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PS 101 Public Opinion & Polling Fall 2008
 

PS 101 Public Opinion & Polling Fall 2008

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Presentation by my TA, Victoria Ibanez.

Presentation by my TA, Victoria Ibanez.

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    PS 101 Public Opinion & Polling Fall 2008 PS 101 Public Opinion & Polling Fall 2008 Presentation Transcript

    • Public Opinion & Polling
    • Public Opinion “...those opinions held by private persons which government finds it prudent to heed.”--V.O. Key, Jr.
    • Does Public Opinion Matter?
    • “The republican principle demands that the deliberative sense of the community should guide the conduct of those to whom they entrust the management of their affairs; but it does not require an unqualified complaisance to every sudden breeze of passion, or to every transient impulse which the people may receive from the arts of men, who flatter their prejudices to betray their interest...” --Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 71
    • Public Opinion The collection of independent politically relevant opinions that ordinary citizens express openly through words or actions.
    • How do we measure public opinion?
    • Scientific vs. Unscientific Polling
    • The Theory of Probability
    • Probability Sample sample design in which each individual in the population has a known probability of being randomly selected for inclusion in a survey or poll
    • Sampling Error?
    • Sample Size Margin of Error (%) 2000 +/-2% 1000 +/-3% 600 +/-5% 400 +/-6% 200 +/-8% 100 +/- 11%
    • The Bell Curve 68% 95%
    • The Phone Book List Problem
    • 1990 U.S. Census
    • Public Opinion Poll a relatively few individuals (the sample) are interviewed in order to estimate the opinions of a whole population.
    • Survey Systematic interviews by trained, professional interviewers, who ask a standardized set of questions of a rather small number of randomly chosen citizens.
    • Unscientific Polling
    • Straw Polls Unscientific surveys of popular views. (NO RANDOM SAMPLE)
    • Problems with Polling
    • 1936 Presidential Election
    • The Importance of Random Sampling
    • The Gallup Poll
    • What About Timing?
    • 1948 Presidential Election
    • Exit Poll Interviews of voters are taken as they leave the polling place.
    • 2004 Zogby Exit Polls
    • 5” Today’s Date Last Name, First Name (mm/dd/yy) 3” PLACE ANSWER HERE
    • 5” Question of the Day How do you feel about Dr. Rice as a Political Science instructor? A. He’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! 3” B. He’s pretty good, but his fashion choices leave a lot to be desired… C. He’s not nearly as great as he thinks he is. D. Where did they dig this guy up?
    • 5” Question of the Day How would you feel about Dr. Rice as a Political Science instructor if you knew that he liked to kick dogs, eat small children and club baby seals? 3” A. He’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! B. He’s pretty good, but his fashion choices leave a lot to be desired… C. He’s not nearly as great as he thinks he is. D. Where did they dig this guy up?
    • Push polls unscientific polls that deliberately feed respondents misleading information or leading questions in an effort to “push” them into favoring a particular candidate or issue