PoliSci 2305.docx - 1/18 Lecture(Book notes Public...

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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 government Salience & 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 feel intensely 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 doing Elements 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 marriage Census : 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 society Reapportionment: process of reallocating seats in the H.O.R every 10 yrs on the basis of census results → 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 process 11 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

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