American Politics 101-page19

American Politics 101-page19 - -Not just polls: Can be...

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April 4, 2011 Lecture Research paper is due April 11 th ! APA citation format! You can use an alternative citation format if you know it very well. Public Opinion - Public opinion is heterogeneous. - Many people are Moderates, roughly 25% - Many people don’t know. They do not have attitudes or opinions. About 25% today. - Public opinion has to be collected, and this affects outcome: e.g. Extremely liberal/conservative vs. very liberal/conservative. - If people do not identify themselves with a political party, are they truly represented? - Democracy depends on registering/reflecting public attitudes and preferences. - WE can understand and predict public opinion. - However, public attitudes are also often malleable and ill-informed. What is public opinion? - Aggregation of individual attitudes/beliefs. - Dynamic: Changes (often predictably) over time.
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Unformatted text preview: -Not just polls: Can be expressed in a variety of ways. o Election results/voting behavior. o Social movements/ interest groups. o Op-eds/letters to the editor. o Etc. -Not self-evident : has to be collected. Polling -Evaluations of government and public officials. -Assessments of current economic/political circumstances. -Political orientations. -Issue stances. The Sieve of Public Opinion: From Most Fundamental to most Ephemeral -Demographics o Race, Gender, Age, etc. -Political Socialization o Parental attitudes/ideology/religion/class which are often passed down. -Politically-relevant resources o Income, education, political knowledge -Ideology o Personal beliefs about government, politics, economics, society. -Attitudes o Beliefs and preferences as expressed in polls....
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