Conservatives are trying to laugh off yesterday's NYT/Quinnipiac polls as being too skewed toward Democrats in their sample.
The larger the sample size, the easier it is to detect an effect, even if it is very minor.
They reportedly managed to get a DNA sample from an envelope the mother had licked.
c.1300, "something which confirms a proposition or statement," from Anglo-French saumple, a shortening of Old French essample, from Latin exemplum "a sample" (see example). Meaning "small quantity (of something) from which the general quality (of the whole) may be inferred" (usually in a commercial sense) is recorded from early 15c.; sense of "specimen for scientific sampling" is from 1878. As an adjective from 1820.
"to test by taking a sample," 1767, from sample (n.). Earlier "to be a match for" (1590s). Related: Sampled; sampling.
In statistics, a group drawn from a larger population and used to estimate the characteristics of the whole population.
Note: Opinion polls use small groups of people, often selected at random, as a sample of the opinions of the general public.