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1/18 Lecture (Book notes)Public Opinion: (ch. 6)“What people think about politics” The dist. Of the pop.’s beliefs about politics and policy issues.-Salience: how important the issue is -Most issues are unimportant to most voters-Almost every issue is really important to some group-Can move from obscure to salience super quick-Why do we care? Pop. Sovereignty -Is public opinion the same thing as the public interest?-Elections-Planning for business and governmentSalience & Visibility:“Relevance to people” -- overlap but is not the same as Visibility -Sometimes better to be visible and sometimes better to be obscure (on the low to benefit certain people/groups)Characteristics of Public Opinion:-Intensity of Opinion: (NRA) if people feelintensely about an issue they are more likely to vote (opinion on gun control)-Direction: Whether public favors or opposes/ approves or disapproves of what the president is doingElements of Public Opinion:-Knowledge of the Issue:opinions may be more volatile or reflect a greater lack of knowledge on some issues, such as domestic versus foreign issues-Foreign aid (how much is spent versus what is spent)-Stability:speed with which changes occur on opinion-- presidential popularity changes quickly; partisan identification changes slowly-Change in support for recreational marijuana or gay marriageCensus: enumeration of pop. every 10 yrs. Helps understand demographic changes.Demography:science of pop. changes.Melting pot: with immigration-- the mixing of cultures, ideas, and peoples.Minority Majority:whites being minority of the US pop. and minority groups will represent a majority (future concept)→ immigration- 3 waves of it- census with minority groups and such Political Culture: overall set of values shared within societyReapportionment:process of reallocating seats in the H.O.R every 10 yrs on the basis of censusresults→ old people are having less people working to pay for their retirement benefits (slowly decreasing-- was 5.7, is now 3, will be 2)Political Socialization: process through which people develop political attitudes, views, and knowledge based on input from family, school, media, etc,-Informal and formal learning/socialization (informal more prevalent)Politics is a lifelong activity (duh)1/23 Lecture (Book Notes)How are opinions formed?Key beliefs usually have their roots in early life experiences and socialization.Persistence-- the resilience of an opinion over time-Ideology: a coherent collection of ideas about a given set of issues- we understand politics and events through the prism of our beliefs-Political party ID- which political party shares your values-What is fair/unfair?-What is your first political memory?Primacy:those things that influence you first tend to exercise a powerful influence. (First impressions do matter)-How quickly? 40 bits of info. Per second. (Unconscious mind can process11 million bits per second)-Important for candidates when voters are sizing them up -Important for influencing opinion on an issue (Trade Issues; Abortion)Major influences-Family, church-- how often and how