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American political ideology Ch. 4,5, and 8. Survey given to 10-14 year olds One day the President was driving his car to a meeting. Because he was late,

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Presentation on theme: "American political ideology Ch. 4,5, and 8. Survey given to 10-14 year olds One day the President was driving his car to a meeting. Because he was late,"— Presentation transcript:

1 American political ideology Ch. 4,5, and 8

2 Survey given to 10-14 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 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 Different factors can tell us who votes 1. 1.Education – MOST IMPORTANT, more education=more voting 2. 2.Religious involvement 3. 3.Race and Ethnicity – Whites higher than minorities (might be economic based) 4. 4.Age – 18-24 is the lowest, and 45 and up is the highest 5. 5.Gender – men traditionally voted more, now it is more equal 6. 6.Two-party competition – more competitive elections have higher turnout

5 Demography – characteristics of diff. groups Cross-cutting cleavages – individuals influenced by many factors across demographic groups Reinforcing cleavages – Reinforce a division between groups (Civil Rights) Socioeconomic status – Based on population, income, and education

6 Widely shared beliefs, values, and norms about how citizens relate to government Elements of: 1. 1.Suffrage 2. 2.Social Capital 3. 3.Natural Rights 4. 4.Democratic Consensus 5. 5.Majority Rule 6. 6.Popular Sovereignty 7. 7.Nationalism 8. 8.Capitalism

7 1. 1.Lifting of property restrictions (1830) – “universal manhood suffrage” gave voting rights to all white males 2. 2.Suffrage for African-Americans (1863-1964) 1. 1.1865 - 15 th Amendment – Voting Rights to all 2. 2.1954 - Brown v. Board – separate but equal is illegal, killed Jim Crow laws 3. 3.1964 24 th Amendment – banned poll tax 4. 4.1965 – Voting Rights Act of 1965 – federal law prohibited (no literacy tests, fair elections etc.) 3. 3.Women’s Suffrage (1920) – 19 th Amendment gave women the right to vote 4. 4.18-21 year-olds (1971) – 26 th Amendment, sparked by Vietnam

8 Process that influences and develops a person’s opinion People in different social “groups” tend to share certain opinions: group identification

9 I. I.The Family II. II.Gender and Age III. III.Race/Ethnicity IV. IV.School V. V.Adult Socialization I. I.marriage, divorce, unemployment, new jobs, or moves to new locations. VI. VI.Mass Media VII. VII.Religion/Groups VIII. VIII.Social Class

10 #1 influence of political attitude Very strong correlation for Political Party support

11 Examples More men support military More women consider sexual harassment a serious problem Since ’60s, women vote Democratic more than men, and vice versa Gender Gap Women tend to make less money than men Glass Ceiling

12 Older Americans tend to vote more than younger Americans 18-29 Year Olds Vote Turnout – – 48% 2004 – – 52% 2008

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

14 “Blue collar” (Laborer) typically Democrat Men hold most blue collar jobs “White collar” (Businessmen) typically Republican Relationship is becoming less clear

15 Examples African Americans (39 M) 13% – – 90% Democrats Hispanic Americans (46.9 M) 15% – – 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 Minorities tend to vote more Democratic White, more divided, fluctuates by election Native Americans = Lower incomes than any other race in America

16 Example Protestants are more conservative on economic matters than Catholics or Jews Jews (73%) tend to be more 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) Fundamentalists: Last twenty years these Conservative Christians have made an impact on the Republican Party (GOP)


18 Interest groups Labor unions Professional organizations

19 Trend of low voter turnout 1964 – 69.3% (Voting Age Population %) 1980 – 41.3% 1984 – 60.9% 1988 – 40.5% 1992 – 55.2% 1996 – 49.1% 2000 – 51.3% 2004 – 55.3% 2008 – 56.8%


21 Registered Voter vs. Eligible Voter Voter Registration – Increase in eligible voters has decreased turnout Presidential elections higher than midterm “Motor-Voter” (1993) – National Voter Registration Act – allowed people to register to vote while they get license

22 Difficulty of Absentee Voting (have to vote in person) Increase in eligible voters has decreased turnout Citizenship Disfranchisement of certain groups (felons, the mentally incompetent) Residency Limited opportunities to vote (midweek, limited hours, single day) Need to show identification (gov’t sanctioned ID cards in some states) Closed primaries Process of obtaining absentee ballots

23 Age: 18-29 year-olds (22%) Ethnicity: Minorities (African American/Hispanic) lower than white Education: 28% of adults who are high school graduates or have less education – – 46% of all college graduates are regular voters Religion: People who attend religious services (39%) tend to be regular voters compared to non- church goers (31%) Socioeconomic Status: Upper class typically votes more than any other class.

