Tough GMAT: Problem of the Day!

Political Analyst: Because our city is a border city, illegal immigration is an important issue in the current race for mayor. Of the two candidates for mayor, one supports a plan that would attempt to deport the city’s 9,000 illegal immigrants and the other does not. Surveys consistently show that about 60% of the city’s residents are opposed to the plan, while about 35% are in support of the plan. Therefore, the candidate who does not support the plan will win the election for mayor.

All of the following statements weaken the analyst’s argument, EXCEPT:

A) In the city at issue, most voters make their voting decisions based on the candidates’ positions on abortion.

B) Of the 35% of residents who support the plan, some are willing to consider alternate plans for addressing illegal immigration.

C) Many of the residents who oppose the plan are not registered voters.

D) The candidate who supports the plan is the incumbent mayor, and has been elected to four consecutive terms despite taking controversial positions on many important issues.

E) Just under 30% of the city’s residents are illegal immigrants who cannot vote.

Explanation:

Conclusion: Candidate who does NOT support the plan will win.

Evidence: 60% of the residents oppose/35% support.

Assumption: That the majority of the voters support the plane (i.e. the 60%/35% breakdown accurately represents those who will vote).

Question: What will STRENGTHEN or be IRRELEVANT?

Prediction: Anything that aligns the resident-poll with voting accurately, or tips the favor into the hands of those against the plan. Or does not relate to the argument (neither weakens, nor strengthens).

A. Abortion is out of scope…so potentially “irrelevant”
B. If the 35% who are supportive might change their minds, this would strengthen the anti-plan contingent. Correct.
C. This hurts the conclusion.
D. This hurts the conclusion by showing the city re-elects the candidate who only has 35% support.
E. This only tells us info about those that support it — we need to know whether the 60% who don’t support it can/will vote.

The correct answer is (B).

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