Lecture 5 - Public Opinion - Student

Lecture 5 - Public Opinion - Student - PublicOpinion...

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Public Opinion Matisoff – POL 1101 Spring 2010
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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 Prayer in Schools Should a government be fully responsive to public opinion?
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Ironies – part II Monetary Control Bill Wide majorities favor both expansion of govt Vast majority of America knows very little about government and how it affects them Public opinion is often uninformed, 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 Government run health care vs. Public Option vs. Public opinion is often contradictory
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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 impact results
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Salience refers to whether people care or not Intensity refers to how deeply they care about something For example: the Environment; Foreign Policy, the Economy, Abortion Some opinions are highly stable; some are volatile
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Skewed – Govt should protect air and water 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
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Bimodal – govt should intervene in economy to  promote employment and growth 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
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Normal – Political self-identification 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2011 for the course MATHEMATIC Math 101 taught by Professor Davis during the Spring '10 term at Central GA Tech.

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Lecture 5 - Public Opinion - Student - PublicOpinion...

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