates get elected to office all the time! In like manner, just because people don't like the bill, this still doesn't mean that this is what is causing the polling numbers to shift. The argument needs something more... something to show that the passing of the tax bill truly changed how people feel about the candidates. That is what the argument requires, and answer choice "D" doesn't quite get there.

Finally, "E" can be eliminated for the same reasons as "A". It is "Overkill" (a common trap in Assumption questions.) It isn't necessary that the tax bill was the "most unpopular piece of legislation." While answer "E" might be a great option if this were a Strengthen question, we can't argue that the argument hinges on such an extreme statement.

Now, for those of you studying for the GMAT, here is a review of some of the major takeaways with this question: First, notice the difference in approach between Strengthen questions and Assumption questions. Yes, these question types are related. Both question types require you to recognize the logical gap between the conclusion and the rest of the argument. But Assumption questions have a higher standard. 3 of the 5 answer choices in this problem could arguably strengthen the argument (A, D, and E), but that is not sufficient. Answer choice C actually undermines the pundit. In the end, there is only one answer upon which the argument "relies" -- "B". This problem is a great reminder for making sure you know exactly what the question is asking.
_________________

Aaron J. Pond
Veritas Prep Elite-Level Instructor

Hit "+1 Kudos" if my post helped you understand the GMAT better.
Look me up at https://www.veritasprep.com/gmat/aaron-pond/ if you want to learn more GMAT Jujitsu.


Originally posted by AaronPond on 28 Jun 2018, 17:14.
Last edited by AaronPond on 30 Jun 2018, 11:43, edited 9 times in total.
General Discussion
VP
VP
User avatar
P
Joined: 05 Mar 2015
Posts: 1004
Re: Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 24 Jun 2018, 12:00
Adi93 wrote:
Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely thrown away their congressional majority in the upcoming election. In polling ever since the bill was passed into law, Republican congressmen have consistently trailed their closest competitors by an average of 8 to 10 percentage points.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the pundit’s argument relies?

A. None of the Republican congressmen’s closest competitors were in favor of the tax bill.
B. The poll numbers prior to the tax bill’s passing were substantially different than those taken after the tax bill passed.
C. The tax bill is no less popular with likely voters than it is with unlikely voters.
D. A higher percentage of likely voters oppose the new tax bill than support it.
E. The tax bill has been the most unpopular piece of legislation passed by the Republicans since the last election.



A. None of the Republican congressmen’s closest competitors were in favor of the tax bill.
B. The poll numbers prior to the tax bill’s passing were substantially different than those taken after the tax bill passed.
C. The tax bill is no less popular with likely voters than it is with unlikely voters.
D. A higher percentage of likely voters oppose the new tax bill than support it.
E. The tax bill has been the most unpopular piece of legislation passed by the Republicans since the last election.[/quote]

Ans B
Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 02 Feb 2018
Posts: 4
CAT Tests
Re: Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 25 Jun 2018, 17:50
Can someone please give the official explanation?

Thanks in advance.
Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 19 May 2018
Posts: 15
Re: Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 25 Jun 2018, 20:56
C - it gives the reason why have voters increased and they have trailed

Sent from my CPH1727 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
Math Expert
User avatar
V
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 51263
Re: Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 25 Jun 2018, 21:13
1
Adi93 wrote:
Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely thrown away their congressional majority in the upcoming election. In polling ever since the bill was passed into law, Republican congressmen have consistently trailed their closest competitors by an average of 8 to 10 percentage points.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the pundit’s argument relies?

A. None of the Republican congressmen’s closest competitors were in favor of the tax bill.
B. The poll numbers prior to the tax bill’s passing were substantially different than those taken after the tax bill passed.
C. The tax bill is no less popular with likely voters than it is with unlikely voters.
D. A higher percentage of likely voters oppose the new tax bill than support it.
E. The tax bill has been the most unpopular piece of legislation passed by the Republicans since the last election.


VERITAS PREP OFFICIAL SOLUTION:



As with any Strengthen/Weaken/Assumption problem, here you should identify the conclusion and the premise that supports it. The pundit is concluding that the passage of the tax bill will cost the Republicans the election, and his evidence is that that since the bill was passed Republicans have been trailing in the polls.

An important gap to notice here is one of correlation vs. causation: Republicans are trailing in the polls and a tax bill has been passed, but do you know that the tax bill is the reason for those polls? What if they were already trailing in the polls?

