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POL Exam 1

by: Kaydee Keen

POL Exam 1 POS 1041

Kaydee Keen

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Study guide plus notes since the beginning of class.
American Government: national
Carol Weissert
Study Guide
political science
50 ?




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This 24 page Study Guide was uploaded by Kaydee Keen on Sunday October 2, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to POS 1041 at Florida State University taught by Carol Weissert in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 114 views. For similar materials see American Government: national in Political Science at Florida State University.


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Date Created: 10/02/16
Study Guide First Exam POS 1041 The Spirit of American Politics What is political culture? What is American exceptionalism? In short, we are better. Manifest destiny. We are unique compared to all other countries. How has American exceptionalism come up in the presidential campaign? Trump believes we need to be made great again and is running against exceptionalism while Hilary is running on it and believes we are still a great nation. What are the values that define the United States? Freedom, self- governed, American dream, individualism, equality, power of the people, limited government, religion (God) What is positive and negative liberty? We want freedom, but we also want the government to step in and help us when we feel it is needed. The U.S. is a republic. What is the definition of a republic? We elect the people that represent us. What are the three forms of equality and how does America fit these three? What Founding Father is most associated with limited government in terms of checks and balances? What is the problem with the reality of the American dream? It is ever changing What is the evidence counter to the idea that the U.S. is individualistic? What are the trends in public trust in government? Does level of pubic trust vary by party? Government trust has seem to gone down drastically within the last decade, the democrats however seem to trust government more. Why is the statement, “Florida is a state, not a place,” important in understanding why Florida is “always the swingiest of swing states” (BB reading) Public Opinion What is public opinion? Citizen’s collective attitude and beliefs about politics and government Communication from citizens to their government Those opinions held by private persons which government finds in prudent to head (V.O. Key) Why should government find it prudent to heed public opinion? Self-rule in democracy People can communicate what they want to their political leaders Political leaders respond to this communication Why is public opinion important? Self-rule in democracy People can communicate what they want to their political leaders Political leaders respond to this communication What aspects of public opinion do political scientists study? Ideally, what three conditions must be met for public opinion to play an important role in public policy. Did the Founding Fathers trust the public? Did early political scientists trust the public? Trusting public opinion is a very new phenomenon. What is the more current view of public opinion? Why are we more optimistic today? Voters have cues Wisdom of crowds Over time broad issues don’t change sharply; when they change it makes sense How do people develop their opinions on candidates and public policy? Voters have cues Wisdom of crowds Over time broad issues don’t change sharply; when they change it makes sense What do we mean by the bandwagon effect? The Underdog effect? The boomerang effect? People tend to want to vote for the person they believe is going to win, however this can cause someone not to vote because they believe they will win regardless. America has a want for the underdog to win and this can cause a vote towards their favor. What are the two most important elements in assuring that a public opinion poll sample is trustworthy? Must be scientific- in sample design Questions also important What is a sampling frame? Why is it important in assuring the validity of the poll? Sampling frame- people selected for poll Must be large (1,000 is standard) Must be randomly selected What other questions should you ask about a survey in order to trust the sample? Be able to apply these questions to poll results. Telephone surveys are the most common way of obtaining public opinion. But there are problems with these surveys. What are these problems? Cell phones Caller ID Too many surveys Response rate- number of successful calls/attempt Why do good surveys use both landlines and cell phone respondents? What are examples of unscientific surveys? Best breakfast option What is a margin of (sampling) error and how is it interpreted? Polls say margin of error is 3% or sometimes =/- 3% Means 95 percent confident the “real” number is within =/- margin of error What is the most typical size of the public opinion poll with a margin of error of 3? Poorly worded or poorly ordered questions can lead to what type of error? Why is this important? Be able to assess whether a question will provide valid