Public Opinion Public Opinion & Political Socialization

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    18-Jan-2018

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Checks on American Govt. from Public Opinion Representative govt. Representative govt. (Federalist 10 & creation of republic) Federalism Federalism Separation of powers Separation of powers BOR BOR Independent judiciary Independent judiciary

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Public Opinion Public Opinion & Political Socialization Public Opinion Did the Framers intend for our government to mirror public opinion? Did the Framers intend for our government to mirror public opinion? What part of our government protects against public opinion or popular passions? What part of our government protects against public opinion or popular passions? Checks on American Govt. from Public Opinion Representative govt. Representative govt. (Federalist 10 & creation of republic) Federalism Federalism Separation of powers Separation of powers BOR BOR Independent judiciary Independent judiciary Public Opinion The attitudes, perceptions, and viewpoints individuals hold about government and politics The attitudes, perceptions, and viewpoints individuals hold about government and politics Influenced by political culture and political socialization Influenced by political culture and political socialization Skewed by limited political education and efficacy Skewed by limited political education and efficacy Shaped by government, interest groups, and mass media Shaped by government, interest groups, and mass media Development of Polls Straw Polls Straw Polls Asked same question to large number of people Unreliable due to no cross-section of general population George Gallups Ideas George Gallups Ideas Sampling Represent general population and randomized Valid questions Clear, fair, unbiased, not misleading Control of poll Tone of question, basic knowledge of issues Analysis Provide sampling errors, show time and place of poll Political Socialization Process through which an individual acquires political opinions and assimilates into our nations political system Process through which an individual acquires political opinions and assimilates into our nations political system Agents of socialization Agents of socialization Family School Peer Groups Mass Media Factors that Affect Public Opinion Religion Religious influences on opinion most pronounced on social issues Religious influences on opinion most pronounced on social issues Jews are the most liberal demographic group today Jews are the most liberal demographic group today Catholics tend to be liberal Catholics tend to be liberal Protestants tend to be conservative Protestants tend to be conservative Fundamentalist Christians (born again or evangelicals) are the most conservative groups today Fundamentalist Christians (born again or evangelicals) are the most conservative groups today Christian Coalition- Republican affiliation, was once very powerful grassroots organization Christian Coalition- Republican affiliation, was once very powerful grassroots organization Atheist or agnostics are more liberal than conservative Atheist or agnostics are more liberal than conservative Gender Gap Women were more likely to support the Republican Party than men in the 1920s and through the 1960scorrelation reversed Women were more likely to support the Republican Party than men in the 1920s and through the 1960scorrelation reversed Men have become increasingly Republican since the 1960s but women has remained unchanged Men have become increasingly Republican since the 1960s but women has remained unchanged Biggest reason for gap: size of govt., gun control, spending programs aimed at poor, and gay rights Biggest reason for gap: size of govt., gun control, spending programs aimed at poor, and gay rights Education Increased schooling leads to greater political activity Increased schooling leads to greater political activity College tends to have a liberalizing affect on students College tends to have a liberalizing affect on students Students at the most prestigious or selective colleges are the most liberal of all Students at the most prestigious or selective colleges are the most liberal of all Married v. Unmarried Singles are more likely to vote for Democratic candidates Singles are more likely to vote for Democratic candidates Married voters are more likely to support Republicans Married voters are more likely to support Republicans Sexual Orientation Homosexuals tend to side with liberal policies especially regarding social issues Homosexuals tend to side with liberal policies especially regarding social issues Homosexuals concentrated in urban areas Homosexuals concentrated in urban areas Strong religious affiliations compel most heterosexuals to deny equal rights to homosexuals Strong religious affiliations compel most heterosexuals to deny equal rights to homosexuals Blue: Allows same sex marriage Red: State constitution bans same sex marriage and same sex unions Social Class Americans vote less based on class than Europeans Americans vote less based on class than Europeans The main reason is COLLEGE- the great equalizer of the social classes. The main reason is COLLEGE- the great equalizer of the social classes. This factor has recently been the most unclear and hardest trait to predict This factor has recently been the most unclear and hardest trait to predict Social Class Lower-class Lower-class Limited education Prefer more government economic intervention Tend to vote Democrat, but low voter turnout Working-class (blue-collar) Working-class (blue-collar) Tend to vote Democrat, but subject to other influences White blue-collar workers tend to vote more Republican Middle-class (white-collar) Middle-class (white-collar) Tend to be split and dependent on other influences Upper-class Upper-class Tend to vote Republican with pro-business policies and less government economic intrusion Race and Ethnicity Whites vote more Republican Whites vote more Republican Support death penalty, more defense spending Blacks vote more Democrat Blacks vote more Democrat Affirmative action, national healthcare Hispanics vote more Democrat Hispanics vote more Democrat immigration Asians vote more Republican Asians vote more Republican Conservative culture 2008 Democratic primary campaign between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton Region New England - more liberal New England - more liberal Southeast/Bible Belt - more conservative Southeast/Bible Belt - more conservative Midwest - more conservative Midwest - more conservative Pacific - more liberal Pacific - more liberal Urban - more liberal/Democratic Urban - more liberal/Democratic Suburbs/small towns - more conservative Suburbs/small towns - more conservative Rural - more conservative/Republican Rural - more conservative/Republican Solid South Solid South Cleavages in Public Opinion Public opinions are never absolute and always overlap Public opinions are never absolute and always overlap Examples: Examples: Blacks vote Democrat due to support on affirmative action and equality policies, but most blacks are against gay marriage Cubans vote Republican despite majority of Hispanics voting Democrat for immigration policies A blue-collar worker would vote Democrat for pro-union policies, but votes Republican due to conservative religious traditions Though men tend to vote more Republican than women, most men support pro-choice policies

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