Presentation on theme: "5 question quiz on Chapter 6"— Presentation transcript:
15 question quiz on Chapter 6 Name one primary agent of political socialization.What ideology is this?: People who believe government tries to do too many things that should be left to private interests and economic markets.True or False: Men and women tend to have the same views on abortion.I am a if I believe that government intervenes in too many things – both socially and economically.The larger the sample size, the smaller the (two words).
2Public Opinion & Political Socialization How do we form political opinions?How are our opinions measured?Do our opinions matter?Should public opinion control policy?
3INSTA-POLL Question 1 How much do you support the troops? Lots Plenty Totally110%
4INSTA-POLL Question 2How many poll responses do you usually read before they start to get annoying?One does the trickI don’t mind if there are twoThree is a perfectly appropriate numberAround four they start to get a bit gratingFive, I would say, is probably pushing itSix responses is definitely too manyAt seven, I really get angryI will destroy you
5What are the origins of public opinion? Public opinion is the attitudes and values people have about issues and events that they share publiclyIn the political realm, most Americans value equality of opportunity, liberty, democracy, and self-governmentHow a person perceives the above values forms their political ideologySo how are these beliefs formed?
6Political Socialization: How People “Learn” Politics Primary Agents of Socialization:Family:2/3 of children have the same beliefs as their parentsLike religion (or the family’s favorite sports team)School:Elementary School: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and others hailed as national heroes; pledge of allegiance, national holidays, national anthemMiddle School: More nuanced, but still emphasis on leaders and institutionsHigh School: Political processes, equality in the classroom
7Secondary Agents of Socialization Social GroupsVoluntary: Religion, professional groups, etc.Involuntary: Gender, age, race, ethnicity, etc.Higher Ed: increases tolerance to unpopular opinions and general political awareness; political activismIncome: Higher income values more personal choice; lower income values more government controlRegion or “Red” and “Blue” America: Red America tends to be more rural than Blue America.Race: Is the “minority experience” in America different than the “white” experience? Click HereGender (Gap): Women tend to be against war and military action; Men tend to be against affirmative action and social welfare programs Click hereMedia: The media creates a lens (sometimes skewed), through which we believe is true of society
8Race Relations in America Black ResponsesWhite Responses
9Men and Women: War and Peace Government ActionMen% Approving of ActionWomen%Approving of ActionGoing to war against Iraq (2003)6650Prefer cease fire over NATO air strikes on Yugoslavia (1999)4451Ending ban on DADT in (1993)34Military operation against Somali warlord7260Going to war against Iraq (1991)53What about abortion?Men and Women are generally equally split pro-choice and pro-life
10How do we frame what we think? Political Ideology
11Extra Credit Go to www.isidewith.com Take the quiz, answer all the extended questions too.me the results by Sunday, October 28th at midnight.You get extra credit!
12Party IdentificationA person’s sense of loyalty to one party or the other2/3 of Americans call themselves Dems or RepubsMost loyalty lasts a lifetimeDems and Repubs differ significantly in their opinionNumber one predictor of how people will voteSelective perception . . .Do we choose to watch/listen to/pay attention to those who speak our gospel?The Daily Show Lactate Intolerance
14Political IdeologyConsistent opinions about policy goals (rarely are we consistent)Economic and social policy questionsWhat should be the government’s role in the economy?In social/cultural issues?Typically,Conservatives prefer less government intervention in the economy but want to use government power to uphold traditional cultural valuesThe reverse is true of liberals
16Some key concepts about political polling Random Sampling – everyone has an equal chance of being polledProbability Sampling: About 1000 people is a big enough sample to represent the entire population of the USSampling Error: the plus/minus factor for each poll; and each questionGallup polls have correctly predicted every presidential election since (except one: 1948)Exit polls: polling that measures election returns; can affect western time zonesStraw polls: polling that informally measures a future outcome; like a caucus
17Other polling concepts Bellwether Districts/StatesDistricts or States that predict actual election outcomes with a high degree of accuracyOhio
19What causes presidential approval ratings to increase or decrease? What Increases RatingsWhat Decreases RatingsEconomic conditions if goodAfter a major political event“The Bounce” McCain went from 45% to 50% after conventionsRomney and the first debate: 36% had a better opinion of Romney after debate (18% for Obama)Use of the media, spinState of the Union, Addresses, etc.Crises: “rally around the flag” effectEconomic conditions if badScandalForeign policy if things are going badOver time, ratings generally decrease
22Limitations of polls The change of phone use over time Asking questions on issues not considered by the person being polledLyingQuestion wordingQuestion order: MPIPolls are funded by groups who have an interest in knowing certain information
23Double Barreled Questions Questions that group topics may weaken results, consider the following:Please tell me whether you would vote for or against a candidate who supports reducing federal funding spending on education and welfare
24Loaded Questions (Push Polling) "John McCain calls the campaign finance system corrupt, but as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, he raises money and travels on the private jets of corporations with legislative proposals before his committee. In view of this, are you much more likely to vote for him, somewhat more likely to vote for him, somewhat more likely to vote against him or much more likely to vote against him?"
25Confusing QuestionsDoes it seem possible or does it seem impossible to you that the Holocaust never happened?What does “yes” mean?
26Reliability Check Case Study: Abortion Question Construction Matters; Consider the following With respect to the abortion issue, would you consider yourself to be pro- choice or pro-life? (2005, CNN/USA Today Poll) 51% Pro-choice 42% Pro-life 3% Mixed/Neither 3% Don’t know what that term means 1% No opinion This is considered a “dichotomous question,” because there are really only two responses
27What happens when the wording and options are changed? Do you think abortion should be legal under any circumstances, legal only in certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances? (2005, Gallup Poll) 23% Legal under any circumstances 53% Legal only under certain circumstances 22% Illegal in all circumstances 2% No opinion How have the results changed from the first question to this one? When there are three options, the public takes the middle ground (in this case)
28Outcomes change again, with a new question: Which of the following best represents your views about abortion – the choice on abortion should be left up to the woman and her doctor, abortion should be legal only in cases of rape, incest, or when the woman’s life is at risk, or abortion should be illegal in all circumstances? (2005 NBC News/WSJ Poll) 55% Should be left up to the woman and her doctor 29% Legal only in cases of rape/incest/life is at risk 14% Illegal in all circumstances 2% Not sure
29Our test: Placement of the MPI question First on yellow sheet; last on blue sheetOpinion of Congress (Yellow)/President (Blue)Hypothesis is that opinion of Congress will be lower than the PresidentWhether there is a gender gapWill females and males differ in their responses?
45So, do public opinion polls really matter? They do:Study of 50 years of polling data shows that when public opinion changes, policy usually changed tooBetween 1935 and 1979, in two-thirds of all cases, policy changes followed the mood of the publicSo do politicians pander to the public?
46They don’t. (Most of the time.) Some issues are too sharply dividedAbortionIllegal ImmigrationSome issues are too complex for consistent opinionFederal BudgetSome issues are misunderstoodWar in IraqHealthcare legislation“Occupy Wall Street”Chicken and egg: Does opinion influence policy or does policy influence opinion? The problem is that neither are “fixed.”
47Congress and Public Opinion Congress members’ voting decisions are enhanced by public opinion polls when:Congress members perceive that they have a duty to their constituents to represent their constituents’ wishesCongress members have an ambition to get re-electedCongress members voting decisions are limited by public opinion polls when:Congress members want to avoid being perceived as indecisive by their supportersCongress members want to avoid losing the support of their party
48So, after all that, how do you answer the following? How do we form political opinions?How are our opinions measured?Do our opinions matter?Does public opinion control policy?