Public Opinion and Polling How do we measure public opinion? How do citizens participate in government?

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Polls Random Sampling- must be representative of the population and random Sampling Error- + or the poll could be skewed. The more polled, the lower the sampling error. Self Reported- Who actually does this? Random Digit Dialing


<p>Public Opinion and Polling How do we measure public opinion? How do citizens participate in government? Polls The Role of Polls in American Democracy Polls help politicians figure out public preferences. Exit Polls- used by the media to predict election day winners. Dangers? -Bandwagon effect -Wording effect Polls Random Sampling- must be representative of the population and random Sampling Error- + or the poll could be skewed. The more polled, the lower the sampling error. Self Reported- Who actually does this? Random Digit Dialing Obama is the worst president ever according to polls.;v=H FDSeH0Y4FA Political Participation All the activities used by citizens to influence the selection of political leaders or the policies they pursue. Conventional Participation Voting in elections Most common form of participation US has lower turnout than most other countries Suffrage= the right to vote Progressive movement created more direct participation through voting which allowed citizens to: Direct primary- nominate candidates Recall- remove officials from office Referendum- vote directly on issues call propositions Initiative- petition to propose issues to be decided by voterss-and-campaigns/initiative- referendum-and-recall-overview.aspxs-and-campaigns/initiative- referendum-and-recall-overview.aspx More Conventional Participation Working in campaigns Contributing campaign $ Running for office Contacting elected officials Forming interest groups Unconventional Participation Protest: A form of political participation designed to achieve policy changes through dramatic non violent and legal tactics. Civil disobedience: A form of political participation that reflects a conscious decision to break a law believed to be immoral and to suffer the consequences. Why People Do NOT Participate What Polls Reveal About Americans Political Information (3 things) Americans dont know much about politics. Americans may know their basic beliefs, but not how that affects policies of the government. Ideology vs Ideas The Decline of Trust in Government Now only about 25% of the public trust the government most of the time or always. Trust in Government- Causes? Figure 6.5 Who participates? Political Demographics and Socialization - How has our population changed and why does it matter? - What factors influence political identity? Change in Demographics The Immigrant Society Wave 1: Before the late 19 th century- northwestern Europeans. Wave 2: During the late 19 th century- southern and eastern Europeans. Wave 3: Recent decades- Hispanics from Central America &amp; Mexico. Asians from Vietnam, South Korea, etc. Change in Demographics The American Melting Pot Minority Majority Illegal immigration Figure 6.1 The American People Greying of America workers per retiree workers per retiree Figure 6.2 The Regional Shift Census Every 10 years Yankeedom: Founded by Puritans, residents in Northeastern states and the industrial Midwest tend to be more comfortable with government regulation. They value education and the common good more than other regions. New Netherland: The Netherlands was the most sophisticated society in the Western world when New York was founded, Woodard writes, so its no wonder that the region has been a hub of global commerce. Its also the region most accepting of historically persecuted populations. The Midlands: Stretching from Quaker territory west through Iowa and into more populated areas of the Midwest, the Midlands are pluralistic and organized around the middle class. Government intrusion is unwelcome, and ethnic and ideological purity isnt a priority. The Far West: The Great Plains and the Mountain West were built by industry, made necessary by harsh, sometimes inhospitable climates. Far Westerners are intensely libertarian and deeply distrustful of big institutions, whether they are railroads and monopolies or the federal government. New France: Former French colonies in and around New Orleans and Quebec tend toward consensus and egalitarian Tidewater: The coastal regions in the English colonies of Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and Delaware tend to respect authority and value tradition. Once the most powerful American nation, it began to decline during Westward expansion. Greater Appalachia: Extending from West Virginia through the Great Smoky Mountains and into Northwest Texas, the descendants of Irish, English and Scottish settlers value individual liberty. Residents are intensely suspicious of lowland aristocrats and Yankee social engineers. Deep South: Dixie still traces its roots to the caste system established by masters who tried to duplicate West Indies-style slave society, Woodard writes. The Old South values states rights and local control and fights the expansion of federal powers. El Norte: Southwest Texas and the border region is the oldest, and most linguistically different, nation in the Americas. Hard work and self-sufficiency are prized values. The Left Coast: A hybrid, Woodard says, of Appalachian independence and Yankee utopianism loosely defined by the Pacific Ocean on one side and coastal mountain ranges like the Cascades and the Sierra Nevadas on the other. The independence and innovation required of early explorers continues to manifest in places like Silicon Valley and the tech companies around Seattle. Why do changing demographics matter? Congressional Representation Reapportionment Elections How Americans Learn About Politics: Political Socialization Political Socialization: Process by which citizens acquire a sense of political identity. The Process of Political Socialization Demographics The Family The Mass Media School / Education Peers World and Life Events 70% Your parents are most influential in determining your political affiliation. Political Ideologies Political Ideology: A coherent set of beliefs about politics, public policy, and public purpose. Liberals believe in government action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all. It is the duty of the government to alleviate social ills and to protect civil liberties and individual and human rights. Conservatives believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense. Currently about 42% conservative, 25% liberal, 34% moderate NOT always the same as political parties</p>


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