results. What is the framing effect as related to question order? Why is averaging a number of poll results a reasonable approach? Push polls aren’t really polls. Why not? What are exit polls and what advantage do they have over telephone polls? Why do callers make many attempts to each every number? Why are responses “weighted” to match gender, age, education, race, Hispanic origin, region and population density? (BB) What evidence do we have that weighting makes a difference in the results? Elections and Campaigns What are examples of political participation? Describe what types of people are most likely to participate in politics. How important is it to have someone ask you to participate? What is it about the American system that makes voting so important? What is the simple calculus to predict whether people will vote? What is rational abstention? What are the costs of voting? How might be reduce these costs? What are the benefits of voting? What is the paradox of voting? What groups are most likely to vote? How does the 18-24 year age group voting turnout compare to that of those 65+? What are the trends in the voting of 18-24 year olds? We know that 18-26 year voting increases in what circumstance? Does Florida fit this circumstance? Does strong partisanship increase likelihood of voting? What are the three ways to measure turnout? Which is most in use and why? Looking at presidential turnout rates over the past 60 years, what is the “bad” news? What is the “good” news? What are the recent trends in voter turnout of 18-29 years olds? What are the recent trends in voting turnout by race and ethnicity? How do presidential and non-presidential (midterm) turnouts differ? What governmental level has the primary responsibility for voting and elections? What decisions does this level make? What are ways to make voting easier? What is the state reform that has the largest effect on turnout? Does Florida have early voting? No-excuse absentee voting? Require photo ID? Allow felons to vote? Do all states use no-excuse absentee voting? Early voting? Do all states have similar turnout (VAP)? What characterizes states with high turnout? What are the four U.S. Constitutional provisions relating to voting? What are the three federal laws relating to voting? Which is the most important? What did the 2013 Supreme Court do regarding the Voting Rights Act? What is the most important cue that voters use to make their decisions? What other factors are important? If you are registered as No party affiliation in Florida, you cannot vote in what election? What are the advantages of compulsory voting? (BB) What are the disadvantages of compulsory voting?(BB) What are the characteristics of the U.S. that might negatively affect adoption of compulsory voting? (BB) What is donkey voting? (BB) What is gut rationality? (BB) Why is Samuel Popkin optimistic about the value of public opinion? (BB) What is Popkin’s argument? (BB) What event triggered the development of Super PACs? (BB) What are the requirements associated with Super PACs? (BB) What are the requirements associated with 501c(4) (nonprofit) organizations? (BB) What are the problems with Super PACs? (BB) How do Super PACs differ from candidates’ and party committees? (BB) In what elections do Super PACs operate? Are the current presidential candidates using Super PACs? Ion Sancho, Leon County’s Supervisor of Elections, argues that which way of voting is least likely to lead to uncounted ballots (election day voting; absentee voting; or early voting). According to Sancho, which group of voters is most likely to use early voting? In the earliest years of this country, the only direct election was of which official? Did the Founding Fathers trust the people to make good choices in elected officials? At least how many U.S. senate seats are up in a given general election? AT least how many House of Representatives seats are up in a given general election? How often do we have general elections in the United States? The U.S. is the only country in the world regarding governmental responsibility for elections. What is this? Where is this assignment enshrined (in the U.S. constitution). Why is ballot order important? Who determines this? What is the ballot order in Florida? What election duties does the state delegate to local governments? In Florida, local elections are administered by what official? Do these officials run as political party members or nonpartisan? While candidates spend billions on presidential elections, what other groups also collect and spend money on these races? What is particularly disturbing about funding from social welfare groups? (BB) Why was the 2010 Citizens United Court decision important? Why does the butterfly ballot illustrate the importance of county elections supervisors in elections in Florida? Beside the president, what other federal candidates are on the ballot this fall? Political Parties What is a political party? What are the elements of responsible party government? What is generally missing? When was one example when it “worked?” What are the three types of party in the U.S.? What are closed primaries? Open primaries? Hybrids? Which does Florida have? What system do most states use? How does the top two primary work? What are the advantages and disadvantages? (BB) Why is the top two primary important to Florida? What are the trends in party identification? (i.e. which party affiliation is growing in recent years?) What evidence do we have that party loyalists are Loyal to their party? Which party is most likely to turn out to vote? