The press reports on political campaigns these days as if they were chess games. One candidate's campaign advisor mak...

Maroun on March 25 at 09:10PM

Explanation

Can we please get an explanation as to why D would be incorrect?

1 Reply

Victoria on March 26 at 07:07PM

Hi @Maroun,

This is a tricky question. There is a lot of information here.
When I am answering strengthen with necessary questions, I find it helpful to read through the passage to understand the arguments first. I then go through each of the answer choices individually. If negating the answer choice (the assumption) does not impact the overall argument and its conclusions, then it is not an assumption upon which the argument depends and is, therefore, the wrong answer.

In this case, the passage argues that: campaign advisors should stay out of the limelight so that the press can report on the positions that candidates have taken on substantive policy issues.

The evidence that the passage uses to support this is:
1) The press reports on political campaigns as if they were chess games, focusing on the moves made by opposing campaign advisors.
2) This means that the press focuses on the campaign advisors rather than the candidates.
3) This focus negatively affects the voters because they do not have the information that they need to make informed decisions.
4) The voters do not have the information that they need to make informed decisions because the press, by focusing on campaign advisors rather than candidates, are ignoring substantive policy issues.

Now let's look at the answer choices. Remember we are looking for an assumption that, if negated, does not allow the conclusion to be properly drawn.

D is incorrect because this assumption, whether it is negated or not, has no influence on the author's ability to reach their conclusion.

If the voters are not paying attention, they would not learn of the substantive policy issues and would, therefore, lack the information to make informed decisions.
If the voters are paying attention, the methods used by the press to report on the political process preclude discussions of substantive policy issues. Therefore, even if the voters are paying attention, the press is not discussing substantive policy issues.
This means that, regardless of whether or not the voters are paying attention, they are not receiving information on the candidates' positions on substantive policy issues.

The correct answer in this case is B because, if the candidates are not necessarily taking positions on substantive policy issues, then it does not matter which political actors the press is reporting on because the voters would not learn the candidates' positions either way.
The conclusion that campaign advisors must stay out of the limelight so that the press can report on the positions that the candidates have taken on substantive issues only holds if the candidates take positions on substantive issues in the first place.

Hope this is helpful! Let us know if you have anymore questions.