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Interest Groups and Public Opinion Local, State, and National Government.

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Presentation on theme: "Interest Groups and Public Opinion Local, State, and National Government."— Presentation transcript:

1 Interest Groups and Public Opinion Local, State, and National Government

2 Interest Groups An interest group is a group of people who share common goals and organize to influence government. These groups spend a great deal of money and put a lot of effort into persuading government officials to support bills or policies the group feels will be beneficial.

3 Interest Groups are NOT Political Parties...They do not nominate candidates. …Only concerned with a few specific issues and do not try to gain members with different opinions. …Organized on the basis of common values rather than on geographic location.

4 Why belong to an Interest Group? Economic self-interest Beliefs, values, and attitudes Social reasons ***Most who join tend to be from upper income levels.

5 Types of Interest Groups Business and Labor (NAM-AFL-CIO)AFL-CIO Agricultural groups represent farmers. (Grange)Grange Professional Associations Environmental groups Public Interest groups

6 Major Special Interest Groups National Association for the Advancement of Colored People American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organization American Medical Association assn.org/ assn.org/ National Education Association National Association for the Advancement of Colored People American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organization American Medical Association assn.org/ assn.org/ National Education Association

7 Purpose and Methods of Interest Groups Provide Americans with additional Representation Seek to Inform the Public and Officials of Issues  Letter Writing Campaigns  Media Campaigns

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9 Lobbying/Lobbyist Lobbying is the process of making direct contact with government leaders in attempt to influence policy. Lobbyists are the representatives of interest groups who conduct such work.

10 Political Action Committees (PACs) Another vehicle for interest groups to influence government is through PACs. Organizations specifically designed to collect money and provide financial support for a political candidate. Pros and Cons?

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12 Ideology and Public Opinion Political Ideology effects how an individual approaches issues in public policy. Liberal—believes gov’t should actively promote health, education, and justice Conservative—believes in limiting the role of gov’t except in supporting traditional moral values Moderates—fall somewhere in the middle

13 Measuring Public Opinion Political Party membership Participation in Interest Groups Responses to Mass Media Letter Writing Volume Electronic Access ***Scientific Polling***

14 Conclusion Why do we care about interest groups and public opinion? Because research shows that the government is indeed responsive to the desires of the public. Interest groups, political parties, mass media and the public opinion all weigh heavily on government officials when designing public policy.


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