Public Opinion and Political Socialization
effect of Public Opinion
1968 - Tet Offensive and LBJ
- Watergate and Nixon
and Jimmy Carter
- Iran/Contra - Reagan
- recession - George Bush
– Presidential Election
*Bush’s Approval Rating*
Issues – Iraq War
Go it alone philosophy concerning Foreign Policy
Multilateralist – UN coalitions
condition of the people
variables(social class, etc..)
Danger…. A decline in Political Efficacy
the public thinks about a particular issue or set of issues at any point in time.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Brown’s Raid *
or surveys to sample the feelings and beliefs of the entire population
unscientific method of gauging public opinion
Telephone calls, mail-ins
everything as opinions can change as you get close to an election
process where an individual forms their beliefs and value system
does make a difference
Children in Politics
middle class-->upper class
definite opinions on issues
Religion – different faiths
influence a person politically
Sex – gender gap
Soccer moms/ NASCAR dads
Ethics – Reality TV versus Traditional America
factors in determining candidates
the 1950s, positions on possible candidates has softened and many differences have been accepted
Lance Bennett in
Twain on making statements controversial issues and when stating an official position
only reveal my trimmed, perfumed and carefully barbered public opinions, and conceal carefully, cautiously, wisely, my private
Twain's portrait in class
a knock on Southern support of slavery;
a view seems too risky to express, keep it private until public opinion changes.
individual’s core set of values and beliefs concerning government
Reference Group -
group whose views serve as guidelines to an individual's opinion
* primary - friends, associates
* secondary - religious, fraternal, union
has a tremendous effect on public opinion
Sport Icons -
Namath, John Unitas
McGwire, Sammy Sosa
* OJ Simpson
and Pro Sports
BALCO – Comte/Anderson
* Bill Parcells
* Bill Clinton
* Bush in Iraq
asked this question on a talk show.
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."
media is automatically assuming that a candidates personal life will be an issue.
really wants a candidates life to be an issue
Polling it again in 2001
War on Terrorism
Red states v Blue states
- Conservative ?
only some issues
not a Liberal
– Liberal ?
Kerry, Bush, Nader on
accurate are political polls and who listens to them?
party bosses, voters
How are they taken?
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
variation of random sampling.
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
to provide info on an opponent to influence the respondents vote
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
* bandwagon effect -
Election 2000, Florida and CNN
Presidential Approval Rating
November 2, 2004