Presentation on theme: "5 question quiz on Chapter 6 1.Name one primary agent of political socialization. 2.What ideology is this?: People who believe government tries to do too."— Presentation transcript:
5 question quiz on Chapter 6 1.Name one primary agent of political socialization. 2.What ideology is this?: People who believe government tries to do too many things that should be left to private interests and economic markets. 3.True or False: Men and women tend to have the same views on abortion. 4.I am a if I believe that government intervenes in too many things – both socially and economically. 5.The larger the sample size, the smaller the (two words).
Public Opinion & Political Socialization How do we form political opinions? How are our opinions measured? Do our opinions matter? Should public opinion control policy?
INSTA-POLL Question 1 How much do you support the troops? Lots Plenty Totally 110%
INSTA-POLL Question 2 How many poll responses do you usually read before they start to get annoying? One does the trick I dont mind if there are two Three is a perfectly appropriate number Around four they start to get a bit grating Five, I would say, is probably pushing it Six responses is definitely too many At seven, I really get angry I will destroy you
What are the origins of public opinion? Public opinion is the attitudes and values people have about issues and events that they share publicly In the political realm, most Americans value equality of opportunity, liberty, democracy, and self-government How a person perceives the above values forms their political ideology So how are these beliefs formed?
Political Socialization: How People Learn Politics Primary Agents of Socialization: Family: – 2/3 of children have the same beliefs as their parents – Like religion (or the familys favorite sports team) School: – Elementary School: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and others hailed as national heroes; pledge of allegiance, national holidays, national anthem – Middle School: More nuanced, but still emphasis on leaders and institutions – High School: Political processes, equality in the classroom
Secondary Agents of Socialization Social Groups – Voluntary: Religion, professional groups, etc. – Involuntary: Gender, age, race, ethnicity, etc. Higher Ed: increases tolerance to unpopular opinions and general political awareness; political activism Income: Higher income values more personal choice; lower income values more government control Region 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 HereClick Here Gender (Gap): Women tend to be against war and military action; Men tend to be against affirmative action and social welfare programs Click hereClick here Media: The media creates a lens (sometimes skewed), through which we believe is true of society
Race Relations in America Black ResponsesWhite Responses
Men and Women: War and Peace Government ActionMen % Approving of Action Women %Approving of Action Going to war against Iraq (2003)6650 Prefer cease fire over NATO air strikes on Yugoslavia (1999) 4451 Ending ban on DADT in (1993)3451 Military operation against Somali warlord7260 Going to war against Iraq (1991)7253 What about abortion? Men and Women are generally equally split pro-choice and pro-life
POLITICAL IDEOLOGY How do we frame what we think?
Extra Credit Go to www.isidewith.comwww.isidewith.com Take the quiz, answer all the extended questions too. Email me the results email@example.com by Sunday, October 28 th at firstname.lastname@example.org You get extra credit!
Party Identification A persons sense of loyalty to one party or the other 2/3 of Americans call themselves Dems or Repubs Most loyalty lasts a lifetime Dems and Repubs differ significantly in their opinion Number one predictor of how people will vote Selective perception... Do we choose to watch/listen to/pay attention to those who speak our gospel? The Daily Show Lactate IntoleranceLactate Intolerance
Political Ideology Consistent opinions about policy goals (rarely are we consistent) Economic and social policy questions – What should be the governments 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 values – The reverse is true of liberals
Some key concepts about political polling Random Sampling – everyone has an equal chance of being polled – Probability Sampling: About 1000 people is a big enough sample to represent the entire population of the US – Sampling Error: the plus/minus factor for each poll; and each question – Gallup polls have correctly predicted every presidential election since 1936 (except one: 1948) Exit polls: polling that measures election returns; can affect western time zones Straw polls: polling that informally measures a future outcome; like a caucus
Other polling concepts Bellwether Districts/States – Districts or States that predict actual election outcomes with a high degree of accuracy – Ohio
What causes presidential approval ratings to increase or decrease? What Increases Ratings Economic conditions if good After a major political event – The Bounce McCain went from 45% to 50% after conventions – Romney and the first debate: 36% had a better opinion of Romney after debate (18% for Obama) Use of the media, spin – State of the Union, Addresses, etc. Crises: rally around the flag effect What Decreases Ratings Economic conditions if bad Scandal Foreign policy if things are going bad Over time, ratings generally decrease
Limitations of polls The change of phone use over time Asking questions on issues not considered by the person being polled Lying Question wording Question order: MPI Polls are funded by groups who have an interest in knowing certain information
Double 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
Loaded 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?"
Confusing Questions Does it seem possible or does it seem impossible to you that the Holocaust never happened? – What does yes mean?
Reliability 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% Dont know what that term means 1% No opinion This is considered a dichotomous question, because there are really only two responses
What 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)
Outcomes 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 womans 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
Our test: Placement of the MPI question – First on yellow sheet; last on blue sheet Opinion of Congress (Yellow)/President (Blue) – Hypothesis is that opinion of Congress will be lower than the President Whether there is a gender gap – Will females and males differ in their responses?
Blue v. Yellow: Obamas ratings v. Congress ratings
Top Four Most Pressing Issues 2010-2011 Yellow Sheet P. 6 Economy Healthcare I dont know War Blue Sheet P. 6 Economy Healthcare War Education
Most Pressing Issue Period 7 Yellow Sheet p.7 Economy Healthcare Immigration War Blue Sheet p.7 Healthcare Economy Border Issues Budget
So, do public opinion polls really matter? They do: – Study of 50 years of polling data shows that when public opinion changes, policy usually changed too – Between 1935 and 1979, in two-thirds of all cases, policy changes followed the mood of the public – So do politicians pander to the public?
They dont. (Most of the time.) Some issues are too sharply divided – Abortion – Illegal Immigration Some issues are too complex for consistent opinion – Federal Budget Some issues are misunderstood – War in Iraq – Healthcare legislation – Occupy Wall Street Chicken and egg: Does opinion influence policy or does policy influence opinion? The problem is that neither are fixed.
Congress 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 wishes – Congress members have an ambition to get re-elected Congress members voting decisions are limited by public opinion polls when: – Congress members want to avoid being perceived as indecisive by their supporters – Congress members want to avoid losing the support of their party
So, 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?