notes - A ug. 23 public opinion and demo. What is public...

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Aug. 23 public opinion and demo. What is public opinion? Models of public opinion… Gauging public opinion ….. Public opinion is not an aggregation of individual opinions, but an entity in and of itself. (plato, Aristotle, locke, hobbes, and rousseau) “common will”= Tyranny of the majority? Madison feared this Majority George Gallop- polls are u useful in guiding policy; believed the important of the public, and hearing their voice Counterargument: Whole is greater than the sum of its parts Intensity ( is one side or the other more intense than one side or the other) Respondent sophistication Delegate vs. trustee model: reps should rep there district vs. voters trust the rep to rep them (keeping the majority from the masses= electoral college, bicameral leg. ) What is public opinion? Public? A group that have something in common? Entire population? Adult public? Eligible public?
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Voting public? Issue public? (those particularly focused on one specific issue) intense opinion of one issue, something polarizing (gay rights, apt.) What is public opinion? And…opinion 1) Expression of attitude (riots, voting, writing a letter, answering a poll) Directly observed (protest) Unobserved (predispositions) 2) Disagreement of opinions (best music) Erikson and Tedin Def. = public opinion represents the preferences of adult population of issues relevant to government Two main components of opinion: Cognition- process of organizing political knowedge and expressing opinion based on this knowledge. Affect- general feelings. Reasons behind why someone thinks the way they do. (focus groups= why people think the way they do; not aimed to the general public) Models of Public Opinion and Democracy pg 19-20 1. Rational Activist Model Requires an active and informed electorate Must be aware of where candidates stand on issues
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Voters chose candidates closest to them on the issues Party id. Is a short cut to how they will vote, and the attitudes; independence are the least knowledgeable. Partisanship =more knowledge. Does this model capture reality? Given low levels of political awareness, this sequence is unlikely. 2. Political parties model Parties serve as shortcuts for voters Platform allow voters to choose which party is closer to their views Demongraphics influences party id, but party id can show how someone will vote Does this model capture reality? Maybe: political elites are arguably more polarized than they’ve been in 100 years. Party ID is the most powerful predictor of the vote/ attitudes; Decline in ticket-splitting; people increasingly see important differences between the parties. Side note: we are more polarized now that we have ever been. Go to graph in notes party id is playing more more a bigger part on how people vote However, Federalism (elections for federal, state, and local governments) and Separation of Powers serve as barriers. Parties have variations across states. 3. Interest groups model
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This note was uploaded on 10/25/2010 for the course POLI 4510 taught by Professor Wilk during the Fall '10 term at University of Georgia Athens.

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notes - A ug. 23 public opinion and demo. What is public...

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