24 Based on 1. 1.Party Identification 2. 2.Candidates 3. 3.Issues 1. 1.Prospective voting – what a candidate may do in the future about an issue 2. 2.Retrospective – President’s past performance on issues

25 Virginia 11 th in Turnout (2008) The South lowest in voter turnout – – Mainly due to the fact that many African Americans are still unregistered Northerners vote more than Southerners

26 Other ways to participate besides voting Advantages LitigationNumerical majority unnecessary; appeal to principle/law as opposed to opinion ProtestBring public attention; sympathy; low cost; immediate response; expression of alienation Contacting (e.g., media, public officials)Direct access to leaders; magnify representation; specify policy area in expression Campaign work/ voter registrationContact with potential officials; multiply individual interest; training ground Campaign contributionsAccess; multiply force of individual preference Running for political office/ holding political office Direct influence on political decision- making; set policy agenda Political discussion to persuade others toward action Bring others attention to issues Membership in an overtly political organization Solidarity with others of like interests; magnifying effect (specific, obviously political or explained as political)

27 The distribution of individual attitudes about a particular issue, candidate, political institution, etc. 1. 1.The Family 1. 1.Most influential 2. 2.The Schools: 1. 1.Patriotism and customs 3. 3.The Church 1. 1.Shapes morality 4. 4.Molders of Public Opinion 5. 5.Mass Media 1. 1.Educate the masses

28 Measures: – – How intense the people are in beliefs – – Real wants and needs of the people – – Whether opinions are constant or changing – – Polarization or consensus Most accurate when the sample that is polled has a diverse population (aka universe)

29   Representative sample – must mirror population you want answer about   Random poll – give everyone an equal possibility of being sampled   Wording – carefully worded to avoid confusion   Planning – Must be properly planned   Accurate Analysis   Straw poll – poor polling technique; unofficial and hastily put together (Not a Good Poll)

30 Margin of Error – – Range of % points in which the sample accurately reflects the population + or – 3% points Anything over 3-5% runs the risk of invalid conclusions Polls are close but not 100% – – 1948 Election Dewey vs. Truman

31 George Gallup Developed “Gallup Polls” Started in 1932 1 st “pollster” Since 1936, agency has picked one general election result incorrect

32 Polling after voting Polling after voting

33 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

34 1. 1.Ideologues – 12% of people connect their opinions to party lines 2. 2.Group Benefits Voter – 42% of people connect their opinion to their “group”. (labor union, interest group, class, race) 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

35 Favors: Equal wealth, regulation of business, more federal spending on social programs, Pro- choice, legislation for social justices for minorities Opposes: Increase in defense spending, prayer in schools, tax breaks for upper class

36 Pessimistic about human nature believing that gov’t should be small. Gov’t should focus on keeping order. Favors: 1. 1.Military spending, 2. market economy, 3. 3.prayer in school, 4. 4. tax breaks on wealthy Opposes: 1. 1.Abortion 2. 2.affirmative action 3. 3.spending on social programs Wealthy tends to be conservative but this is changing

37 Individual liberty Minimal government involvement Free Market Economy Neutrality Foreign Policy Absence of regulation on matters of morality, economy, and social life

38 Neo-Conservatives 1. 1.Low tax, pro-economic growth 2. 2.Ordered approach to domestic issues – – Traditional values – pro-life, against gay marriage, support death penalty 3. 3.Expansive foreign policy Counter global terrorism – “war on terror” expensive

39 Ownership of the economy by the government or a collective. Characteristics – – Economic and Social Equality – – Gov’t ownership of land and production – – Social Welfare – – Classless Society China, Vietnam, and Cuba

40 Most Americans tend to be more moderate or Centrists rather than Extremists 6%

41 Example East and West Coasts – more liberal Mid-West – more conservative Urban - liberal South – 1870-1950s - Democrat “Solid South” but today they are primarily social conservatives White Southerner always less liberal

42 Public trust of government has declined significantly in the last forty years

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