Choice (B) directly attacks this gap. With Assumption questions it can be very helpful to negate answer choices (the Assumption Negation Technique) to see if the negated choice directly weakens the argument (if it does, it's correct). (B), negated, would say that the poll numbers were essentially the same before and after the bill was passed, meaning that the bill itself hasn't had an impact on Republicans' prospects. This directly weakens the pundit's claim that passing the tax bill is going to cost Republicans their majority, so (B) must be correct.

Assumption Negation is a good way to eliminate (A): if you negate (A) it would say that some of the Republicans' competitors supported the bill. Does this cripple the argument? Even if a few challengers supported the bill, that doesn't change the fact that Republicans are still losing in the poll and that many competitors could still strongly oppose the bill. Note: you rarely, if ever, need "none" (or "only" or "all") in an Assumption answer choice - correct assumption answers are something that needs to be true in order for the conclusion to hold, and that level of absoluteness is seldom necessary.

With (C), again note the negated version, which would say that the tax bill is less popular with likely voters than with unlikely voters. If anything this would help the argument by saying that among those who will actually participate in the election, the bill is at its least popular.

(D) may seem close - if the negated version were true and more likely voters supported the bill than opposed it that would seem to say that it's a popular bill, right? - but note that the election isn't about the bill itself, but about which officials will go to congress. If the bill was enough to take some Republican supporters and switch them to the competitors (who have earned votes from other voters for other reasons) that could still mean that the bill was enough to swing the election.

And (E) falls victim to the same problem with (A) - you don't need this bill to be the "most unpopular" bill. As long as it has created a shift in polling from "winning" to "losing" the conclusion still holds.
_________________

New to the Math Forum?
Please read this: Ultimate GMAT Quantitative Megathread | All You Need for Quant | PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW: 12 Rules for Posting!!!

Resources:
GMAT Math Book | Triangles | Polygons | Coordinate Geometry | Factorials | Circles | Number Theory | Remainders; 8. Overlapping Sets | PDF of Math Book; 10. Remainders | GMAT Prep Software Analysis | SEVEN SAMURAI OF 2012 (BEST DISCUSSIONS) | Tricky questions from previous years.

Collection of Questions:
PS: 1. Tough and Tricky questions; 2. Hard questions; 3. Hard questions part 2; 4. Standard deviation; 5. Tough Problem Solving Questions With Solutions; 6. Probability and Combinations Questions With Solutions; 7 Tough and tricky exponents and roots questions; 8 12 Easy Pieces (or not?); 9 Bakers' Dozen; 10 Algebra set. ,11 Mixed Questions, 12 Fresh Meat

DS: 1. DS tough questions; 2. DS tough questions part 2; 3. DS tough questions part 3; 4. DS Standard deviation; 5. Inequalities; 6. 700+ GMAT Data Sufficiency Questions With Explanations; 7 Tough and tricky exponents and roots questions; 8 The Discreet Charm of the DS; 9 Devil's Dozen!!!; 10 Number Properties set., 11 New DS set.


What are GMAT Club Tests?
Extra-hard Quant Tests with Brilliant Analytics

SVP
SVP
User avatar
D
Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 1919
Reviews Badge CAT Tests
Re: Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 26 Jun 2018, 05:10
Adi93 wrote:
Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely thrown away their congressional majority in the upcoming election. In polling ever since the bill was passed into law, Republican congressmen have consistently trailed their closest competitors by an average of 8 to 10 percentage points.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the pundit’s argument relies?

A. None of the Republican congressmen’s closest competitors were in favor of the tax bill.
B. The poll numbers prior to the tax bill’s passing were substantially different than those taken after the tax bill passed.
C. The tax bill is no less popular with likely voters than it is with unlikely voters.
D. A higher percentage of likely voters oppose the new tax bill than support it.
E. The tax bill has been the most unpopular piece of legislation passed by the Republicans since the last election.


GMATGuruNY

Why is "C" wrong? how to negate it ?

Thanks
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
avatar
S
Joined: 04 Aug 2010
Posts: 310
Schools: Dartmouth College
Re: Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 26 Jun 2018, 06:10
1
Mo2men wrote:
GMATGuruNY

Why is "C" wrong? how to negate it ?

