American Federal Government Notes 3/22-3/24
American Federal Government Notes 3/22-3/24 P SC 1113 050
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by sarahrichmondOU on Wednesday March 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to P SC 1113 050 at University of Oklahoma taught by Glen Krutz in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 41 views. For similar materials see American Federal Government in Political Science at University of Oklahoma.
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Date Created: 03/09/16
American Federal Government Notes 3/223/24 Due Sun. April 3 11:59 pm—writing assignment (turn into LAB D2L’s dropbox) o Policy issue memo (handout from Tues 3/22) o Office hours/labs this week—memo topics discussed/approved o Pick a topic you’re passionate about o Pick a specific issue topic in order to gain leverage o Consult with lab instructor and Professor Krutz o Be sure to focus first on problem definition before moving into solutions o SO, POLICY PROBLEM FIRST, THEN FOCUS ON SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM. Public opinion basics o P.O. defined: what individuals think about things o Why is it important? Because the idea of democracy hinges on it! o How is it measured? By asking people what they think in a poll Representative Research methods o Predicting elections is tricky because we don’t know turnout The rise of the “Tea Party” movement on the right and the “Occupy” movement on the left are examples of how American politics have become more ideological. o An “ideology” is a belief system about how government should operate Public Opinion “bottomline” question o Respondents asked by Gallup Org. regularly since the 1940s the following question: What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today? Big debate on Public Opinion o Where do opinions come from? o Do we have top down opinion formation? Ex: elites communicate to us what is important Which elites? o Alternative perspective: public opinion is original Ex: elites react to what the public wants o Which direction does the casual arrow point? Topdown vs. bottomup What factors drive Public Opinion? o Political culture o Ideology (one in the same as partisanship) o Partisanship (one in the same as ideology) o Your upbringing o Major events and crises—work as a compass Ex: 9/11, school shootings, terrorism o Topdown (elite driven) vs bottomup (originating with the public) Is public opinion in the U.S. elitedriven (topdown) or does it originate with the public(bottomup)? **may be an essay question on the exam** o John Zaller and “onthefly” opinions Zaller’s perspective—we can’t do a fully rational analysis of everything we see in our lives, our opinions are constantly changing “Democracy is not a spectator sport” Voter turnout What factors explain turnout? o Two levels Why US turns out lower than other countries? Electoral college, some countries have compulsory voting (you must vote), population size, taking representative democracy for granted, logistics, frequency, apathy Why some Americans turn out and others do not? o The “paradox” of voter turnout “paradox” can be seen in different ways Relates to education Expectation the more educated you are, the more likely you are to vote. The less educated you are, the less likely you are to vote.
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