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American PoliticsExam 3 Study GuideChapters 9-11Public Opinion:- Attitudes, preferences and opinions of the general publicGauging Public Opinion:- Early measureso “Straw Polls” published as early as 19th century; 1900’s-40’s era American magazineso Millions of sample ballots would be mailed out to readers weeks or months before presidential electionso Doesn’t necessarily represent public opinion as a whole, typically a bias is present- Informal Measureso Personal contacts, mail from citizenso Can expose politicians to previously unrecognized issueso Likely to be biased- Random Samplingo Typical presidential election polls contain 500-1200 citizens Over 1,000 preferredo Goal is to get a group that accurately reflects the extreme diversity of the United States population as a wholeo Random selection usedo Margin of error analysis key to accurately interpreting results- Potential Biases:o Biased Samples A sample that does not accurately reflect the overall populationo Question Wording Questions worded in a way to steer the poll-takers answer in a certain directiono Priming The process by which certain issues, or certain aspects of an issue, are made to seem more important in making a decision- E.g.) Poll question regarding building a jail deemphasizes an increase in taxes and instead focuses on positive aspects such as the creation of jobso Framing  Portraying a problem or decision so as to highlight certain aspects and influence decision makingSocial Movements:- A loose coalition of groups and organizations with common goals that are oriented toward using mass action to influence the governmento Civil Rightso Women’s Suffrageo Occupy Wall Streeto Abolitiono Anti-Waro State’s RightsInterest Groups:- Any group which is organized for the purpose of influencing government- Thousands of interest groups exist simply due to the fact that America is a diverse place with diverse interests- Not all interest groups primary focus is to influence governmento Corporations, trade associations, unions, and foundations all act as interest groups even though their main focus is elsewhere- Public interest groupso Organizations that seek a “collective good”- Latent incentiveo A benefit that a group can offer to potential members in exchange for participation; encourages membership Political Parties Versus Interest Groups:- The main difference is that interest groups do not seek positions of power in government, which is the primary goal of the political partiesLobbying:- Insideo Activities by lobbyists and interest group leaders that involve direct contact with policy makerso Meeting with legislators, giving money- Outsideo Activities by interest group leaders that seek to mobilize constituents and others outside the policy making community to contact or pressure policy makers- Benefits of lobbying officialso Can lead to more educated officialso Can target the officials influence to spread support for certain policiesPolitical Action Committee:- A private organization that raises money to influence elections or legislations- Making money contributions to a politician is perhaps the greatest way to gain influencePolitical Participation:- Activities citizens undertake to influence government behavior- Popular sovereignty o Principle that the authority to make decisions on behalf of society belongs to thepeople- Methods ofo Contacting representativeso Rallies/protestso Writing letters to media outlets regarding politicso Donating money to campaignso Talking to others about politics- Functions of electionso Select leaderso Direct policy choiceso Citizen developmento Inform the public o Contain conflicto Legitimacy and system stabilityVoting:- Generally, there is a direct relationship between education/income and voting in the United States- Americans vote at lower levels compared to other democracies- Americans engage in other forms of political participation at greater rates comparatively- Voter mobilizationo Efforts by organizations to facilitate or encourage votingExpansion of Voting Rights:- 15th Amendmento Granted African Americans voting rightso 1870- 19th Amendmento Guaranteed women’s suffrageo 1920- 26th Amendmento Granted voting rights to 18-21 year oldso


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KSU POL 10100 - Exam 3 Study Guide

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