Thanks


C, negated:
The tax bill is less popular with likely voters than with unlikely voters.
In suggesting that the tax bill is unpopular with likely voters, this negation STRENGTHENS the conclusion that Republicans who passed the bill have likely thrown away their congressional majority in the upcoming election.
Since the correct negation must invalidate the conclusion, eliminate C.
_________________

GMAT and GRE Tutor
Over 1800 followers
Click here to learn more
GMATGuruNY@gmail.com
New York, NY
If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Kudos" icon.
Available for tutoring in NYC and long-distance.
For more information, please email me at GMATGuruNY@gmail.com.

SVP
SVP
User avatar
D
Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 1919
Reviews Badge CAT Tests
Re: Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 29 Jun 2018, 02:44
AaronPond wrote:

"D" is a very common wrong answer. When you contrast "D" with "C", it sounds like "D" isn't far from the mark. This answer choice implies that, on average, likely voters do not support the tax bill. However, we need to focus on what the question is actually asking: we are looking for an assumption necessary for the conclusion to function. Even though likely voters don't like the tax bill, it is equally possible that the polling results are due to something else. The pundit inappropriately draws a causal link between the poll results and the tax bill. What if the Republicans in this question were already behind in the polls? The pundit's argument falls apart. "D" isn't required by the argument. Get rid of it.


Dear Aaron,

Thanks for your great explanation.

Can you please expand more about how Choice D can't be an answer without applying negation test? I did not get your explanation in choice D.

Thanks in advance
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
avatar
S
Joined: 04 Aug 2010
Posts: 310
Schools: Dartmouth College
Re: Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 29 Jun 2018, 03:51
1
Mo2men wrote:
how Choice D can't be an answer without applying negation test? I did not get your explanation in choice D.


An assumption is a statement that MUST BE TRUE for the conclusion to hold.
D implies the following:
To conclude that Republicans are trailing in the polls because of the tax bill, IT MUST BE TRUE that a majority of likely voters oppose the bill.
Not so.
Republican candidates could be trailing in the polls simply because 25% of likely voters oppose the bill.
Since D is not a statement that must be true, eliminate D.
_________________

GMAT and GRE Tutor
Over 1800 followers
Click here to learn more
GMATGuruNY@gmail.com
New York, NY
If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Kudos" icon.
Available for tutoring in NYC and long-distance.
For more information, please email me at GMATGuruNY@gmail.com.

SVP
SVP
User avatar
D
Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 1919
Reviews Badge CAT Tests
Re: Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 29 Jun 2018, 04:02
GMATGuruNY wrote:
Mo2men wrote:
how Choice D can't be an answer without applying negation test? I did not get your explanation in choice D.


An assumption is a statement that MUST BE TRUE for the conclusion to hold.
D implies the following:
To conclude that Republicans are trailing in the polls because of the tax bill, IT MUST BE TRUE that a majority of likely voters oppose the bill.
Not so.
Republican candidates could be trailing in the polls simply because 25% of likely voters oppose the bill.
Since D is not a statement that must be true, eliminate D.


Dear GMATGuruNY

The conclusion here is that "Republicans have likely thrown away their congressional majority in the upcoming election" but it is that "Republicans are trailing in the polls because of the tax bill". Does not this change the way to look into D?
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
avatar
S
Joined: 04 Aug 2010
Posts: 310
Schools: Dartmouth College
Re: Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 29 Jun 2018, 04:31
Mo2men wrote:
GMATGuruNY wrote:
Mo2men wrote:
how Choice D can't be an answer without applying negation test? I did not get your explanation in choice D.


An assumption is a statement that MUST BE TRUE for the conclusion to hold.
D implies the following:
To conclude that Republicans are trailing in the polls because of the tax bill, IT MUST BE TRUE that a majority of likely voters oppose the bill.
Not so.
Republican candidates could be trailing in the polls simply because 25% of likely voters oppose the bill.
Since D is not a statement that must be true, eliminate D.


Dear GMATGuruNY

The conclusion here is that "Republicans have likely thrown away their congressional majority in the upcoming election" but it is that "Republicans are trailing in the polls because of the tax bill". Does not this change the way to look into D?


The conclusion is that Republicans have likely thrown away their majority by PASSING THE TAX BILL.
In other words, the argument links passage of the bill to the negative poll results and to the probability of losing in the next election.
Clearly, Republicans could be trailing in the polls and could lose their majority even if only 25% of voters oppose the bill.
Thus, D is not a statement that MUST BE TRUE for the conclusion to hold.
_________________

GMAT and GRE Tutor
Over 1800 followers
Click here to learn more
GMATGuruNY@gmail.com
New York, NY
If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Kudos" icon.
Available for tutoring in NYC and long-distance.
For more information, please email me at GMATGuruNY@gmail.com.

