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What are the main factors involved in political socialization?
Family ⬢ Family is the most important and significant role in political opinion ⬢ Parents pass on ideology, party ID, religion, and worldview(how you see the world) Peer Groups ⬢ Participation is contagious, if your friends go to a rally, you will normally be influenced to go as well ⬢ Homogenous groups are more common, they agree with each other (ex. Not common to see group that are half republican and half democratic) ⬢ Political talk when people agree, we want people to talk and deliberate and form stronger political opinions, many times people argue and you can also develop good opinions o People tend to not like having their views challenged Schools ⬢ Job is to instill a dominant ideology ⬢ Shared understanding of history ⬢ Nationalism Higher Education ⬢ Promotes participation in politics, because you meet different people and learn that being involved in politics makes a difference ⬢ Increased tolerance for things like different races and other people because in college you typically are surrounded by more diversity. This influences new opinions and change in opinions ⬢ More effective learners, because you will learn to read/write better and process information more efficiently and effectively, and be able to form more correct and stronger standing opinions
What are the main differences between the (typical) liberal and conservative ideologies?
Liberal • A liberal today generally supports political and social reform; extensive governmental intervention in the economy; the expansion of federal social services; more vigorous efforts on behalf of the poor, minorities, and women, and greater concern for consumers and the environment Conservative • Today this term refers to one who generally supports the social and economic status quo and is suspicious of efforts to introduce new political formulae and economic arrangements. Conservatives believe that a large and powerful government poses a threat to citizens’ freedom.
How do communitarians and libertarians view the role of government?
⬢ Communitarians- we should protect people from hurting themselves ( they are proactive) ⬢ Libertarians-very low government control, all the drugs you want, minimal government responsibilities (they say no government at all)
What are the main factors influencing public opinion and voting behavior? Memory Based Model
Exposure 1. Do you Get the Messages? 2. Selective Exposure to Consistent News Sources Reception 1. Attention to Message 2. Active or Passive Engagement 3. Cueing Messages -Provide Political Context Acceptance 1. Consistency with Predispositions -Accept Consistent Messages -Reject Inconsistent Messages 2. Must Understand Consistency 3. Persuasion among Moderately Attentive Sample 1. Average Across Considerations 2. Salience -Top of the Head Considerations
Impression Driven Model
Impression formation 1. First Impression is Most Important 2. Influenced by Predispositions 3. People are Biased Evaluators 4. Positive or Negative Feeling Impression Change 1. Information Changes Impressions 2. Information is Forgotten 3. Impressions are Stored in Memory
What are some of the factors that can make public opinion polls unrepresentative? Measuring Public Opinion
1. Population -Group from which you draw the sample 2. Sample -A group meant to represent the population 3. Margin of Error -Relationship between sample and population
Random Sampling
4. Random Digit Dialing 5. Avoid Selection Bias 6. The larger the sample, the smaller the Margin of Error (or Sampling Error).
Problems with Surveys
1. Selection Bias-polling error that arises when the sample is not representative of the population being studied, which creates errors in over representing or under representing some opinions 2. Question Wording 3. Question Ordering 4. Who are Likely Voters? 5. Non-Response -More Likely Among Uneducated and Poor 6. Push Polling- a polling technique in which the questions are designed to shape the respondents opinion
What are the different eras of the American news media?
Partisan 1. Party Controlled Newspapers 2. Subscription Required 3. Low Public Credibility 4. People knew the papers were biased 5. Selective Exposure 6. Little Influence on Public Opinion Commercial 1. Profit Driven Newspapers 2. Yellow Journalism 3. Create News 4. Sensationalism 5. Broader Access to Newspapers 6. Low Public Credibility Objective 1. Professional Norms 2. Objectivity and Balance 3. Wall of Separation btwn. News and Opinion 4. High Public Credibility Interpretive 1. Adversarial Journalism 2. Interpret News, Not Just Report It 3. Reaction to Vietnam and Watergate 4. Low Public Credibility Fragmented 1. Many Outlets 2. Corporate Run Media 3. Return of Selective Exposure 4. Credibility Based on News Source 5. Less Exposure to Diverse Perspectives
What is horse race coverage and how prominent is it in the news media?
