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Forming Public Opinion, The Mass Media, and Interest Groups and Political Action Committees, and campaign finance.

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Presentation on theme: "Forming Public Opinion, The Mass Media, and Interest Groups and Political Action Committees, and campaign finance."— Presentation transcript:

1 Forming Public Opinion, The Mass Media, and Interest Groups and Political Action Committees, and campaign finance

2 Running for office In a four year period Americans spend billions of dollars on national, state, and local elections The primary and general election campaigns are long and expensive For example in the 2008 Presidential Election the primary season started in January and ended with the general election in November. “The 2008 campaign was the costliest in history, with a record-shattering $5.3 billion in spending by candidates, political parties and interest groups on the congressional and presidential races.”

3 Ways to campaign #1: Canvassing- when campaign workers and candidates travel through neighborhoods passing out materials to voters and talk to them to “sell” their positions. #2: Endorsements-this is when a famous person says they are going to vote for a candidate. This can work for you and against you. #3: Advertising and Image Molding- this when the candidate and campaign workers great the right image. The use commercials to attack their opponents.

4 Campaign Expenses What do they spend our donations on? 1. TV commercials 2. Airfare 3. Other transportation 4. Salaries for campaign workers 5. Printing costs, phone bills

5 Federal Election Campaign Act The 1971 Election Campaign Act was passed to put some controls on election spending. It required public disclosure of each candidate’s spending. This is referred to as hard money. The creation of the Federal Election Commission. The purpose of the FEC is to monitor campaign spending and it required all candidates to report any donation over $200 FECA also set up the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. This is where you and I can donate $3 on our tax returns to the PECF. If a candidate decides to take public funds they cannot take money from private donations.

6 Campaign Reform 2002: The McCain-Feingold Act This act prevents candidates from raising soft money, which is money given to a political party for general purposes. The soft money is then funneled to the candidate. PACs or political action committees are groups of people that funnel soft money to candidates. The McCain-Feingold Act put limits on hard money. hard money was limited to $2000 per donor for a candidate and $25000 for a political party.

7 Current law tus.html tus.html

8 Public Opinion Public Opinion are the ideas and attitudes of the electorate. Public opinion can guide politicians on what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong.

9 Sources of Public Opinion Personal Background- Your age, gender, race, income, religion, and occupation can influence how you feel about an issue. The Mass Media- The television, radio, magazines, newspapers, the Internet, books, etc… make up the mass media. Public officials-elected officials hope to persuade as many people as possible to agree with them Interests groups- Theses are individuals who share the same point of view.

10 Measuring public opinion You can create a poll which is a survey where individuals answer questions concerning anything. Push polls are polls that lead you to answer a question the way the pollster wants you to answer it.

11 Interest Groups Economic Interest Groups: An economic interest group deals with an aspect of the economy. For example the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is an interest group that is made up small business owners.

12 Other interest groups NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is a group that works to improve the lives of African Americans. The National Organization for Women (NOW) works to improve the lives of women. The NRA (National Rifle Association) works for the interests of all gun owners.

13 Features of Public Opinion Direction- are you for or against something? Intensity- this is the strength of your opinion Stability-how firm are you in your beliefs

14 Lobbyists Lobbyists work for interest groups and their sole job is to talk to members of Congress and get them to vote on bills to help their interest group

15 Regulating Interest Groups Federal legislation has limited the amount of money a PAC can give to candidates and political parties. In other words. A lobbyists for the NRA cannot give an elected official 1 million dollars to vote “yes” on a bill that would help their interest group.

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