Public Opinion & the Media Linkage Institutions. I. Public Opinion Public opinion: refers to a collection of beliefs held by the public regarding public

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  • Public Opinion & the Media Linkage Institutions
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  • I. Public Opinion Public opinion: refers to a collection of beliefs held by the public regarding public issues (i.e. political policies, foreign affairs, healthcare and welfare, moral issues, crime, etc.) Political socialization: the way in which citizens in a country learn and develop their ideas about government and politics
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  • II. Political Socialization FAMILY : In the United States, family is the #1 influence on the development of our political values Media & education: are powerful factors as well
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  • III. Values Values most Americans hold about politics include respect for democracy and independence, hard work, guaranteed protection of rights and civil liberties, civic duty, and responsibility Together, these values make up our political culture
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  • IV. Public opinion polls are a LINKAGE INSTITUTION Why? Because they connect the people to the government and the government to the people by informing both parties of how the other feels or what they intend to do (i.e. voting intentions, policymaking suggestions, etc.) Americans have diverse political ideologies = personal beliefs about specific policies government should pursue These are commonly measured by public opinion polls
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  • V. Conservatives vs. Liberals Conservatives: tend to favor limited government and freedom of the private sector many support military spending, prayer in school, reduced taxes, and oppose government spending, abortion, and affirmative action Liberals : tend to favor active central government with social and economic responsibilities many favor more equal distribution of wealth, government regulations of big business, social programs, and oppose defense spending, prayer in school, and tax breaks for the rich
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  • VI. Public Opinion Polls These polls are geared toward what type of knowledge the organization intends to collect (some opinion polls are simply conducted to see where the public stands on a current event or topic) Exit polls: voters respond to questions as they leave the voting place (non-voters are NOT included and those who havent voted yet might be influenced) often used as a demographics determinant (how did Muslims, women, or African Americans vote in a given election?) polls-americas-voters-bleak-mood-n241191 polls-americas-voters-bleak-mood-n241191 polls_n_6108574.html
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  • Public Opinion Polls Cont. Push polls: disinformation is planted in the minds of those being surveyed to change opinion For example: would you still vote for.if you found out they had a child as a teenager out of wedlock? Straw polls: conducted to determine which way the wind blows how certain demographics feel; about particular issues or ideas (for example, the White House uses them to determine if a policy under consideration would be favorable or not; online polling is often an example of this); these are often known as trial balloons votes-on-straw-poll/
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  • VII. Bandwagon Effect Definition: poll results that influence people to support the person who appears to be the leading candidate Horserace journalism: media focus on candidates place in the race