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AP Chapter 11
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U.S. History Chapter 33
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The Civil Rights Movement
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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

 

Isolationists

 

Unilateralists

Go it alone philosophy concerning Foreign Policy

 

Multilateralist – UN coalitions  

 

Why?

 


-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.

 

Examples

 

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

 

John Brown’s Raid *

 

Muckrakers

 

 

 

 

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;

 

DiMaggio/Williams;

 

Mickey Mantle;

 

Joe Namath,  John Unitas

 

Mohammed Ali;

 

Bird/Magic

 

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

 

               9/11/01

 

               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

*Liberalism/conservatism-values

*Guns

 

 

The Polls

 

How accurate are political polls and who listens to them?

answer

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 ..to 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

 


Push-Polls

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

 

 

                                                             **