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a two-party system? What is a party platform? Why is it important to the party in organization? Why is the U.S. a two-party system? How is the U.S. system an outlier among the world’s democracies in its election? (BB) What is Duverger’s law? Why is this important in understanding the U.S. party system? Have Democrats and Republicans always been the two parties in the U.S.? In polls, have Americans indicated their support or lack of support for third parties? How do third parties do in presidential elections? How are the third party candidates doing in the 2016 presidential election? What third party candidate won nearly 20 percent of the vote in 1992? What are positive aspects of having a third party candidate in the race? Week 4 9/19/16 A week from today is the first debate Compulsory voting: in Australia everyone has to vote. Will compulsory voting be good for the US? Yes or No Why do you believe this? Compulsory voting: you must vote, either federal or state mandated. Can be fined for not voting/ punished. Efficacy- citizen’s faith and trust on government Internal efficacy- self confidence in your ability to understand and participate I politics External efficacy- belief that you can make a difference US concerns Federalism Size Right NOT to vote Violates first amendment? Cost and benefits of voting Monetary Time Information How can costs be reduced? Time: early voting, mail ballot Time: national holiday? Material incentives Benefits of voting? Voice is heard Civic duty Social pressure Paradox of Voting The benefits must outweigh the cost Trends across states Educated people vote* People with money vote* 9/21 Cont. Older, wealthy, educated Best formula for being likely to vote Youth voting Made a difference in 2012 Is it important? Swing states are more likely to vote 58% vs 47% in non-swing states Most diverse Hardest to get out and vote When do people vote? When they believed they can make a difference Competitive races Battleground states Political interest/ strong partisans Quiz 1 lecture/readings How to vote and whom to vote for Popkin & Blumenthal Popkin’s Optimist view of voters Voters who are not well informed can make good electoral decisions using cues and shortcuts Cues: people’s experiences, cue words, past experience, party affiliation, organization affiliation Voters are not dumb May not do well on knowledge tests Gut feeling Cognitive misers- protect their mind, don’t want to worry about anything they aren’t interested in Shortcuts, or cues Campaigns use this Frame candidate in ways public may like New info and personal info, drives out old information and impersonal info Do educated people use shortcuts? Yes! Better things to spend time on Are shortcuts bad? No No reason for someone to know everything People/ groups who influence elections Blumenthal is more pessimistic Campaign financing Super PAC’s Funding entities established after Citizens United and vs FEC Fund campaigns for or against (federal office) Unlimited contributions, separate form candidates Politicians must list donors (loopholes) Referred to as Dark Money Two-tiered system Candidates and parties- limits and regulations Super Pacs, “shadow groups,” operate with few or no rules People are limited to how much money they can give each political party and personal information will be released to the public through the candidate’s website Can give money to a Super Pac, through a “nonprofit” organization and not be listed Problems with PAC and system Lack of accountability- ho is contributing Often run by people with close ties to the candidates Candidates can campaign for Super Pacs and appear at fundraisers (cannot actually ask for people to give money) Gives corporations/ labor unions more power Ex Conservatives Solutions Projects (Marco Rubio) Right to Rise (Jeb Bush) Priorities USA Action (Hilary Clinton) Another Funding Group Non-profit groups (even more open) Promotes ‘Social welfare” Report to IRS, not federal elections commission Unlimited contributions No reporting required Issue ads- often featuring favored candidate Most candidates (2016) Super PACS Non-profit 9/23/16 The same data given too different polsters can come up with very different results. (all depends on how it was weighted) First quiz result 1. False 2. False 3. Gut rationality 4. Except amount of money raised by campaign 5. Voters not well informed can make good decisions based off cues 6. Super PAC- 2010 Citizens United 7. False 8. All of the above 9. Have to “name” donors 10. keeps track of money for campaigns Third Parties 2014 Gallup Poll 58% adults Thought third party is necessary Republicans and Democrats do a poor job in representing America Johnson polling 8.8% Stein polling 2.8% Why does US have Two-Party system? Do not have a proportional system Winner takes all system Duverger’s Lawn “wasted votes” Hard to