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  • 1. American Government and Politics: Deliberation, Democracy, and Citizenship Chapter Eight Public Opinion and Political Participation
  • 2. Chapter Eight: Learning Objectives
    • Define the concept of public opinion and tell how researchers measure it
    • Discuss the distinction between short-term reactions to issues and more deliberative opinions
  • 3. Chapter Eight: Learning Objectives
    • Explain the core beliefs that separate different ideologies in the United States
    • Identify the major influences on public opinion about politics
  • 4. Chapter Eight: Learning Objectives
    • Name different forms of political participation and analyze how they contribute to deliberation
    • Understand inequalities in political participation
  • 5. Chapter Eight: Learning Objectives
    • Discuss political participation as a responsibility of citizenship
    AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
  • 6. Introduction
    • What is public opinion?
    • What are some ways for Americans to make their opinions about politics known?
  • 7. Measuring Opinion: Polls and Respondents
    • Public opinion polls (or surveys) are one way to measure public opinion.
    • It is not feasible to speak with every person in a population, so public opinion polls are often based on a random sample .
  • 8. Measuring Opinion: Questions
    • Do you believe the way a question is worded may make a difference in the response given?
    • Those who create public opinion polls must be aware of the way they word the questions as well as question order as both may affect responses.
  • 9. Types of Polls
    • Types of polls include
    • Tracking polls
    • Exit polls
    • What are the differences between tracking and exit polls?
  • 10. Problems with Polls
    • What are some potential problems with public opinion polls?
    • What can researchers do to prevent or overcome problems with public opinion polls?
  • 11. Knowledge and Deliberative Opinion
    • How can political leaders understand and distinguish between fleeting opinions and lasting judgments?
    • What are some consequences for political leaders if they do not fully understand the differences between fleeting opinions and lasting judgments?
  • 12. Knowledge and Deliberative Opinion: Politicians and Deliberative Opinion
    • Two ways elected officials use public opinion
    • Consider merits of issues, not just poll numbers
    • Understand that public opinion has nuances
  • 13. Pledges and Promises
    • The pledge paradox
    • Americans typically do not trust promises from politicians.
    • The gap between what we expect politicians to do and what they actually do is called the pledge paradox .
  • 14. Deliberation and Ideology
    • What is political ideology?
    • What beliefs separate the different political ideologies in America?
  • 15. Deliberation and Ideology
    • Political ideologies in America
    • Liberals
    • Conservatives
    • Libertarians
    • Populists
  • 16. Deliberation and Ideology
    • In order to better understand the different ideologies, it is useful to consider their positions on three issues
    • Economics
    • Social issues
    • International relations
  • 17. Deliberation and Ideology: Liberals
    • Economics
    • Favor policies that reduce economic inequality
    • Social issues
    • Focus on individual choice
    • International relations
    • Emphasis on diplomacy
  • 18. Deliberation and Ideology: Conservatives
    • Economics
    • Want less government power in economy
    • Social issues
    • Government to promote traditional behavior
    • International relations
    • More willing to assert national power
  • 19. Deliberation and Ideology: Libertarians
    • On economic issues, libertarians usually agree with conservatives and want to cut taxes and reduce government spending.
    • On social issues, libertarians usually agree with liberals and oppose government intervention in social policy.
  • 20. Deliberation and Ideology: Populists
    • On both economic and social issues, populists usually favor strong government intervention.
    • Libertarianism and populism have not found a firm base in American politics.
  • 21. International Perspectives
    • The political spectrum
    • Many other democracies have more diverse ideologies, but that may be changing.
    • Why have American ideological beliefs been exceptional?
  • 22. What Influences Our Opinions About Politics?
    • What influences your opinions about politics?
    Carlos Barria/Reuters/Landov John Gress/Reuters /Landov
  • 23. What Influences Our Opinions About Politics? Political Socialization
    • Agents of political socialization
    • Family
    • Education
    • Life changes (marriage, career, peer groups)
    • Historical events
  • 24. What Influences Our Opinions About Politics? Political Persuasion
    • Do you practice selective exposure ?
    • Aristotle’s three methods of persuasion
    • Ethos
    • Pathos
    • Logos
  • 25. Opinions in Action
    • How does participation in politics foster deliberation?
    • Does political participation matter? Why or why not?
    • How do you participate in politics?
  • 26. Opinions in Action: Types of Participation
    • What are different types of participation?
    • Talking about politics
    • Supporting a political campaign
    • Using the Internet to support a campaign or contact elected officials
  • 27. Opinions in Action: Types of Participation
  • 28. Myths and Misinformation
    • Internet petitions
    • Many internet petitions have been hoaxes.
    • Politicians and advocacy groups have started to use internet petitions to create lists of people that support their causes.
  • 29. Opinions in Action: Deliberation and Impact
    • Do some forms of participation make more of an impact on the political system than others?
    • What forms of participation do you believe may be more influential?
    Schwadron, Harley/Cartoon Stock
  • 30. Opinions in Action: Deliberation and Impact Source: From Internet and American Life Project. Copyright © 2009. Reprinted with permission.
  • 31. Who Votes? Expansion of Suffrage
    • In the early days of the nation, many groups did not have the right to vote.
    • Barriers to voting included
    • Property ownership requirements
    • Poll taxes
    • Literacy tests
  • 32. Who Votes? Expansion of Suffrage
    • Suffrage was expanded through
    • Fifteenth Amendment (1870)
    • Nineteenth Amendment (1920)
    • Twenty-fourth Amendment (1964)
    • Voting Rights Act (1965)
  • 33. Who Votes? Registration
    • The 1993 National Voter Registration Act ( Motor Voter ) was passed to make it easier to register to vote.
    • States are responsible for maintaining the lists of registered voters.
  • 34. Who Votes? Understanding Turnout
    • How to measure voter turnout
    • Divide the number of votes in an election by the number of registered voters
    • Do you see potential problems with this method?
  • 35. Who Votes? Understanding Turnout
    • How to measure voter turnout
    • Divide the number of votes in an election by the voting age population
    • Why do you believe some scholars prefer this method of measurement?
  • 36. Who Votes? Understanding Turnout Source: Copyright © 2009 by Michael McDonald. Reprinted with permission.
  • 37. Who Votes? Understanding Turnout
    • Why is voter turnout so low in the United States?
    • What are some costs and benefits of voting?
    • Is voting important to deliberative democracy? Why?
  • 38. Who Votes? Voter Demographics
    • In general, voters tend to be older, have higher levels of education, and are more affluent than the general population.
    • Figure 8-4 on page 264 provides more information about who votes
  • 39. Public Opinion, Political Participation, and Deliberative Democracy
    • How should political leaders use public opinion to make decisions?
    • Deliberative democracy requires a dialogue between elected officials and the public.
  • 40. Deliberation, Citizenship and You
    • E-Activism
    • How has the Internet changed political participation?
    • What are some advantages or disadvantages of using the Internet for political participation?
  • 41. Summary
    • Public opinion is important in a democracy
    • Political ideology may affect opinions
    • Public opinion translates into policy through political participation