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What are 3 reasons why government policy oftem seems as odds with public opinion?
- *Framers didn't want majoritarian politics to rule
- *Polls are limited in what they can tell us about most matters of government
- *The more active and knowledgeable people are about politics, the more weight their opinions will carry
What are 5 checks on public opinion given to us by the framers?
- *Independent judiciary
- *Bill of rights
- *Separation of powers
- *Representative democracy
- *Federalism -> Supremacy Clause
What can dramatically affect the answer a pollster gets to a question asked?
Phrasing of the question
How can it be said the public opinion is 'unstable'?
It changes in response to international and domestic events
What is the difference between John Q. Public, Middle America, and the Silent Majority?
- JQP- Average man on the street
- MA- Not impoverished, but not rich
- SM- People of socioeconomic status who hold traditional views
Define political socialization:
How we becomeour political selves
What has the biggest impact on the political socialization of children?
How has the role of the family with regards to political identity changed in recent years?
Family doesn't inculate a strong sense of party identity anymore
What has been dropping since the 1950's?
The percent of the population that considers themselves republican or democrat
Explain the "social status" theory in regards to political socialization:
Immigrants, the poor, and the discriminated against affiliate with the party/social doctrine most sympathetic to their plight
What is the "gender gap"? What are some issues?
- Difference in political views between men and women.
- Issues: Healthcare, war/conflict, gun control
What determines the intensity of the gender gap in different elections?
- When gender issues become mostly partisan
- EX: equal pay, healthcare, war
How does the level of one's education affect their political outlook?
The more educated one is, the more liberal one tends to be
What is one reason given that would explain the liberal leanings of elite university professors?
Intuectualism: Freedom to explore new and unpopular ideas
Cleavages in public opinion are based on what 5 things?
How is public opinion impacted by social class in the US?
How do current issues affect the perception of issue by social class?
The issues that get us to support one party or the other are increasingly noneconomic
What ethnic group is consistently the most liberal?
What are some issues that blacks and whites see in a different light?
- Racial profiling
- Death penalty
- Affirmitave action
How does the outlook of black leadership differ from that of the black mainstream?
National black leaders tend to be more liberal than average blacks
Which parts of the hispanic community are liberal or conservative?
- Mex-americans and Puerto Ricans historically voted democrat 65-35%
- Cuban-americans have tended to be more conservative and favour republican
What is the general political philosophy of Asians?
Conservatve; involved with private business
Politically, in what way do southerners differ from northerners?
Tend to be more socially and politically conservative
What happened to the political affiliation of many white southerners in the '70's and '80's?
Left the democrats and went republican
How has the south been traditionally important for the democratic party?
Democratic candidates MUST have the vote of the south
What is the given definition of political ideology?
A consistent and coherant set of beliefs about who should rule, what principle they should obey, etc.
What do most Americans describe themselves as?
What is the smallest of the three groups mentioned?
Conservatives outnumber liberals by 10%
Why is there a recent surge in the number of self-described "moderates"?
Disgust with the parties
What caused the dropoff in the number of conservatives?
10 years of Reagan and Daddy Bush
What caused the rebound of conservatives in 1992?
The Gulf War
What did being liberal mean in the time of FDR?
- *Active government intervening in the economy
- *Promote creating social programs
- *Helping to help certain groups acquire power
Who was the first republican politician to emply the term "conservative"?
In the time of FDR, what did being a conservative mean?
- *Favouring free market
- *Having a strong belief in states rights
- *Reliance on individual choices
What is the liberal posistion on: The economy?
- *Government ensures everyone has a job
- *Spend more money on medical and education programs
- *Increase taxes on the rich
What is the liberal posistion on: Civil rights and race relations?
- *Increased hiring opportunities for minorities
- *Compensatory programs for minorities
- *Enforce civil rights laws strongly
What is the liberal posistion on: Public/personal conduct?
- *Liberals tend to be more tolerant of protest demonstrations
- *Want to decriminalize victimless crimes
- *Want to protect the rights of the accused
- *Want to eliminate the economic causes of crime
Pure liberals: On what two issues are they liberal?
Economic and personal conduct
Liberals want to reduce _____ inequality
Describe the average liberal:
- College educated
What percent of the US population is purely liberal?
Pure conservatives: On what two issues are they conservative?
Economic and personal conduct
How do conservatives view government involvement in economic matters?
Less involvement is best
How do conservatives differ from liberals on crime issues?
Tend to be tougher on crime
How do conservatives differ from liberals on tax issues?
Generally favour lower taxes
Describe a typical conservative:
- College educated
- Higher income
What percent of the US is considered conservative?
What are populist posistions on economic and social matters?
Liberal on economic issues, conservative on social
Describe a typical populist:
- Less educated
What percent of the US is considered populist?
In the US, what are elites more often referred?
What kinds of people can be described as activist?
- *People who hold office
- *People who run for office
- *People who work on political campaigns
- *People who lead interest groups
- *People who speak on public issues
How does the level of activist participation affect ideology consistency?
The more active you are, the more consistent you are
How do information and one's peers affect this political socialization?
