Public Opinion Define the term “linkage institutions.” Institutions that serve as a means by which individuals can express preferences regarding the development of public policy. Examples include the media or political parties
Public Opinion Public opinion is the collective opinion of large numbers of people Simoncini is awesome!
Public Opinion Public opinion is particularly important in a democracy if we understand democracy to be fundamentally about the rule of the people. For the people to rule, the government must hear their voice. In a real democracy there must be a close match between public opinion and government policies and actions But remember that Hamilton and I worried that the public’s passions would infringe on liberty and that public opinion would be susceptible to radical and frequent shifts.
Public Opinion • 2/3 or more of government officials • doubted that the public was sufficiently informed • A substantial majority of federal • government officials do not hold the • abilities of the public in high regard • Several decades of polling have • indicated that most ordinary Americans do not know much about or care about politics
Now, he’s what I call HOT. SSSSSS Public Opinion So, do people always think the same way about all issues? You bet, Simon. Not at all, Paula. And Simoncini is now going to give us some important terms to remember.
Public Opinion Distribution: the proportion of the population that holds a particular opinion—such as 52% of the people believe the president is doing a good job. Consensus: a substantial percentage of the public feels a certain way on a particular issue—93% of OHS Students like having an open campus.
Public Opinion Polarization—a large portion of the population feels at different ends of the political spectrum on a given issue: Vietnam War or abortion Salience—the extent to which people believe an issue is important to them; but salience can change over time
Public Opinion Hello. My name isGeorge Gallup and I helped revolutionize measuring public opinion with my pioneering of reliable polling methods. Who can tell Simoncini what polling is? Yo! Check it out. Polling is surveying a population on an issue—it’s the most reliable way of measuring what the public thinks.
Hey, that Katie’s HOT! That face lift she had really worked wonders. I wonder if she would speak to Hillary. . . Public Opinion That’s right. Heck!I, President Bill Clinton, made most of my policies based on polls of the people. And, Mr. President,we at CBS News, in 1967, began exit polls—a way to make an early prediction of who won an election.
Public Opinion So, how do pollsters get their information? Several ways, Ryan. Some methods we use are in-person interviews, telephone interviews and mail questionnaires.
Public Opinion Hey Gallup, don’t pollsters use sampling? I’m not sure what that is. Check it out, Simon. Sampling is the choosing of a group of people to participate in a poll.
Public Opinion My hairline is really receding,but, HEY, the shirt is hecka cool! All right you people. Now we are going to discuss sampling.
Public Opinion Surveys Most practical way to gather data on the attitudes, beliefs, and experiences of large numbers of people. Interviews, questionnaires, combination
Public Opinion Wording of questions is important in sampling Avoid leading wording Closed-ended or forced-choice questions may not always reveal what people are thinking on their own Simoncini is an awesome instructor. Strongly Disagree Not Sure Agree Strongly Disagree Agree
Public Opinion Proper sampling is based on randomly selecting people to survey Random sampling means that every individual has an equal chance of being selected Margin of error—the sample accurately reflects the population within a certain percentage—usuallyplus or minus 3 percent for a sample of at least 1,500 individuals
Public Opinion Now that you have received a brief overview on polling, you are going to create, administer and analyze data obtained from your own polls. Groups of 3-4 Create a poll on a topic of national political interest Administer it to 15-20 people Analyze the data and write a report about the poll and what you learned.
Public Opinion So, what have we pollsters as well as scholars and journalists noted about Americans’ trust in government and a decline in political efficacy? In the U. S. there has been a long-term, steady decline in trust in government, and a decline in political efficacy—the feeling that people can make a difference in what government does and how government will respond to their concerns.
Public Opinion So, what have we pollsters as well as scholars and journalists noted about Americans’ trust in government and a decline in political efficacy? • 2000 poll: • 56% of Americans believe the federal • Government does not care what people • (like me) think; • 61%: government is run for big interests
Public Opinion So, how do people form their political ideology and opinions? Through political socialization: family beliefs, ideas learned in school, job experiences; influences from income, age, gender, race and geographic region.
Public Opinion So,where do we form most of our political opinions? Well, Beaver, most people tend to take on the same political ideology as their parents.
The American Political Landscape Yes, students, and a political predisposition is a characteristic of individuals that is predictive of political behavior.
Public Opinion Yeah, but don’t forget that recent research suggests that the key period in forming political beliefs is during the late teens or early 20s. Also, don’t forget that poor people and minorities tend to be more liberal while some wealthier people tend to be conservative. The middle class, well they depend on other factors like family and education.