⬢ Intense Focus on Polls ⬢ Polls are Objective -Allow Media to Avoid Bias Charge ⬢ Who is Winning ⬢ Who Has Momentum ⬢ Analysis can be Self-Fulfilling ⬢ Treats Politics Like a Sport ⬢ The Horse Race is Popular
What are the differences between the national and local news media?
⬢ Politicians generally view the local broadcast news as a friendlier venue than the national news. National reporters are often inclined to criticize and questions, whereas local reporters often accept the pronouncements of national leaders
What were the different types of news media bias discussed during class?
1. Partisan 1. liberal bias 1. Journalists are Liberal 2. Adopt East Coast Values 3. Social Liberals 4. Mostly Anecdotal Evidence 2. Conservative bias 1. Editors and Owners are Conservative 2. Endorsements Favor Republicans 3. Journalists are Economic Conservatives 4. Biased Coverage of Protestors and Unions 2. Ownership 1. Owners Determine Content 2. Endorsed Candidates get Better Coverage 3. Better Coverage for Ownership Interests 3. Bad News 1. Bad News over Good News 2. Good News is Less Interesting 3. Harms Incumbents 4. Exaggerates Bad Economic Times 5. Downplayed Progress in Iraq 6. Harms Both Parties the Same 4. Mainstream 1. Media Presents Both Sides 2. No Coverage = No Public Support 3. No Support = No Coverage 4. Many Opinions are left Out of the Debate -Green Party, Libertarians
Why do people think the news media are politically biased?
⬢ Hostile media phenomenon- people who are highly committed will perceive a generally balanced news story to be biased in favor of their opponents
does the news media influence public opinion?
1. Hypodermic needle model 1. Media Injects Opinions 2. People are Unaware of Influence 3. Media create Pictures of the World 4. Theory was a Response to Propaganda 5. Intuitively Appealing 2. Minimal Media Effects 1. Yale Studies in the 1950’s 2. Media Reinforces 3. Selective Exposure 4. Influence on New Issues 5. One-Sided Communications -Government Run Media 3. Contingent Effects 1. Tell People What to Think about 2. Some of the People Some of the Time 3. Moderately Attentive are Most Influenced 4. Competing Messages Cancel Out Agenda Setting Individual Effects: 1. Media Attention = Public Attention 2. Most Important Issues 3. Mostly Lead and Front Page Stories 4. Depends on Trust Agenda Setting in Government 1. Media Attention and Government Reaction 2. Can Focus Government Attention 3. React to Prevent Political Consequences 4. Lack of Media Attention = Less Accountability Priming 1. Most Covered Issues à Candidate Evaluations 2. Raises Importance of Issues in Evaluations 3. Presidential Approval = Issues Covered in the News 4. Depends on Trust Framing 5. Emphasizing Certain Values over Others 6. Increases Perceived Importance of Considerations 7. Links Issues to Cognitive Categories 8. Can Sway Opinions
What are the restrictions on voting? (hint: both nationally and varied by state)
1. U.S. Citizens 2. Registered Voters 3. 18 Years Old 4. Non-Felons
How do we elect national representatives in America and what are some alternatives?
First past the post 1. Majority not Required 2. Most Votes Wins 3. Discourages Third Parties 4. Votes do not Matter in Safe Districts Alternative Electoral Systems 1. Majority Requirement -Run-off with Top Candidates -Encourages Votes for Third Parties 2. Proportion of Districts 3. Nation-wide Proportional Representation -Encourages Third Parties -Higher Turnout Electoral College 1. Electors -Senators + House Members 2. Most States are Winner Take All 3. Popular Vote Doesn’t Matter 4. 270 to Win 5. Tie Goes to House -One Vote per State
How does federal law limit campaign contributions?
