Lecture 02 - 24 Jan - Lecture Outline, 1/24/08 Distrust of...

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Lecture Outline, 1/24/08 Distrust of Government Iraq and the Democratic Congress Five elements of the logic of American politics 1) Political institutions matter 2) Politicians are strategic actors (most of the time) 3) Elections make politicians agents of their constituents (most of the time) 4) Voters are not like politicians. Voting behavior / public opinion is shaped by interests, identities, and core values. 5) Collective action problems are central to politics
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Percentage of Americans who follow politics "most of the time" (source: National Election Studies) 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 % who follow politics Year % interested in politics
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Sense that government listens?
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Trust in Government (source: Gallup poll)
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Iraq and the Democratic Congress * Many viewed 2006 election as mandate to draw down troops. * Democrats tried but failed; instead, troop surge * How to explain this outcome? Use as lens to think about logic of American politics.
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Lecture 02 - 24 Jan - Lecture Outline, 1/24/08 Distrust of...

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