Public Opinion

Public Opinion - Public Opinion and Political Culture...

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Public Opinion and Political Culture Overview • Public opinion versus political culture • How polls are conducted • Level of knowledge • Public opinion on: – General topics – Ideology – Political trust – Political tolerance Public Opinion and Political Culture • Public opinion - preferences on specific issues of the day • Political culture - broader set of values and ideas about role of government and nature of political process – liberty equality – private property individualism
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How Surveys are Conducted •Samp l ing • Survey administration • Question wording Sampling • Representative sample • Size of sample determines accuracy Number Sampling Error 200 +/- 7.2% 600 +/- 4.1% 800 +/- 3.6% 1000 +/- 3.2% 2000 +/- 2.2% Applying Sampling Error • 75% +/- 3 percentage points = – 75 - 3 = 72% – 75 + 3 = 78% • No difference between candidate A with 52% of support and candidate B with 48% – Candidate A = 49% to 55% – Candidate B = 45% to 51%
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Survey Administration • Format: in-person, phone, mail, Internet • Neutral administration Question wording • Most difficult aspect • Confusing questions • Biased questions Did you vote in the last election?
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Do you approve or disapprove of abortion? Do you approve or disapprove of President George Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security? Political Knowledge • Can be high on very basic information • Can be very low on important information • Political interest best described as moderate
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96% Know President’s term is 4 years 1989 D&K 73% Can name state’s governor 1989 D&K 58% Know law’s constitutionality determined by Supreme Court 1992 NES 51% Know which party controls House of Representatives 2000 NES 46% Know first 10 amendments to Constitution are the Bill of Rights 1989 D&K 10% Know Rehnquist is Chief Justice of Supreme Court 1996 NES Political Knowledge Political Consequences of Misinformation
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2010 for the course POL 201 taught by Professor Norrander during the Spring '07 term at Arizona.

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Public Opinion - Public Opinion and Political Culture...

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