Federal Election Campaign Act 4. Passed in 1971, Amended in 1974 5. Established Limits on Contributions and Expenditures 6. Supreme Court Struck Down Expenditure Limits 7. Created Federal Election Commission (1974) -Six Member Board with Three from each Party BCRA 1. Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act -Passed in 2002 2. $2,000 Contribution Limits to a candidate -Adjusted for Inflation 3. $5,000 to Political Action Committees 4. $25,000 to National Party Committees 5. Overall $95,000 limit on Contributions from one Person
What are the rules regarding matching funds and public financing for the general election?
Public Funding 1. Available to Parties Receiving 5% of National Vote in Previous Election 2. If Accepted, Expenditures are Limited 3. Funds are Spent between Nomination Acceptance and Election Day Matching Funds 1. For Candidates that Raise $5,000 from $250 separate donations from 20 states 2. Matching Funds are Limited 3. Candidate Expenditures are Limited -Only if Matching Funds are Accepted 4. Can Spend Matching Funds until they Formally Accept the Nomination Other Campaign Spending 5. National Party Committees 6. 527 Issue Advocacy Groups -Unlimited Contributions and Expenditures -Cannot Advocate a Candidate’s Election or Defeat
What is the rational voter theory?
• Voting is Irrational • Costs too High • Insufficient Benefits -One Vote Doesn’t Matter • Free Rider Problem
What are the factors influencing voter turnout? (hint: not only individual characteristics)
⬢ Educated ⬢ Wealthy ⬢ Partisan ⬢ Attentive ⬢ Race Competitiveness ⬢ Ideological Polarization ⬢ Important Ballot Initiatives ⬢ Weather ⬢ Identification Requirements ⬢ Registration Deadlines ⬢ Polling Locations ⬢ Long Lines in Urban Areas
How does the economy influence voting behavior?
⬢ Economy Determines Vote ⬢ Reelection when Economy is Good ⬢ Change in Power in Poor Economic Times ⬢ Actual Conditions or Public Perceptions? ⬢ Biased Evaluations of Economic Conditions ⬢ Pocketbook Voting -Personal Economic Situation ⬢ Sociotropic Voting -Aggregate Economic Situation -Allows Greater media Influence
When do people tend to use retrospective or prospective voting?
Retrospective-voting based on the past performance of a candidate 1. Has Your Life Improved? 2. Elections are Referendum on Incumbent Party 3. Approval of Sitting President/Party is Key 4. 2000 Election is Tough to Explain Prospective-voting based on the imagined future performance of a candidate 1. How Will Candidate Make Things Better? 2. Used More in Open Races 3. Explains Little -How do people make prospective evaluations?
How does higher education influence public opinion?
⬢ Promotes Participation in Politics ⬢ Attention to Politics ⬢ Increased Tolerance ⬢ More Effective Learner
Motor Voter Bill
⬢ A legislative act passed in 1993 that requires all states to allow voters to register by mail when they renew their drivers licenses and provides for the placement of voter registration forms in motor vehicle, public assistance, and military recruitment offices
Bandwagon Effect
⬢ A situation wherein reports of voter or delegate opinion can influence the actual outcome of an election or a nominating convention
Federal Communication Commission
⬢ An independent regulatory agency established in 1934. Radio and TV stations must renew their FCC licenses every five years. Through regulations prohibiting obscenity, indecency, and profanity, the FCC has also sought to prohibit radio and television stations from airing explicit sexual and excretory references between 6 am and 10 pm, the hours hen children are most likely to be in the audience.
Federal Election Commission
⬢ Administer and enforce the Federal Election Campaign Act. The duties of the FEC, which is an independent regulatory agency, are to disclose campaign finance information, to enforce the provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions, and to oversee the public funding of Presidential elections.

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