Chapter 8: Public Opinion
Terms in this set (47)
In 2000, who was the first state to recognize same-sex civil unions?
How did the change in same-sex marriage began?
With generation Y
What did the ban of same-sex marriage violate>
The fourteen amendment, which guaranteed "equal protection under the laws"
Public opinion is simply the sum of
individual beliefs and opinions
Wealthier people tend to vote
Poorer Americans tend to vote
Basic demographic detail- such as race, age, gender, ethnicity, and level of education- are strong
predictors of people's political outlook
Patterned differences in political opinions between women and men
Democratic presidential candidates by an average of five percent
Younger voters tend to support ________, while their elders lean ______
Today the difference between Democrats and Republican voters is a
whooping eighteen points
Individuals who control significant wealth, status, power, or visibility and consequently have significant influence over public debate
The greatest influence is wielded by figures who have the most
Tragedy, terrorist attacks, and the start of wars generally produce
consensus and a spike in the governments approval ratings
A designated group of people whom a set of poll respondents is randomly selected
People sharing specific characteristics such as age, ethnicity/race, religion, or country of origin
Persons identified as probable voters in an upcoming election. Often preferred by polling organizations, but difficult to specify with great accuracy
The influence, on the respondent, of how a polling question is asked; changes in wording can significantly alter many people's answer
When elites compete to shape members of the public's views on issues, they are trying to
frame the issue- to give the issue a particular slant
A form of negative campaigning that masquerades as a regular opinion survey. Usually conducted by a campaign or allied group; features strongly critical or unflattering information about an opponent
Margin of sampling error:
The degree of inaccuracy in any poll, arising from the fact that surveys involve a sample of respondents from a population, rather than every member
the tendency of poll respondents to misstate their views, frequently to avoid "shameful" opinions like sexism or racism
Conducted by a campaign as the race begins, these surveys provide a biases for comparison, or a "'benchmark" for later polls. With a benchmark number, candidates can tell if their likelihood of winning is rising or falling
Informal polls carried out by the local party organizations or new outlets; they often involve actual (nonbinding) votes cast by party members. media organizations (and the straw poll winners) report straw poll results, especially during presidential primaries
The apparent inclination of some survey respondents to avoid appearing racist or racially motivated has become known as
the "Bradley effect"
When people join a cause because it seems popular or support a candidate who is leading in the polls
The discrepancy between candidates' high poll ratings and election performance, caused by supporters' assumption that an easy win means they need not turn out
Sympathy for a candidate behind in the polls, contributing to a higher-than-predicted vote total- and sometimes a surprise election victory
Candidates who are leading in the polls tend to
pick up support from voters who are undecided or who weakly supported the opponent (bandwagon effect)
What is the boomerang effect?
When a candidate who has been consistently ahead in opinion surveys performs more poorly than expected on Election Day
Internal surveys conducted by a campaign once election seasons begins. They provide details about how a candidate is performing; if things are going poorly, the campaign can work to put out the "brushfire" of opposition (which burns swiftly and potentially spreads fast).
Performed on Election Day, both by campaigns and news organizations, these surveys intercept voters as they exit polls to call results for one or the other candidate, even if ballots haven't been officially counted
Americans care about public opinion because of its direct connection to
The lack of a stable perspective in response to opinion surveys; answers to questions may be self-contradictory or may display no ideological consistency
What shook confidence in the value of both public opinion and the scientific methods used to measure it?
"The American Voter"
Cues about candidates and polices drawn from everyday life, part preferences, and significant figures like friends, family and trusted leaders. Most people use these cues to form basic political opinions
The tendency among a small group of decision-makers to converge on a shared set of views; can limit creative thinking or solution to policy problems
What was Benjamin Page and Robert Shapiro conclusion in "The Rational Public"
The collective public has rational views and the government should pay closer attention to them
What are the three conditions that must be met if public opinion is to guide government?
1.) The people know what they want and guide government decisions 2.) the public can clearly communicate its desires to political leaders 3.) Political leaders pay attention to public views-and responds
Public officials in democracy aim to
reflect majority opinion while taking the rights and needs of the minority into account
Systematic study for a defined population, analyzing a representative sample's view to draw inferences about the larger public's view. also termed opinion poll
Political authority claimed by an election winner as reflecting the approval of the people
A measure of public support for a political figure or institution
A presidential declaration, with the force of law, that issues instructions to the executive branch without any requirement for congressional action or approval
The issues that the media covers, the public considers important, and politician address. Setting the agenda is the first step in political action
Public opinion helps shape
what topics governing official pay attention to in the first place
U.S. government official devote more resources to polling operations than do
top officials in other nations
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