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While decentralized medium access control (MAC) protocols are more popular in wireless environments, cluster based sensor networks are particularly amenable to centralized, polling based protocols. In this paper we present an analytic model to evaluate the performance of polling based MAC protocols for wireless networks in terms of the packet delay, buffer overflow rates and energy consumption. We show that polling based protocols can outperform popular decentralized MAC protocols. Simulation results are presented to validate our model and conclusions.