Chapter One: Political Opinion and American Democracy
- University of Connecticut
- Urban Affairs And Public Policy
- Urban Affairs And Public Policy 3030
- Chapter One: Political Opinion and American Democracy
Last Modified: 2011-10-16
a system in which the individual is the focus of the political process
- each member of the electorate: interest in public issues, motivated by principle, aware of relevant facts and capable of making decisions rationally
lied about a relationship with a White House intern
- Senate began to consider conviction in 1999
- polls showed public approval of the job he was doing remained high (higher than before scandal)
- only public views of his moral character declined
1) nobody challenged the accuracy of public opinion figures
2) nobody challenged Rudman's claim of basic authority for the voice of the public
strength of an individuals views on an issue
- views of the individual who had never thought about an issue = those of a person who had a longstanding and passionate view
- "one person, one vote"
in addition to being included in the general public can make their views known other ways:
- writing letters, contacting representitives, working through groups
policy decisions consistent with public preferences 2/3 of the time
- 1980-1999 dropped to 55%
- Monroe (1979) - there is a "definite tendincy for pp to be in accordance with public opinion"
- not a strict correspondance between po and gov action
highly developed public opinion: engaged an issue, considered it from all sides, understood the choices, and accepted the consequences of the choices they make
- not people's top-of-the-head views rather than thoughtful, considered judgements
1. selecting a random sample
2. immersing them in the issues
3. providing carefully balance briefing materials with intensive discussions in small groups and questioning experts
4. polled and considered judgements of the public
means of deriving what the public thinks not "public opinion"
relatively enduring orientations toward objects that provide individuals with mental frameworks for making economical sense of the world
the raw material out of which public opinion develops
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