Director
Director
User avatar
P
Joined: 09 Mar 2017
Posts: 524
Location: India
Concentration: Marketing, Organizational Behavior
WE: Information Technology (Computer Software)
CAT Tests
Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 29 Jun 2018, 08:18
Bunuel wrote:
Adi93 wrote:
Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely thrown away their congressional majority in the upcoming election. In polling ever since the bill was passed into law, Republican congressmen have consistently trailed their closest competitors by an average of 8 to 10 percentage points.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the pundit’s argument relies?

A. None of the Republican congressmen’s closest competitors were in favor of the tax bill.
B. The poll numbers prior to the tax bill’s passing were substantially different than those taken after the tax bill passed.
C. The tax bill is no less popular with likely voters than it is with unlikely voters.
D. A higher percentage of likely voters oppose the new tax bill than support it.
E. The tax bill has been the most unpopular piece of legislation passed by the Republicans since the last election.


VERITAS PREP OFFICIAL SOLUTION:



As with any Strengthen/Weaken/Assumption problem, here you should identify the conclusion and the premise that supports it. The pundit is concluding that the passage of the tax bill will cost the Republicans the election, and his evidence is that that since the bill was passed Republicans have been trailing in the polls.

An important gap to notice here is one of correlation vs. causation: Republicans are trailing in the polls and a tax bill has been passed, but do you know that the tax bill is the reason for those polls? What if they were already trailing in the polls?

Choice (B) directly attacks this gap. With Assumption questions it can be very helpful to negate answer choices (the Assumption Negation Technique) to see if the negated choice directly weakens the argument (if it does, it's correct). (B), negated, would say that the poll numbers were essentially the same before and after the bill was passed, meaning that the bill itself hasn't had an impact on Republicans' prospects. This directly weakens the pundit's claim that passing the tax bill is going to cost Republicans their majority, so (B) must be correct.

Assumption Negation is a good way to eliminate (A): if you negate (A) it would say that some of the Republicans' competitors supported the bill. Does this cripple the argument? Even if a few challengers supported the bill, that doesn't change the fact that Republicans are still losing in the poll and that many competitors could still strongly oppose the bill. Note: you rarely, if ever, need "none" (or "only" or "all") in an Assumption answer choice - correct assumption answers are something that needs to be true in order for the conclusion to hold, and that level of absoluteness is seldom necessary.

With (C), again note the negated version, which would say that the tax bill is less popular with likely voters than with unlikely voters. If anything this would help the argument by saying that among those who will actually participate in the election, the bill is at its least popular.

(D) may seem close - if the negated version were true and more likely voters supported the bill than opposed it that would seem to say that it's a popular bill, right? - but note that the election isn't about the bill itself, but about which officials will go to congress. If the bill was enough to take some Republican supporters and switch them to the competitors (who have earned votes from other voters for other reasons) that could still mean that the bill was enough to swing the election.

And (E) falls victim to the same problem with (A) - you don't need this bill to be the "most unpopular" bill. As long as it has created a shift in polling from "winning" to "losing" the conclusion still holds.


B says 'substantially different'. 'Different' does not mean'higher'. It could mean that before the bill was passed, the republicans were trailing by 90 points (that also is substantially different). In that case the bill did not overthrow the Republicans( implies that it impacted positively and weakens the conclusion). Similarly, if before the bill was passed , the Republicans were leading by 90 points ( substantially different ), the bill made the difference(strengthening the conclusion)
Hence, B can not be warranted as correct answer choice.

AaronPond,
Conclusion is " the Republicans have likely thrown away their congressional majority in the upcoming election." ===> bill impacted NEGATIVELY. Not just in a causal manner as mentioned in your explanation. B can also show that the bill impacted positively as described in my above reasoning. Please clarify on the mentioned grounds.
Thank you.
_________________

------------------------------
"Trust the timing of your life"
Hit Kudus if this has helped you get closer to your goal, and also to assist others save time. Tq :)

Senior Manager
Senior Manager
avatar
S
Joined: 04 Aug 2010
Posts: 310
Schools: Dartmouth College
Re: Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 29 Jun 2018, 08:54
1
PREMISE:
In polling since the passage of a recent tax bill, Republicans have trailed their competitors by 8 to 10 percentage points.
CONCLUSION:
By passing the recent tax bill, Republicans have thrown away their majority in the upcoming election.

