310LSpring2008PublicOpinion-1

310LSpring2008PublicOpinion-1 - Studying Public Opinion...

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Studying Public Opinion
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Defining “public opinion” “political attitudes and core beliefs expressed by ordinary citizens as revealed by surveys” [our textbook, page 117] “the summary of the distribution of expressed attitudes of all or part of the people on some subject at some particular moment .” [Edwards’s definition]
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What’s better about my definition? People’s opinions are never unanimous on anything because individuals are socialized differently, belong to different subcultures, and find themselves in different circumstances Public opinion involves only the attitudes people actually express Attitudes expressed at some particular moment can suddenly change
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Measuring public opinion: polling--and its problems How people differ: correlations Collective public opinion—its content on particular topics Party loyalty--see graphics [Fig.5.1, Table 5.2, Fig.5.2, Fig.5.4] How responsive is government to public opinion? —text and box [p.147]
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310LSpring2008PublicOpinion-1 - Studying Public Opinion...

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