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Unformatted text preview: STUDY GUIDE, EXAM TWO, POLS 101, FALL, 2007
I. Chapter 8 Public Opinion and Voting A. Key Terms: Political socialization: A learning process through which most people acquire their political attitudes, opinions beliefs, and knowledge. Peer group: Associates, often those close in age to oneself; may include friends classmates, co-workers, club members, or religious group members. Peer group influence is a significant factor in the political socialization process. Public opinion: The views of the citizenry about politics, public issues, and public policies; a complex collection o opinions held by many people on issues in the public arena. Solid South: A term used to describe the tendency of the southern states to vote democratic after the Civil War. Gender gap: A term used to describe the difference between the percentage of votes cast for a particular candidate by women and the percentage of votes cast for the same candidate by men. Literacy test: A test given to voters to ensure that they could read and write and this evaluate political information; a technique used in many southern states to restrict Africa American participation in elections. Public opinion polling: A numerical survey of the public's opinion on a particular topic at a particular moment. B. What is an opinon and why are political opinions so difficult to change? Opinion: a self conscious position one takes on an issue Selective attention-Our own words, Selective perception-don't interpret the same way, selective recall- more likely to remember good things than bad C. What are the three components of an opinion? Direction: Pro or con; quality Intensity: Do people feel strongly Stability: D. Where do our opinions "come from?" Identify Ranneys "Ages of Political Development" (e.g. beginnings, childhood etc.) E. What are the key "socializing agents" and how do they work? F. What is a public opinion poll? A form of systematic interviewing involving drawing inferences from a sample to a larger population What are the major steps in polling? Define the population, select a large enough sample from the population completely at random, exam each person selected What determines sample size? Degree of diversity of population Degree of diversity desired Are polls often inaccurate? yes because you can never fully get the real answers or have no bias/ difference in opinion G. Be familiar with Wasserman, Ch. 5, "Abortion and Public Opinion." What lessons does the chapter teach us about the stability of opinion on abortion? About the strategies used by pro and anti-abortion forces? II. Chapter 9 - Campaigns and Elections A. Key Terms: primary election: An election held within each of the two major parties Democratic and Republican to choose the party's candidates for the general election. Partisan: Political actions or decisions that are influenced by a particular political party's ideology. Nonpartisan: open: A primary in which voters can vote for a party's candidates regardless of whether they belong to the party. Closed: A primary in which only party members can vote to choose that party's candidate Blanket: caucus: A meeting held by party leaders to choose political candidates. The caucus system of nominating candidates was eventually replaced by nominating conventions and , later, by direct primaries convention: B. Describe the video, "Taking on the Kennedys," and discuss the lessons it teaches us about political campaigns. (See class handout on the video.) C. What are the major nominating methods used in the US today? Which is the most commonly used? D. Why are political campaigns more important today than in the past? Candidate centered campaigns Decline in party organizations Reinforcement of existing preferences Activation Conversion (difficult and costly) E. What are the key components of the Electoral College? Removes selection from the people 1. What is the Unit Rule? All of the electoral votes of a state go to the candidate winning a plurality of popular votes 2. What determines how many electoral votes a state has? The number of senators and house of representatives (min of 3) 3. Who selects electors? Are they free to vote as they please? They vote how their state voted except in the case of Maine and Nebraska 4. How many electoral votes does it take to win the election? Minimum of 270 5. What happens if no candidate receives a majority of electoral votes? It goes to the house of representatives and one can vote 6. If an election goes to to the House, what happens? 7. Why did the framers establish the electoral college? Because the public was not very well informed of the campaigns due to communication difficulties 8. What three types of states benefit from the electoral college? (large, small, politically competitive). Why? Because their votes determine the election and they are less ignored by the candidate's cause of their importance F. What are national nominating conventions? Are they important? G. Be familiar with Wasserman, Ch. 6, "The Redistricting Election." What does the chapter teach us about the advantages of incumbency? Redistricting? Fundraising? Voter turnout? Voter influence on legislators? III. Chapter 10 Politics and the Media A. Key Terms: mass media: Communication channels such as newspapers and radio and television broadcasts through which people can communicate to mass audiences electronic media: Communication channels that involve electronic transmissions, such as radio, television, and to an extent, the internet negative advertising: Political advertising undertaken for the purpose of discrediting an opposing candidate in the eyes of the voters. Attack ads and issue ads are forms of negative political advertising sound bite: In televised news reporting, a brief comment, lasting for only a few seconds that captures a thought or a perspective and has an immediate impact on the viewers spin: A reporters slant on, or interpretation of, a particular event or action spin doctor: A political candidate's press adviser who tries to convince reporters to ive a story or event concerning the candidate a particular "spin" B. Why are the mass media powerful? Mass audiences, high credibility, great financial resources C. Who owns the mass media? Largely private in the us D. What are the political roles of the mass media? Gatekeeper: agenda setting Scorekeeper: making or breaking public figures Watchdog: investigating Elite marketing communication E. Are the media biased? Yes In what sense? Ideological bias: radio and cable conservative Bernard Goldberg liberal bias to TV Structural bias-media exist to make money F. Be familiar with Wasserman, Ch. 9, "Media and the Lewinski Scandal." What do we mean when we say that the media has an agenda-setting role? What is media "framing" of an issue? Adversarial journalism? White House "spin?" Why was this scandal a "perfect storm?" I. Chapter 11 Congress A. Key Terms: apportionment, cloture, conference committee, filibustering, gerrymandering, majority and minority leader, Speaker of the House, Rules Committee, subcommittee, fiscal year, term limits B. How has Congress changed over time? Is it more powerful today than it was in 1789? What does the "Congress" video teach us about the origins and development of Congress? C. What are the key differences between the House and Senate and why do they matter? D. Why do we distrust Congress but continue to re-elect the same people to Congress? E. What is the role of political parties in Congress? F. How does a bill become a law? G. How representative is Congress of the American people in terms of religion, race, gender, income, etc.? H. If we elect more Christians to Congress will we get better legislation? More honest government? J. Be familiar with Wasserman, Ch. 10, "Networking Congress." What is an issue network and why are such networks important? What issue networks developed re pension reform? Why were tax cuts linked (by Congress) to pension reform? What conclusions does Wasserman draw (pp. 12526?) ...
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- Spring '08
- Political Science