Public Opinion Political research: African-Americans: 69% Democratic (2008: 95% voted for Obama) More liberal on economic issues but conservative on some social issues Hispanics a. Cubans: conservative/Republican b. All others: liberal/Democratic (2008: 67% voted for Obama)
Public Opinion Asians: more educated/economically successful but less likely to vote; Socially and economically conservative but Democratic (2008: 62% voted for Obama)
The American Political Landscape Miss Becky as Judge Judy, here. You can see how WE have changed. So how have American sectional differences moderated in the past few decades?
The American Political Landscape The South is becoming less distinct from the rest of the U. S. Large in-migration has diminished a sense of regional identity Tremendous economic change Gap in African American voter registration no greater in South than in the rest of the U. S. Politically in South, Blacks vote more with the Democratic Party and whites tend to vote more with the Republican Party
The American Political Landscape OK, Judge Judy. So why has there been such a dramatic reversal in the South?
The American Political Landscape Pay attention, Klinger! Because Democrats today, nationwide, advocate civil rights, Frank Matthews and the boys down South gravitated to the GOP. Also, during the Vietnam war, a lot of southern voters felt the antiwar efforts of a lot of Democrats were unpatriotic.
The American Political Landscape Students, it’s secret agent Lindsay Dunn, your favorite TA, disguised as the Sonora prom queen. Today you will report on your polls and we’ll discuss current events.
The American Political Landscape Students, it’s secret agent Lindsay Dunn, your favorite TA, disguised as the Sonora prom queen. Today we’ll continue to look at political ideology after completing our review of regional political differences.
The American Political Landscape Nowadays, Southerners identify with the Republican emphasis on family values, opposition to taxes, and law-and-order issues.
The American Political Landscape Hippie Becky here. Remember, people on the Pacific (or left) Coast tend to resemble northeasterners—on the liberal side of things.
The American Political Landscape And, except for folks in Colorado, Rocky Mountain folks tend to be quite conservative.
Public Opinion Political research: Education: generally considered the strongest single predictor of participation in politics. Gender: about 10% more women identify as Democrats compared to men Age: younger—less likely to identify with a party; lean Democratic Over 60—more critical of government
Public Opinion Religion: Catholics: traditionally Democratic but now resemble the majority of Americans Jews: 54% Democratic; social liberals Evangelicals: Republican (52%-32%) Mormons: Republican (very conservative)
Public Opinion While the Democrats and Republicans have strong national party organizations, many Americans, although belonging to parties, do not strongly identify with those parties. Not that type of party, Tommy. Wow! Did someone say party???
Public Opinion In fact, among the public,many people change the party they vote for from election to election. In1992this situation was called the“soccer mom” vote—young to middle-age women who voted for Bill Clinton because he appealed to them as a person.
Political Culture and Ideology Miss Becky and I share the same political ideology. Would someone please define the term ideology? A person’s beliefs or ideas about political values and the role of government—how government should work and how it actually works.
Political Culture and Ideology OK, so we’re liberals. What tend to be our general views about stuff?
Political Culture and Ideology Classical liberals: Fought to minimize the role of government Stressed individual rights and perceived government as the primary threats to rights and liberties Favored limited government Perception of the need for government has changed
Political Culture and Ideology Contemporary liberals Believe in the positive uses of government to bring about justice and equality of opportunity Wish to preserve rights of the individual & the right to own property, but are willing to have government intervene in the economy to remedy defects of capitalism Believe conservatives act in self-interest following the maxim: “Let the government take care of the rich and the rich, in turn, will take care of the weak.” Believe all are equal and equality of opportunity is essential
Political Culture and Ideology We are traditional conservatives. What tend to be our views?
Political Culture and Ideology • Property rights and belief in free enterprise • Keep government small (national in particular) • except for national defense • More pessimistic view of human nature • People need strong leadership, firm laws, and • strict moral codes • Government must ensure order • Failures engineered their own failure • Conserve status quo and change only in • moderation
Political Culture and Ideology • Pro business • Oppose higher taxes; resist business • regulation • Government: encourage family values • Government: protect from foreign enemies • Government: preserve law and order • Government: enforce private contracts, foster • competitive markets, encourage fair trade • Oppose “big government”
Public Opinion Economic (fiscal) Conservatives: emphasize economic liberty and freedom from government interference in the economy; free market is the best route to economic efficiency Economic liberals: government should ensure equality of opportunity by regulating potentially damaging business practices
Public Opinion Social conservatives and liberals disagree over issues such as: abortion gay marriage prayer in public schools pornography crime prevention and punishment political dissent
Public Opinion The best way to discuss ideology is to show the political spectrum. Conservative Moderate Liberal
Public Opinion Nolan Chart