Salerno's Classroom Celebrates America!
AP Chapter 11
AP Government Summer Assignment
AP Chapters 1,2
AP Chapter 3
AP Chapter 4
AP Chapter 5
AP Chapter 6
AP Chapter 7
AP Chapter 8
AP Chapter 9
AP Chapter 10
AP Chapter 11
AP Chapter 12
AP Chapter 13
AP Chapter 14
AP Chapter 15
AP Chapter 16
U.S. History Chapters 1, 2, 3
U.S. History Chapter 4
U.S. History Chapter 5
U.S. History Chapter 6
U.S. History Chapter 7
U.S. History Chapter 8
U.S. History Chapter 9
U.S. History Chapter 10
U.S. History Chapter 11
U.S. History Chapter 12
U.S. History Chapter 13
U.S. History Chapter 14
U.S. History Chapters 16,17,18
U.S. History Chapters 19,20,21
U.S. History Chapters 22,23
U.S. History Chapters 24,25
U.S. History Chapters 26,27
U.S. History Chapters 28,29,30
U.S. History Chapter 31
U.S. History Chapter 32
U.S. History Chapter 33
US Government Chapters 1,2
US Government Chapter 3
US Government Chapters 10,11,12
US Government Chapters 13,14
US Government Chapter 18
US Govt Chapters 19,20,21
Remembering 9/11/01
The Civil Rights Movement
Economics Chapters 1,2,3
Eco Chapt 9
Eco Chapters 6,7,8
Eco Chapt 13
Eco Chapter 15
Eco Chapt 21

Chapter 11

Public Opinion and Political Socialization





The effect of Public Opinion


1968  - Tet Offensive and LBJ


1974 - Watergate and Nixon


1979 - Iran and Jimmy Carter


1986 - Iran/Contra - Reagan


1992 - recession - George Bush


1999- Clinton Impeachment


2000 - election


2002 – mid-terms


2004 – Presidential Election


*Bush’s Approval Rating*


Major Issues – Iraq War

Politically speaking





Go it alone philosophy concerning Foreign Policy


Multilateralist – UN coalitions  




-the condition of the people

* variables(social class, etc..)


Danger….   A decline in Political Efficacy


Public Opinion

What the public thinks about a particular issue or set of issues at any point in time.




Uncle Tom’s Cabin


John Brown’s Raid *







Public Opinion Polls

Interviews or surveys to sample the feelings and beliefs of the entire population


Example: Gay Marriage




Straw Poll

The unscientific method of gauging public opinion

eg. Telephone calls, mail-ins


Timing….is everything as opinions can change as you get close to an election



Political Socialization

The process where an individual forms their beliefs and value system


Social Class

*        does make a difference


Fred Greenstein 

Children in Politics


upper middle class-->upper class

have definite opinions on issues



                    Religion – different faiths

May influence a person politically


                    Sex – gender gap

        Soccer moms/ NASCAR dads

                             Security Mom

 Ethics – Reality TV versus Traditional America



all factors in determining candidates




Since the 1950s, positions on possible candidates has softened and many differences have been accepted


*The Gallup Poll




W. Lance Bennett in

Public Opinion

in American Politics


-        describes Public Opinion

as situational



Mark Twain on making statements controversial issues and when stating an official position


"I only reveal my trimmed, perfumed and carefully barbered public opinions, and conceal carefully, cautiously, wisely, my private ones".



Mark Twain's portrait in class

is a knock on Southern support of slavery;                  segregation



Seizing the moment


If a view seems too risky to express, keep it private until public opinion changes. 



Political Ideology

An individual’s core set of values and beliefs concerning government



Reference Group -

A group whose views serve as guidelines to an individual's opinion


*        primary - friends, associates

*        secondary - religious,  fraternal, union




The Media

-        has a tremendous effect on   public opinion



Sport Icons -

Babe Ruth;




Mickey Mantle;


Joe Namath,  John Unitas


Mohammed Ali;




Michael Jordan;


Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa

*        Gulf War  ‘90/       Super Bowl  


*        OJ Simpson


Steroids and Pro Sports

Sosa, Bonds, Giambi,Sheffield

BALCO – Comte/Anderson


*        Bill Parcells


*        Bill Clinton


*        Bush in Iraq



*        Barney Frank

Was asked this question on a talk show.


"Congressmen Frank,  with your  experience of being charged in 1992 with soliciting a male prostitute,  do you think negative public opinion will effect the Democratic Party in Congress in the 2000 elections."



The media is automatically assuming that a candidates personal life will be an issue.


It really wants a candidates life to be an issue


               Election 2000


               Polling it again in 2001




               Bush/World Series


* War on Terrorism


               2004 Election

               Red states v Blue states      





Party Identification


1992 Election

Bush - Conservative ?

only some issues


Clinton - Conservative?

not a Liberal


Perot -         Independent


Election 2000


Bush – Conservative?

Gore – Liberal ?

Nader – Radical!!!!!


Election 2004

Kerry, Bush, Nader  on

*Gay marriage

*Stem-cell research

*Partial-birth abortions





The Polls


How accurate are political polls and who listens to them?


candidates, party bosses, voters



How are they taken?


3000 Americans speak for 300 mil


*        population/universe (traditional) the entire group to be measured


*        random sample/probability  method that gives each person in a group a chance to be selected   - tough call difficult to measure                                                                                                                                                                       


               cluster sampling

(Stratified sampling)


a variation of random sampling.

Census data divides a country into four regions.  Using counties and metropolitan areas  they are randomly selected in proportion to the total nation




exit polls - election day polls at polling places that may effect election



Taken to provide info on an opponent to influence the respondents vote


Tracking Poles

A continuous survey that “tracks” the popularity of candidates over a period of time, leading to an election.


*        quota sample - (ethnic test)

not very reliable


               In Person Polls – Questions are asked by a pollster that identifies with those polled       


*Sampling Error

(margin of error)



*        bandwagon effect -  media

effecting election



Election 2000, Florida and CNN



Presidential Approval Rating

November 2, 2004