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public opinion

distribution of the population's beliefs about politics and policy issues


the science of population changes


a valuable tool for understanding demographic changes. Const requires that the government conduct an "actual enumeration" of the population every ten years

minority majority

the emergence of a non-Caucasion majority

political culture

an overall set of values widely shared within a society


process of reallocating seats in the HofR every 10 years based on results of census

political socialization

process by which a young person acquires political orientation as they grow up, based on inputs from parents, teachers, media and friends


relatively small proportion of people who are chosen in a survey so as to be representative of the whole

random sampling

key technique of surveyors, which operate on principles that everyone should have an equal probability of being selected for sample

sampling error

level of confidence in findings of a public opinion poll. More people sampled, more confident

exit poll

pub opinion surveys used by major media pollsters to predict electoral winners with speed and precision

political ideology

a coherent set of beliefs about politics, public policy, and public purpose. It helps give meaning to political events personalities and policies

gender gap

regulatory pattern by which women are more likely to support Dem candidates. Women tend to be signifcantly less conservative than men

political participation

all activities used by citizens to influence the selection of political leaders or the policies they pursue


a form of political participation designed to achieve policy change through dramatic and unconventional 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

push poll

a "poll" taken for the purpose of providing information on an opponent that would lead the respondents to vote against the candidate

stratified sampling

a variation of random sampling; Census data are used to divide the country into four sampling regions. Sets of counties and standard metro statisitical areas are then randomly selected in proportion to the total national population

straw poll

unscientific survey used to gauge public opinion on a variety of issues and policies

tracking polls

continuous surveys that enable a campaign to chart its rise or fall in support over time


one who believes that a government is best that governs least and that big gov only infringes on individual, personal, and economic rights; believes in lower taxes, strong natl defense


one who adheres to a political ideology that prefers a gov active in the economy and the provision of a human and social services and that takes an activist role in protecting the rights of the disadvantaged and the environment


one who favors a free market economy and absolutely no government interference with personal liberties

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