Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

5 Public Opinion. Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.5 - 2 What is Public Opinion? Sources of political attitudes: Family, religion,

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "5 Public Opinion. Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.5 - 2 What is Public Opinion? Sources of political attitudes: Family, religion,"— Presentation transcript:

1 5 Public Opinion

2 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved What is Public Opinion? Sources of political attitudes: Family, religion, information media, schooling - Occupation no longer a major source, due to spread of higher education What are crosscutting cleavages, and why do they exist? - Chief sources are race and ethnicity, class (schooling important), and region - Gender plays an increasingly important role; not unique to the U.S. What is political ideology, and why are most Americans not more ideological? - There is no single liberal-conservative dimension, as many hold opinions of both sides - Political elites (elected politicians, bureaucrats, etc.) tend to be more consistently ideological - Elites have a disproportionate influence on political policy - They influence mass opinion through information dissemination What is the new class theory? Why is it straining the political system? - “New Class:” those advantaged by power resources, and gov’t growth (not business wealth) - Well-off liberals: directly benefit from government, influenced by postgrad edu. -Middle Class split: Traditional: 4 yrs. Col., suburban, church, social, Repub. -New Class: postgrad, urban, liberal social issues, Dem. (Strains D’s)

3 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Table 5.2: The Gender Gap: Differences in Political Views of Men and Women

4 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Group Cleavages, Political Attitudes and Ideology 3 most important cleavages: 1. Occupation: blue collar vs. white collar not as strong (union decline), due to emergence of new class. New class younger, urban, more liberal on social issues; strained Democratic party (Gary Hart, Paul Tsongas, Howard Dean) 2. Race and ethnicity: may be narrowing between blacks and whites (see #5), as more blacks identify with Republican party. May be generational, however. 3. Region: South least liberal of 4 regions, followed by Midwest, then coasts. South part of Democratic coalition historically due to liberal economic positions. Racial and social issues arose that changed this (see #6). Ideological alignment has affected several presidential elections. Political Ideology: a coherent and consistent set of beliefs about who ought to rule, what principles rulers ought to obey, and what policies to pursue. Measured by: 1. Seeing how frequently people speak in broad political categories (lib/cons) when they discuss politics 2. Measuring the extent we can predict a person’s view on one issue by knowing his or her view on another issue. Little ideological thinking among Americans. Exceptions: 1. Activists more consistent; 2. Presidential ideological certitude: clearer public divisions

5 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Table 5.4: African American and White Opinion

6 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Figure 5.1: Whites in the South Leaving the Democrats Source: ICPSR National Election Studies, Cumulative Data File,

7 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Polling: Lies, Dang Lies, and Statistics Polling conditions: random samples, comprehensible questions, fairly asked questions, answer categories matter. Differences in results due to polling error. - “+/- 3%” is a spread of 6% total. Wide margin of error. 3% total much better. Weisberg, Krosnick and Bowen, Introduction to Survey Research and Data Analysis, polling ethical issues list: 1. Bandwagon effect can interfere with political process 2. Good polling numbers can inflate donations 3. Polls may deter potential challengers 4. Large lead may deter turnout on election day 5. People will change opinions to be in the majority 6. Poorly conducted polls could skew election: push polling example 7. Exit-poll results during voting discourages turnout: Hawaii 8. Media results of exit polling often misleading 9. Polls weaken the role of public opinion rather than strengthen it. Polls may dominate other means of opinion expression, like protests Categories as of 1994, economic and personal conduct: -Pure liberals: lib/lib (17%); Pure conservatives: cons/cons (28%); Libertarians: cons/lib (21%); Populists lib/cons: (24%).

8 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Figure 5.2: Ideological Self-Identification, Source: The American Enterprise (March/April 1993):84, Robert S. Ericson and Kent L. Tedin, American Public Opinion, (New York: Longman, 2001), 101, citing surveys by CBS/New York Times.

9 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Table 5.3: The Changing College Student

10 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved Table 5.5: Changes in Racial Opinion


Download ppt "5 Public Opinion. Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.5 - 2 What is Public Opinion? Sources of political attitudes: Family, religion,"

Similar presentations


Ads by Google