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Week 1-3 POS

by: Kaydee Keen

Week 1-3 POS POS 1041

Kaydee Keen

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About this Document

These notes cover the first 3 weeks of introductory information covered.
American Government: national
Carol Weissert
Class Notes
American Government
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kaydee Keen on Monday September 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POS 1041 at Florida State University taught by Carol Weissert in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 104 views. For similar materials see American Government: national in Political Science at Florida State University.


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Date Created: 09/19/16
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 nt 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


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