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Political Beliefs and Behaviors American political ideology.

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Presentation on theme: "Political Beliefs and Behaviors American political ideology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Beliefs and Behaviors American political ideology

2 What’s your political belief? Survey given to year olds One day the President was driving his car to a meeting. Because he was late, he was driving very fast. The police stopped the car. (Finish the story) Different countries answer differently –England – Queen would be released –France – President would be excused –US – President would get a ticket like everyone else

3 Types of Participation 2000 Election participation 82% watched the campaign on television 73% voted in the election 34% tried to influence others how to vote 10% put a sticker on their car 9% gave money to help a campaign 5% attended a political meeting 3% worked for a party or candidate Is this true? 73% of people vote? – No

4 Who REALLY participates? Different factors can tell us who votes 1.Education – MOST IMPORTANT, more education=more voting 2.Religious involvement 3.Race and Ethnicity – Whites higher than minorities (might be economic based) 4.Age – is the lowest, and 45 and up is the highest

5 Who REALLY participates? 5.Gender – men traditionally voted more, now it is more equal 6.Two-party competition – more competitive elections have higher turnout Cross-cutting cleavages – individuals influenced by many factors, it is important when testing for this that variables are controlled

6 Voting Trends 1964 – 69.3% 1968 – 60.8% 1972 – 55.2% 1976 – 53.5% 1980 – 52.6% 1984 – 53.1% 1988 – 50.1% 1992 – 55.1% 1996 – 49.1% 2000 – 51.2% 2004 – 56.7% 2008 – 57.3% 2008 Highest – Minnesota 73.2%; Lowest – Texas 45.5% KY – 55.7%; OH – 65.1%

7 Expanding Suffrage 1.Lifting of property restrictions (1830) – “universal manhood suffrage” gave voting rights to all white males 2.Suffrage for African-Americans ( ) th Amendment – Voting Rights to all Brown v. Board – separate but equal is illegal, killed Jim Crow laws th Amendment – banned poll tax – Voting Rights Act of 1965 – federal law prohibited (no literacy tests, fair elections etc.)

8 Expanding Suffrage 3.Women’s Suffrage (1920) – 19 th Amendment gave women the right to vote year-olds (1971) – 26 th Amendment, sparked by Vietnam

9 Voter Turnout Registered Voter turnout Eligible Voter turnout Voter Registration – blamed as one of the causes of low turnout “Motor-Voter” (1993) – National Voter Registration Act – allowed people to register to vote while they get license

10 Other reasons for low turnout Difficulty of Absentee Voting Number of Offices to Elect too high Weekday, non-holiday voting Weak political parties – less “get-out-the- vote campaigns

11 Public Opinion The distribution of individual attitudes about a particular issue, candidate, political institution, etc.

12 George Gallup Developed “Gallup Polls” Started in st “pollster” Since 1936, agency has picked one general election result incorrect

13 Sampling Representative – must mirror population you want answer about Random – give everyone an equal possibility of being sampled Wording – questions can’t be leading Straw poll – poor polling technique

14 Political Socialization Factors that influence a person’s opinion People in different social “groups” tend to share certain opinions: group identification

15 Family #1 influence of political attitude Very strong correlation for Political Party support

16 Gender Examples More men support military More women consider sexual harassment a serious problem Since ’60s, women vote Dem more than men, and vice versa Not as significant of an indicator as marriage (married vs. unmarried)

17 Religion Example Protestants are more conservative on economic matters than Catholics or Jews Jews tend to be liberal on economic and social issues than Catholics or Protestants Catholics tend to be more liberal on economic issues than they are on social issues (Catholics becoming more conservative) CROSS PRESSURE – Pro-life (vote R); Labor union member (vote D) – which way will they vote?

18 Education Example Higher Education = more conservative or College education = liberal views Conflicting results, not always a correlation

19 Social Class “Blue collar” (Laborer) typically Democrat “White collar” (Businessmen) typically Republican Relationship is becoming less clear

20 Race and Ethnicity Examples African Americans – 90% Democrats Hispanic Americans – tend to affiliate with Democrats, but less likely than African Americans Asian Americans – less liberal than Hispanic Americans or African Americans, but still consistently vote Democrat White, more divided, fluctuates by election

21 Geographic Region Example East and West Coasts – more liberal Mid-West – more conservative Urban - liberal South – s - Democrat “Solid South” but today they are primarily social conservatives White Southerner always less liberal

22 Political Ideology Coherent set of values and beliefs about public policy Changes over time for all people Liberal and conservative mean different things at different time periods

23 How ideological are Americans? 1950 study – “The American Voter” 4 basic types of voter 1.Ideologues – 12% of people connect their opinions to party lines 2.Group Benefits Voter – 42% of people connect their opinion to their “group”. (labor union, interest group, class, race)

24 How ideological are Americans? 3. Nature of the times voter – 24% of the people linked good or bad times to the party in control and vote the opposite (usually based on economics). 4. No Issue Content – 22% of the people could give no reason

25 Liberal vs. Conservative Video explanation – take notes on video 26 minutes

26 Exit Polls Polling after voting - Tommy Bradley effect (also Obama???) Some white voters give inaccurate polling responses for fear that, by stating their true preference, they will open themselves to criticism of racial motivation. Members of the public may feel under pressure to provide an answer that is deemed to be more publicly acceptable, or 'politically correct'. The reluctance to give accurate polling answers has sometimes extended to post-election exit polls as well. The race of the pollster conducting the interview may factor in to voters' answers. Some analysts have dismissed the theory of the Bradley effect,[9] or argued that it may have existed in past elections, but not in more recent ones. Others believe that it is a persistent phenomenon

27 Statistical Method Statisticians have found that 384 is the magic number for many surveys. By doing a probability sample of 384, you margin of error will be +/- 5%. To lower your margin of error, you must increase sample size: 600 = +/-4%1067 = +/- 3% 2401 = +/- 2%9605 = +/- 1%

28 Sample Size??? For medical studies, your margin of error should ethically be in the 1-2% range – think of testing new medicines – you want to be VERY sure your results are accurate – it is literally a “matter of life or death” For public opinion polls – the margin of error of 3% seems to be standard. Some polls will go as high as 5%. Political opinion, though relevant, does not insist upon a small margin of error. How accurate do you want to be? How much money can you afford to spend? These questions will determine sample size for you. More participants = more money. Life or death = more money.


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