Flashcards in chapter 8: opinion, voting Deck (67):
Interviews conducted to learn candidate preference and the issue positions of potential voters
The distribution of individual preferences for or evaluations of a given issue, candidate, or institution within a specific population
The portion of the population which holds a particular opinion
How is public opinion collected?
Polls and surveys
Every individual has a known chance of being selected for a survey
What is the general margin of error?
3 percent in any direction
Why is writing accurate polls so difficult?
The wording of the questions can influence the answers
Questions which permit respondents to answer in their own words
Open ended questions
Why are open ended questions the most effective?
Respondents can express their views more clearly and provide deeper insight.
What 4 things, in addition to the data, must a scientific poll report?
1) sample size
2) margin of error
3) time questioned
When a substantial percentage agrees, it's called a _______.
When opposing sides feel intensely about an issue, it's called _______.
2 examples of polarizing issues
The Vietnam War
3 factors which make public opinion are
Public opinions which exist, but may not have been fully expressed
Why would leaders want to know latent opinions?
They will know how to mobilize people and draw them to the polls
Example of latent opinion in US
Desire for security against foreign enemies
The extent to which people believe issues are relevant to them
Salient issues in the 70s
Vietnam and watergate
Salient issues now
Health care, education, and war in the Middle East
The process by which we develop our political attitudes
A consciousness of the nation and of belonging to that entity
What percent of Americans know the name of their congressional candidates?
What percent of Americans make up the attentive public?
Citizens who follow public affairs closely
Political know nothings
About 67% of Americans, who are interests in politics only sometimes and who rarely vote
Those who participate selectively in elections, usually only presidential elections
Part time citizens, 40% of population
How can people in totalitarian governments participate in politics?
Violently via revolution
Why was the 2000 election controversial?
The vote count in Florida was too close to call
What effect did the 2000 election have on voting technology?
An upgrade in voting technology and a banning of punchcard ballots on Florida
Most typical political activity
First state to allow women to vote
System designed to reduce voter fraud by limiting voting to those who have established eligibility by submitting the proper form
A secret ballot printed by the state
Who prepared ballots in the 1800s? What color were they?
The parties; there was a different color for every party
What state does not require voter registration?
What is the nickname for the National Voter Registration Act? When was it passed?
Motor Voter; 1993
Bill which established voter registration while applying for or renewing driver's license
Motor Voter act
How often is voter registration purged? Why?
4 years from registration; to allow for death and change of residence
What do primary elections determine?
Elections to replace senators who have died or resigned.
Elections held on off numbered calendar years
Off year elections
Proportion of voting aged public who votes
How does nonvoting create a class bias?
The upperclass tends to vote most, so policies tend to reflect their interests
3 main factors of voting choices
A psychological sense of attachment to one party or another
Since 1952, which party has had the most Presidential winners?
Nominally, what is the largest party?
How voters feel about a candidate's background, personality, and leadership ability
Why did Eisenhower have so much candidate appeal?
Popular general and war hero, charm, moderate, lack of strong party position
Least important factor in the decision process; why?
Issues, candidates often obscure where they stand so they can appeal to more people
Most important factor in the decision process
Voting based in what a candidate pledges to do in the future about an issue if elected
Prospective issue voting
Holding the incumbent party responsible for past performances on issues
Retrospective issue voting
An example of a stable opinion
Opinions that don't change over a person's lifetime
When do fluid opinions change?
With every event and issue
An example of a fluid opinion
Approval of the president
An example of a latent opinion
Mentality emphasized during campaign based on who is winning, not what they stand for
What did the Voting Rights Act of 1965 eliminate?
Literacy tests to vote
What was the record voting turnout? When?
56% in 2008
Why is voter turnout over 90% in Western European countries?
What day of the week are elections held on?
What factor most makes people likely to vote
A high level of education