get funding/ attention 2016 Gallup Poll 63% adults not familiar with Gary Johnson 68% not familiar with Jill Stein Alternitive- porportioal representation Parties more important than individual Wouldn’t work for president Congress: allocated by population/ one per district Two- party system What are the advantages and disadvantages? Ad- Stability Ad- easier to unite Ad- reflects median of public opinion Ad- Simplifies voters’ choice Ad- Guarantees legislative majority Dis- no new ideas Dis- slow change Dis- limits minor parties Dis- limits voter choice Third Parties Express alt views Raise issues taken by major parties Social Security Budget Deficit Ross Perot 1992 Ralph Nader (green) 2.7% vote n 2000 97000 Florida Third Parties American Reform British reformed secretarian Any chance for a third party? The republican party may split? Would just take over the other major party Still two party Electoral college keeps third parties down Has to have money! POL: 9/7/16 The spirit of American Politics: Ch 1 Florida as a swing state 2000 bush by 537 2004 Bush by 380,978 2008 Obama by 236, 148 2012 Obama by 74,309 2012 8.5 million voters “Florida is a place where we’re going to spend a lot of time.” Tim Kaine- Democratic VP candidate American Exceptionalism Definition? The view that the US in unique among all other countries in the world (manifest destiny) (marshal plan) “the conviction that our country holds a unique place and role in human history.” 2012 Republican party platform. St military, or that our economy “When we say American is exceptional, it means that we recognize “I don’t like the term, I’ll be honest with you.” Donald trump “The US is an exceptional nation. I’s not just that we have the greatest Affects our foreign policy In the news? What are the values that make up American exceptionalism? Self-government, freedom, American dream, individualism, equality, power of the people, limited government, religion (God), Liberty: Ability to peruse one’s own desire without interference from others Negative liberty; positive liberty History “we hold these truths to be self-evident…” life, liberty, pursuit of happiness Self-rule: Thomas Jefferson-the will of the majority The people: But how? Democracy vs. Republic Direct democracy- people make decisions Republic: Representative democracy- representatives makes decisions A woman to Ben Franklin “What Limited gov: James Madison- checks and balances American dream: “if you work hard and play by the rules “a land which How is the American Dream measured? Problems with the American Dream Today? Money Individualism: “Individuals are responsible for their own wellbeing” Europe more communitarian Equality: Social, Political, Economic Religion: Adds up to Pol Culture Pol culture of US different from that of Mexico, Australia, Texas 9/9 Studying American Politic Ideas Institutions Interests Individuals Institutions The rules and organizations build into government Interests Self-interest (rational choice) Political interest Public interest Individuals Collective action (senate, house) Studying American Politics Difficult? Lots of interests, ideas, institutions and individuals National, state, local Public, private, civic Many citizens are not well informed Paradox of government programs Americans distrust government Why studying American politics is worthwhile Interesting, always changing Meaningful to daily lives Makes a difference CH. 2 Public opinion Public Opinion Citizen’s collective attitude and beliefs about politics and government Communication from citizens to their government Those opinions held by private persons which government finds in prudent to head (V.O. Key) Public opinion important? Self-rule in democracy People can communicate what they want to their political leaders Political leaders respond to this communication Do people know what they want? Do we trust the public’s response? Do we trust the publics responses? Founding fathers said no Early Today’s views on public opinion Voters have cues Wisdom of crowds Over time broad issues don’t change sharply; when they change it makes sense How do people develop their opinions? Family and friend Self-interest Race, gender, age Political Party Elite Influence War and other focusing events How do they communicate their desire? Informs candidate as to their strengths and weaknesses Helps presidents frame their messages Informs funders where to put money Entertainment- the horse race 9/12/16 Wahington Post poll 9/11 Clinton 46%/41% Trump (likely voters) BUT 46% of Trump supporters “very enthusiastic” 33% of Clinton supporters “Very enthusiastic” 60% trump supporters following campaign closely; 93% certain to vote 45% Clinton supporters following campaign closely; 80% certain to vote How can we trust a poll? Mus be scientific- in sample design Questions also important Scientific Survey Sample Sampling frame- people selected for poll Must be large (1,000 is standard) Must be randomly selected Other things How long was the survey in the field? How dealt with cell phones? When was the survey conducted? How many times were respondents called? How was the survey conducted? Telephone/internet Person on phone/robocall In person Who conducted the survey? Who pain for the