Presentation on theme: "Definition Expression of attitudes concerning government and politics Many publics Influenced by political socialization and demography Public matters,"— Presentation transcript:
Definition Expression of attitudes concerning government and politics Many publics Influenced by political socialization and demography Public matters, not fashion, entertainment, etc.
How is public opinion measured? Polls: person, PHONE, internet, mail Concerns? What are focus groups? Gallup poll (1932) – scientific method Others: Pew Research, Zogbys, etc.
Polling in elections Tracking polls Exit polls-only way we know how demographic groups voted since ballots are secret
Key poll terms to know Sample: representative of universe Universe: group to be measured Random sample: crucial to validity, equal probability of being selected Cluster sampling: type of random sample Accurate representation is key---quality not quantity Sampling error: margin of error +/- 3 points is considered accurate
What are the pros of polling in public office? More democratic More efficient than waiting for next election Political participation
What are the cons of polling? Discourages bold leadership since candidate follows polls too much Bandwagon effect among voters Horserace coverage by media Exit polls (most criticized) Wording can get a specific result Do you favor ending the war in the Middle East? Do you favor ending the war in the Middle East no matter what the cost? Undecided voters can affect poll results
How does polling affect policy?
How bad is it?
Turnout Percentage of voting age public who actually vote See handout 2000 Census-97 million people DID NOT vote General elections v. off-year elections Primaries and caucuses?
Why do people not vote? Most common reason is APATHY Political scientists give other reasons for non- voting that may contribute to apathy among American voters Divided into 3 categories Demographic Psychological Institutional
Demographic reasons for non voting A.K.A. Sociological reasons Income Age Educational level Race or ethnicity Religion All contribute to a sense of no political efficacy
Psychological reasons for non voting Candidate appeal Issues Party identification #1 indicator of how a person will vote on election day Negative campaigning
Institutional reasons for non voting AKA Governmental reasons for non voting Registration and residency requirements Felons denied the right to vote Large number of elections Absentee process is too complicated Ballots are too complex and long Weekday voting Citizenship requirement Independents in closed primary states
Expansion of voting Which amendments expanded voting rights? 15th 19 th 23 rd 26 th
Motor Voter Act (1990s) Law requiring states and federal agencies to register voters (DMV, SSA) Impact? Increase voter registration and remove barriers to voting
Help America Vote Act (2002) Law to correct irregularities in the election of 2000 No punchcard machines, federal grants to improve voter education and poll worker training Statewide voter registration system Submit a state plan in order to receive funding Impact? Decrease fraud, more accurate record of voting, transparency in the process
Current voter issues Identification requirements in Alabama Politics in registration (registering where they sell hunting licenses in FL) Paid workers must take online training course in OH FL fines non-partisan groups who register voters if they submit forms late