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Question #20: Method of Reasoning. The correct answer choice is (E).
Muñoz argues that the Southwest Hopeville Neighbors Association opposes the new water system, citing it as evidence of citywide opposition. Gamba concedes that the association did oppose the new water system, but observes that only a small fraction of the members voted. In fact, those who voted against represent less than 1% of the town's population. On that basis, Gamba observes that the association's vote does not necessarily represent the view of the majority of Hopeville's residents.
The stem asks us to describe Gamba’s strategy of argumentation, and the answer should ideally be prephrased: Gamba undermines Muñoz's argument by showing that it is based on a sample that may well be unrepresentative of Hopeville’s population. This prephrase agrees with answer choice (E).
Answer choice (A) is incorrect, because no mention is made of whether people with certain views are more likely to vote.
Answer choice (B) is incorrect, because Gamba neither suggested nor implied that Muñoz manipulated the statistical data. Just because the data is unreliable or unrepresentative doesn't mean it's been manipulated.
Answer choice (C) is attractive, but incorrect. Gamba does suggest that Muñoz's statistical evidence is inconclusive, i.e. it doesn't prove that the city as a whole opposes the ban. However, Gamba does not exactly attempt to refute Muñoz's argument. Refuting Muñoz's argument would be tantamount to claiming that the city actually approves of the new water system. Gamba never claimed that it does.
Answer choice (D) is incorrect, because Gamba never suggested that Muñoz's evidence is impossible to disconfirm, or refute. Muñoz's evidence is seen as unreliable, not irrefutable.
Answer choice (E) is the correct answer choice, as it agrees with our prephrase above. Gamba attempts to weaken Muñoz's conclusion by claiming that the statistical sample upon which the conclusion is based (the association's vote) is too small to be dependable (it represents only 1% of the population).