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Lecture6-student - PublicOpinion Matisoff POL 1101 Spring...

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Click to edit Master subtitle style 5/24/10 Public Opinion Matisoff – POL 1101 Spring 2010
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5/24/10 The Many Ironies of Public Opinion Is our government democratic in name only? Very often our government is at odds with public opinion Clinton Impeachment Balanced Budget Issues Busing Equal Rights Amendment Term Limits for Congress
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5/24/10 Ironies – part II Monetary Control Bill Wide majorities favor expansion of govt programs & less taxes Vast majority of America knows very little about government and how it affects them Public Opinion is often uniformed, unstable, and is dependent on how questions are asked It is often unclear if polls are representative; if they are meaningful; and if they should be followed
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5/24/10 Polling Using random sampling, polls can accurately gauge opinions of entire society For a population over 500k, pollsters need to call about 15k people & reach about 1,065 to be within 3%, 95% of the time Be wary of non-scientific polls, low sample #s, low response rates, etc. Census issues Also, the way questions are asked can dramatically
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5/24/10 Salience & Intensity & Stability Salience refers to whether people care or not Ex. Environment- low intensity/ salience Ex. Foreign policy when not at war- low salience Ex. Abortion- High Salience- people car Intensity refers to how deeply they care about something For example: the Environment; Foreign Policy, the Economy, Abortion
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