-Representative SampleDraws from all groupsSampling ErrorThe level of confidence in the findings of a public opinion poll, =/-3%Role of Polls in American DemocracyHelp politicians figure out public preferences.
Wording of question makes a difference.
Polls reflect the policy agenda—problems the people inside and outside of government believe must be addressed.Exit Polls-used by the media to predict election day winners.What Polls Reveal About Americans' Political InformationAmericans don't know much about politics.
Americans may know their basic beliefs, but not how that affects policies of the government.The Decline of Trust in GovernmentNow only about 25% of the public trust the government most of the time or always.Political Ideology:A coherent set of beliefs about politics, public policy, and public purposeThe Republican Party CoalitionRural voters/farmers
College EducatedDemocratic CoalitionUrban dwellers
Hispanics and African Americans
High School Diploma
Advanced DegreeThe Gender GapWomen vote for the Democratic candidates at higher rates than Republican candidates.Liberals:More domestic spending
Favor affirmative action
Favor progressive taxation
Pro gay marriageConservatives:More military spending
Oppose affirmative action
Keep taxes low
Support traditional marriagePolitical Participation:All the activities used by citizens to influence the selection of political leaders or the policies they pursue.Conventional ParticipationVoting in elections
Working in campaigns / running for office
Contacting elected officialsProtestA form of political participation designed to achieve policy changes through dramatic and unconventional tactics.Civil disobedienceA form of political participation that reflects a conscious decision to break a law believed to be immoral and to suffer the consequences.Gender gapis the difference between women and men as reflected in social, political, intellectual, cultural, or economic attainments or attitudes.Political culturean overall set of values widely shared within a societyPolitical socializationthe process by which people gain their political attitudes and opinionsPolitical efficacyThe belief that one's political participation really matters - that one's vote can actually make a differencedescriptive representationthe idea that an elected body should mirror demographically the population it representslinked fateA theory of group identification that describes ways in which individuals tie their own life chances to those of a group