survey? Who was interviewed? Registered voter? Likely voters? Problem with Telephone Surveys? Cell phones Caller ID Too many surveys Response rate- number of successful calls/attempt RoboCalls vs. Person on phone Internet Polls Increasingly popular Can use “panels” of respondents (Pew) Pay the respondents Do you trust them? Margin of sampling error Polls say margin of error is 3% or sometimes =/- 3% Means 95 percent confident the “real” number is within =/- margin of error Another red flag When divide sample (party/gender) cut size significantly Poll with 744 likely voters 9/14/16 Unscientific Surveys Call in polls Man on the street Shopping mall polls Polls at political events Google on-line polls Push poll-would you support… if you knew… How do we trust polls? Questions Measurement error- are you measuring what you want to measure? Misleading questions Questions order/Framing effect Might lead to response bias Good polls will usually tell what questions they asked or have a link/number to find out question Washington post Ask what you want to know about Ask questions simply worded and can be understood by everyone Don’t want to bias respondents Order important Question order Question order can lead to framing effect Where previous questions can affect later question answers Demographic question at end Evidence of why you should be cautious trusting polls Confidence in results Provide information on the process Do results make sense Average of polls common Do other polls find the same thing? No ‘bombshell’ polls Low number of ‘don’t knows’ Men more likely to guess, instead of saying IDK Exit polling What does it provide that telephone/ on-line surveys cannot? Why is this important? Sometimes used incorrectly What are problems with doing an exit poll? 9/1 Civic voluntarism Your generation volunteering more than previous ones What is political participation? Political voice Attend political meeting Write letters to your elected officials Work for part/candidate Register people to vote Vote Who participates? Have resources Have interest Somebody asked Stopped notes* 9/26/16 Chat Snyder- under quiz readings Debate- CBS? @9, 90 minutes When do people vote? When they ca make a difference (external efficacy) Competitive races Battleground Status Political interest/ Votes for Obama 55% women, 45% men 39% white 93% black 71% Hispanics How do people decide how to vote? Cues Gut rationality Dem or Repub Friends and family Issues Retrospective voting- I like/ dislike how this person/ party ran the country previously Prospective voting- I think this person will take me where I want to go For new voters Primacy effect Vote like your parents Not as applicable anymore Turn out How important is it? Can parties improve it? How? How do we measure it? Denominates differ: Voting age population (VAP) voting eligible population (VEP) Registered voters Illegal? Felons? Incarcerated? Incapacitated? STATES have the primary responsibility for voting and elections Who can vote?? Felons? No ID? Illegal? How easy is it to vote? When primaries ae held Comparing voter registration laws Requirements for voting varies Photo ID Proof of address Former felons voting Residency for required length of time Absentee voting Early voting 27 states have no excuse absentee voting 32 states have early voting 2 states have all mail voting (OR, WA) 7 states have permanent absentee status 13 states same day registration Florida Show photo ID Register at least 29 days prior No- excuse absentee voting Early voting (Begins Oct. 24) Oct 11, 2016 registration deadline Does NOT have same day voting; on line registration Does turnout vary across the states? YES! FL is higher than the national average at 64% Why should we encourage turnout? Maybe people don’t vote because they are happy May not affect outcomes Federal role US Constitution does not explicitly guarantee a right to vote Does guarantee republican government- not right to vote Amendment 15, 19, 24, and 26 (Vietnam) affect states in voting Federal laws relating to voting Voting rights act of 1965 Motor voter act of 1993 Help America vote at 2002 Suprmem Court and voting rights act 2013 court invalidated secion 4 Issue is “precleance” 2016 US president 34 senators 435 house embers 120 fl house members; ½ of Fl senate members Four Constitutional 9/28 Founding Fathers and Elections Only House Representitives directly elected Senate y state legislation th 17 amendemtn allowed us t elect senators General Election – even number year State responsibility State- primary role of elections Ballot order- In Fl the party of the govener, that makes the party on the ballot- top to bottom Ballott makes a big difference, ballots are done at the local level Political party Parties created democracy and modern democray… Politial party: An organization, with a public following, established to win elections, generally by prooting a set of principals Founders hated parties George Washington Parties: select candidats Chapion ideas Moilize voters Inform embers or potential members Responsible party Clear issues Candiates support those issues Voters vote based on issues Winning party enacts issues Voter hold parties accountable


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