1 EXAM 2 Study Guide ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. What are the factors that influence political opinion formation? Your family, Mass Media, your school/peers, Impact of life Events, Social Groups; Religion, Don't forget about the age old question of ua 451
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Race, Gender, Region of Country 2. What things are important to consider when making a reliable opinion poll? Question wording, Question Sequencing, Issues, Methodology 3. What are the differences between tracking polls, exit polls, and deliberative polls? Tracking Polls are done on a daily basis throughout the course of the election to track the rise and fall of candidate popularity as time goes on. HOW YOU INTEND TO VOTE a. Exit Polls are done on Election Night and track the projected winners of the election. Pollers are sent to random polling places and randomly pull voters aside to ask who they voted for. Done to help the media predict the winner before the official announcement. HOW YOU DID VOTE b. Deliberative Polls began around 1996, and take a relatively large sample of citizens (300-600) and expose them to “issue clusters;” such as, the war on ISIS, healthcare, etc. The people conducting the poll give both sides of the argument and then give you an opinion poll about those issue clusters. The purpose of this poll is to see what the average American thinks/feels after being given all the relevant facts. HOW PEOPLE FEEL 4. What is the common practice today among survey firms when it comes to asking a presidential approval question? 5. James Madison, in Federalist # 10 argued for what? A proliferation of groups so that no one group could get hegemony over the other groups. 6. Direct techniques vs. indirect techniques of interest groups. Lobbying vs. Generating Public Pressure 7. What is the largest interest group in the United States? AARP 8. What are the differences between open, closed, blanket, and run-off, primaries?1 2 a. Closed: Each voter in that state has declared (when they registered to vote) the party they support BEFORE THE ELECTION HAS TAKEN PLACE and may only vote for the candidates in the party. In theory, you’re getting the voters closely aligned in that party who are picking candidates that truly represent their parties values. b. Open: Voters do not have to declare party allegiance before you vote and may vote for whatever party you’d like. TEXAS IS AN OPEN PRIMARY STATE. Truly Open Primaries allow you to make your voting decision at the voting booth. In many Open Primaries you are asked for which party you intend to vote when you arrive at the polling place. There are many people who do not like Open Primaries because voters from other primaries can “crash your party.” c. Blanket: Voters can choose a party’s nominee for a particular office on an office- by-office basis. This means voters may vote for whomever they like down the entire ballot, and may choose which party’s primary to vote in. The difference between this and an Open/Closed Primary is that you can vote for both Rep and Dems at the same time on the same ballot. The SC deemed this Unconstitutional about 5 years ago. It used to exist in Alaska, Washington State, Louisiana). d. Jungle/Cajun: Most common in states like Louisiana (possibly City of Houston), where every person who would like to run for a particular office is listed on the ballot. Multiple candidates for multiple offices are on the same ballot and whoever gets the most votes of ALL OF THEM wins that position. There is NO General Election later on. In this primary, if you get 50% or more you have won the office. e. Run-Off: An election between 2 remaining candidates who were too close to call (because no one got a “true majority”) or tied in a previous election. 9. What are the differences between initiatives, referenda, and recall elections? a. Initiatives allow average citizens to write and propose their own piece of legislation. Citizens must write the legislation, receive enough signatures to allow it to be on the ballot, and if it is voted FOR in the election the legislation will become law. b. Referenda (Referendum) occurs when a state legislature/city council drafts a piece of legislation and then allow the voters of that state/county/city to vote on the legislation and determine (by votes) if it will become law. This occurs most often for the funding of major sports arenas. c. Recall occurs when the voters get to vote to remove someone from office. In Texas, we do not allow recall of state officials. If we want them to be removed, they must be removed by state officials. However, on the local level, recall votes ARE allowed. California recalled a Governor.2 3 10. What is the difference between a primary and a caucus? A Primary is a vote, in a voting booth. A Caucus is a meeting that takes place in which voters would declare who they are voting for and why. Voters then have a discussion and try persuading others to join their stance. When this is done, voters elect delegates to represent their candidate in the DNC or RNC. 11. What is the “Texas Two-Step”? This refers to the Texas DEM party practice in which there would be both a Primary and a Caucus on a Presidential Election Year. 12. What is the total number of Electoral College votes in the United States? 538 13. How many electoral votes are needed for a presidential candidate to win an election? 271 14. Electoral College reform. (1) Abolish the Electoral College (2) Adopt the Congressional (3) Keep the College, abolish the Electors 15. In the U.S. House, reelection rates for incumbents are above what percent in most years? 90% 16. Why is voter turnout so low? (1) People are too busy (2) Difficult to register (3) Difficulty of Absentee Voting (4) Number of elections (5) The Long Ballot (6) Their vote doesn’t count (7) Electoral College (8) Primary/Caucus Timing 17. What was the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Bush v. Gore (2000) The SC ruled that Gore WAS entitled to a full recount, but due to the time left before FL’s total vote was submitted to D.C., there wasn’t enough time for that to take place so Bush’s win would stand 18. What were the results of the 2000 presidential election (both the popular vote and the electoral vote)? Popular Vote: Gore won Electoral Vote: Bush, 270 - 267 19. What are the most influential national newspapers in this country? New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor3 4 20.As recently as which presidency did reporters submit their questions to the president in writing? Up until the Hoover Administration 21. The mass media may not be successful in telling people what to think, but they are successful at doing what? The media IS good at setting the agenda.4