- INFO- more informed you are, more consistent you'll be
- PEERS- more politically active you are, the more likely you are to associate with people who share your views
What does the author say about liberal and conservative in their pure forms?
It applies to few people
How do delegates to presidential nominating conventions differ from 'rank and file' democrats and republicans?
Convention delagates are far more ideological than the average democratic or republican voter
John McAdam argues that the middle class has been split into what two groups?
The 'traditional' and the 'new' class
How do the traditional and new class differ on:
Level of education:
Government involvement in the economy:
How they vote:
- New class is more educated
- New class is more critical of business
- New class is more liberal
- New vote democrat; traditional vote republican
The strain in the middle class is felt mostly by which political party?
In what two ways do elites influence public opinion? What is a 'norm'?
- 1. Elites 'frame' the issues
- 2. Elites state the norms by which issues should be settled
- Norm- A standard of right and proper conduct
What is a central question facing any student of government, with regards to elites and policy making?
Is there enough diversity of opinion + influence among elites to justify calling politics 'pluralists'?
What percentage of Americans vote in presidential elections?
Why is the conventional data regarding nonvoting misleading?
The data measures the percentage of the voting age public that goes to the polls, not the percentage of registered voters
What percentage of the US voting population is registered to vote? How do the percentages of the voting-age population that votes differ from the percentage of registered voters that vote?
- 1. About 2/3 are registered to vote
- 2. About 53% of voting age population votes
- 3. About 87% of registered voters vote
The problem with the low percentage of Americans that vote is what?
The relatively low percentage of Americans that are registered to vote
What are some institutional obstacles to voting?
- *Registration process
- *One day voting
- *Remoteness of polling places
- *Archaic voting machines
- *Tardy mailing of absentee ballots
How is the voter registration in Europe different from the US?
It's done automatically
How did the Motor Voter Bill (passed 1993) make it easier for people to register?
It allowed people to register at DMV
Why was the Motor Voter Bill praised by democrats and reviled by republicans?
The people who are less activists (don't take time to vote) tend to support democrats
Voting is just one form of political participation, what are others?
- *Joining civic associations
- *Supporting social movements
- *Writing to legislatures
- *Fighting city hall
- *Campaign contributions
Why might it be bad if 100% of Americans did vote?
It would indicate serious discontent in the country
What has been the proportion of voting age population that has gone to the polls in presidential elections been consistently since 1932?
What are two theories for the reason that fewer people are voting in the US today as opposed to the late 19th century?
- I) Previously intensely competitive races of the 19th gave way to lopsided contests
- II) The decline in voter turn out was more apparent then real (voter frauds easier to perpitrate)
What unintended consequence has strict voter registration requirements had?
People with low levels of education and recent move-ins can't vote
What is the most common form of political participation in the US?
Voting in presidential elections
What is the stereotype of a person falsely claiming to vote?
Young, low income, less educated, non-white
What fraction of the US population is politically inactive and what is their profile?
- Low income, less educated, non-white
What fraction of the US population is considered activist and what is their profile?
- College educated, higher income
In what ways do education and age affect levels of political participation? Why is this true?
- Older and more educated are more likely to vote
- Older people have more to protect
How does religious activity impact political participation?
The more religious you are, the more politically active you are
How do voting rates for men and women differ?
It's about the same
How do voting rates for blacks and whites differ?
- Whites vote at a higher rate.
- *Black college students vote at a higher rate than white college students*
If blacks and whites have similar educational backgrounds and socioeconomic statues, how is political participation impacted?
Blacks vote at a higher rate
How has federal law concerning voter registration changed things?
Laws have made it more difficult for people with lesser education and those with transient professions to vote
People are voting less these days. Theories?
- Growing youthfulness of the population (especially among minorities)
- Political parties aren't as effective at mobilizing voters
- Remaining impediments of registration
- No cost for voting
- People think their votes doesn't matter
Republicans or democrats? Which one believes that a higher voter turnout hurts them?
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Aft of 2002 is better known by what name?
McCain - Feingold
What two things were banned by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002?
Soft money and independent advertising before primary and general elections
What is the main constitutional problem created by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002?
Problem with violation of the 1st amendment
What is the definition of lobbying?
The act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most are legislatures and members of regulatory agencies
WOMEN: Their stregnth in voting comes from... Their weakness in voting comes from...
- Slightly more than half of the population...
- Not voting as a unified bloc...
WOMEN: Their strength in lobbying is... Their weakness in lobbying is...
- Their numbers...
- Radical feminists can turn off middle class America...
BIG BUSINESS LEADERS: Their strength in voting comes from... Their weakness in voting comes from...
- Lack of numbers...
BIG BUSINESS LEADERS: Their strength in lobbying is... Their weakness in lobbying is...
- Has the money that the polititions need for campaigns
- Can be seen as buying polititions...
FARMERS: Their strength in voting is... Their weakness in voting is...
- Electing midwestern senators who are engaged in logrolling and protecting government payments (known as subsidaries)...
- Small overall numbers; 3% of population...
FARMERS: Their strength in lobbying is... Their weakness in lobbying is...
- 40% of senate represents sparsely populated agriculteral states...
- A perception of feeding at the public trough...
What religion tends to be more conservative?
What religion tends to be more liberal?