A very straight forward concept; what the public thinks about a particular issue or set of issues at any point in time.
Public opinion polls
Interviews with samples of citizens that are used to estimate feelings and beliefs of the entire population.
Iowan who is considered the founder of modern day polling, polls have played a key role in defining issues of concern to the public, shaping administration decisions and helping "speed up the process of democracy" in the U.S.
Walter Lippmann observed that research on public opinion was far too limited, especially in light of its importance.
Popular magazine that first began national presidential polling in the 1916, use of straw polling.
An unscientific survey used to gauge public opinion, to predict the popular vote.