The argument uses the POLLING to support the conclusion.
It ASSUMES -- without any evidence -- that the Republicans' negative poll numbers are DUE TO the passage of the tax bill.
B, negated:
The poll numbers prior to the tax bill’s passing were essentially identical to those taken after the tax bill passed.
Here, Republicans were trailing by 8 to 10 percentage points BEFORE the passage of the tax bill, trashing the assumption in red and invalidating the conclusion that the tax bill will be responsible for the Republicans' loss in the upcoming election.


_________________

GMAT and GRE Tutor
Over 1800 followers
Click here to learn more
GMATGuruNY@gmail.com
New York, NY
If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Kudos" icon.
Available for tutoring in NYC and long-distance.
For more information, please email me at GMATGuruNY@gmail.com.

Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Status: Applying
Affiliations: test
Joined: 16 Apr 2012
Posts: 33
Location: India
Yawer: Yawer
Concentration: Marketing, Technology
GMAT 1: 200 Q33 V33
WE: Consulting (Internet and New Media)
Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 29 Jun 2018, 15:38
I disgaree with the OA here although many have explained why B is correct. It says Republicans "consistently trailed their closest competitors by an average of 8 to 10 percentage points.".

Neither the answer nor the question stem explain that Republican's popularity has reduced because of the tax bill. It only says poll numbers are "substantially different". It could both be different positively or negatively.

What if Republicans after gaining majority and before passing the bill were trailing by 20-30%?
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
User avatar
G
Joined: 01 Jul 2017
Posts: 61
Location: United States
Concentration: Leadership, Organizational Behavior
Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 02 Jul 2018, 14:31
Mo2men wrote:
Dear Aaron,

Thanks for your great explanation.

Can you please expand more about how Choice D can't be an answer without applying negation test? I did not get your explanation in choice D.

Thanks in advance

Thank you for your question! Here is a more complete analysis of answer choice "D". For the convenience of other people studying for the GMAT, I also updated my original response so that everything is all in one place.

"D" is a very common wrong answer. When you contrast "D" with "C", it sounds like "D" isn't far from the mark. This answer choice strengthens the argument by implying that, on average, likely voters do not support the tax bill. But this is not a regular "Strengthen" question. We need to focus on what the question is actually asking: we are looking for an assumption necessary for the conclusion to function. While "D" helps the argument, it is not necessary for the argument to be valid. Think about it: what if 10% of the voters don't like the tax bill, 9% like it, and 81% don't care at all? A higher percentage of voters might not like the tax bill, but we still don't know if the tax bill even matters to the majority of the public! Additionally, while likely voters might not like the tax bill, it is equally possible that the polling results are due to something else. What if the Republicans in this question were already behind in the polls? What if they were going to lose the majority anyway? If this were the case, then the pundit's assumption that the reaction to the tax bill caused the poll results (and will cause problems with the election down the road) falls apart. "D" is useful, but isn't required by the argument. Get rid of it.

A parallel argument might be instructive here. Imagine if the problem said, "Candidate A has really bad facial acne. Most people don't like facial acne. Therefore, Candidate A is going to lose the election." Yes, it might be true that most people dislike zits. But we still can't assume a causal link between acne and elections. Ugly candidates get elected to office all the time! In like manner, just because people don't like the bill, this still doesn't mean that this is what is causing the polling numbers to shift. The argument needs something more... something to show that the passing of the tax bill truly changed how people feel about the candidates. That is what the argument requires, and answer choice "D" doesn't quite get there.

Here is now the full explanation, complete with these updates:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/pundit-by-pa ... l#p2085899
_________________

Aaron J. Pond
Veritas Prep Elite-Level Instructor

Hit "+1 Kudos" if my post helped you understand the GMAT better.
Look me up at https://www.veritasprep.com/gmat/aaron-pond/ if you want to learn more GMAT Jujitsu.

GMAT Club Bot
Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely &nbs [#permalink] 02 Jul 2018, 14:31
Display posts from previous: Sort by

Pundit: By passing the recent tax bill, the Republicans have likely

  new topic post reply Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  


Copyright

GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group | Emoji artwork provided by EmojiOne

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.