Poli Sci Feb 26 - Lecture 2/26 Public Opinion The...

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Lecture 2/26 Public Opinion The collective political beliefs and attitudes of the public, specifically opinion about issues, candidates, officials, parties, and government groups Four basic traits: politicians must consider each one of these things, particularly if he/she is trying to change public opinion. Direction Favor/oppose ; agree/disagree Intensity Strongly favor/mildly favor Salience Significance, importance. How much do people actually care about this issue? Stability Are we looking at opinion that is likely to change? There are three distributions of political opinion: Permissive: easiest to change because so few people are strongly committed to one side or the other. The graph looks like ½ of a sign function with a maximum in the middle, ambivalent. Consensus: Very difficult to change public opinion because most people agree one way or the other. Things like tax increases fall into this category. Divisive: There aren't a lot of people in the middle of these issues.
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Poli Sci Feb 26 - Lecture 2/26 Public Opinion The...

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