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Political Beliefs and Behaviors

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Title: Political Beliefs and Behaviors


1
Political Beliefs and Behaviors
2
Insert Cartoon of reason people vote
3
Participation in the Political Process
  • 1. Voting (Be able to describe historical trends
    in voting)
  • Eligibility
  • Elimination of property requirements in nearly
    all states (1830)
  • Elimination of racial discrimination in 15th
    Amendment (1870)
  • Elimination of sexual discrimination in 19th
    Amendment (1920)
  • Elimination of poll taxes in 24th Amendment
    (1964)
  • Elimination of literacy tests in Voting Rights
    Act (1965)
  • Partial elimination of state registration laws in
    Voting Rights Act (1965)
  • Reduction of voting age to 18 in 26th Amendment
    (1971)
  • Potential further elimination of state
    registration laws in Motor Voter Act (1993)
  • Reduction of residency requirement to 1 or 2
    months in most states

4
Statistics on Voter Turnout
  • Participation of voters in Presidential Elections
  • Registered voters
  • 1992
  • 122,000,000
  • 2000
  • 130,000,000
  • 2008
  • 169,000,000
  • Voting on election day
  • 1992
  • 55 of all eligible voters
  • 85 of registered voters
  • 1996
  • 49 of all eligible voters
  • 82 of registered voters
  • 2000
  • 51 of all eligible voters
  • 86 of registered voters
  • 2004
  • 55.3 of all eligible voters
  • 2008
  • 56.8 of all eligible voters
  • 70.7 of registered voters

5
  • Voting for Highest state offices participation
    of 33
  • Congressional midterm elections- participation of
    33
  • Lesser state and local offices participation of
    20
  • 38 of electorate voting every 2 years- core
    electorate

6
  • Analysis
  • High rates of voter participation in Presidential
    Years!

7
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8
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9
  • Analysis of Voter Turnout
  • Voter turnout rates reached a long time low in
    the elections of 1996 and 2000
  • In 2004 extraordinary efforts by political
    parties, candidate campaigns, and interest groups
    increased the voter turnout to about 60.
  • The highest turnouts in American history happened
    around the turn of the 20th century, when higher
    voter fraud artificially elevated voter rates

10
  • Profile of individuals most likely to vote (Core
    Electorate)
  • Middle aged or older
  • Poor record for 18 to 24 year olds! (That is
    you!!!!)
  • White
  • Highly educated
  • Living outside the south
  • Male
  • Married
  • Employment in white collar job
  • Long time resident of an area
  • Wealthy
  • Disappearance of racial factor with consideration
    of socioeconomic status

11
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12
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13
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14
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15
Reasons for Voting
  • One of the duties and obligations of citizenship
  • Belief in concept that every vote counts
    (Florida in 2000)
  • Predicted closeness of an election

16
  • Joy of participation in political process
  • Desire to influence outcome of elections and the
    direction of the nations policies
  • Identification with a specific party and or
    partys candidate
  • Response to volunteers and campaign staffs
    get-out-the-vote efforts
  • Door-to-door canvassing
  • Voter registration drives

17
Reasons for Not Voting
  • Lack of interest (Lacks Political Efficacy)
  • Lack of faith in political system
  • Lack of government responsiveness to the
    individual voter
  • Lack of any real choice between candidates

18
  • Indecision on merits and/or positions of
    candidates
  • Domination of area by one party
  • Illness on election day
  • Lack of transportation (poor/elderly)
  • Out of district on election day
  • Failure to obtain an absentee ballot (young and
    old)

19
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20
Reasons for voter decisions on given Candidates
  • Party affiliation - partisanship
  • Declining importance in recent years
  • Interest in particular issue or issues
  • Increase in single issue voting
  • Problems with issue voting
  • Lack of clarity in a candidates position (easy
    issues)
  • Agreement on candidates position but not means of
    implementation (hard issues)
  • Agreement with different candidates on different
    issues

21
Reasons for votes decisions on candidates Cont
  • Prospective vision
  • Favorable comparison of position statements and
    choice of candidate (Takes real effort)
  • Retrospective vision
  • Basis of judgment on results not intentions
  • Personal appeal (role of the Media?)
  • Past accomplishments
  • Perception of competence and political ability
  • Perception of ability to deal with crisis, other
    elected officials and branches of government

22
  • 2. Campaign Roles Citizens can play
  • Member of paid political staff
  • Donation of time as a volunteer (Active Role)
  • Phone calling and door-to-door campaigning
  • Selling of prospective candidates
  • Registration of potential voters
  • Mailing literature and letters of endorsement
  • Hosting fund-raising parties
  • Hosting meet-the-candidate parties
  • Distributing handbills on election day
  • Displaying bumper stickers, buttons, and or other
    election paraphernalia
  • Keeping abreast of the issues (Passive Role)
  • Read newspapers
  • Watch television
  • Hold political discussions
  • Communicating with the candidate on the issues
  • Donation of (10 of voters do this)

23
  • Nomination as a candidate
  • Attractiveness of political career in 20th
    century
  • Salary and benefits
  • Public recognition
  • Perception of power
  • Belief in ability to impact the direction of
    government
  • Reasons for not seeking a political office
  • Cost of campaigns
  • Absence from current job or position
  • Demands on time and family
  • Loss of privacy
  • Mudslinging campaigns
  • Possibility of defeat

24
  • Additional Actions citizens can take
  • Contact with elected officials on issues or need
    for personal assistance
  • 30 of the people per year
  • Membership in a group or association hoping to
    impact political decisions
  • 90 of the population in one group
  • 50 of the population in 3 or more groups
  • 4 of the groups with politics only focus
  • Filing a lawsuit to challenge a government action
  • Use of Civil Disobedience
  • Intentional breaking of a law to bring attention
    to an issue

25
Role of Public OpinionWhat do citizens want from
government?
  • Definition
  • Opinions of people about elected officials,
    candidates, public policy, and government
    institutions
  • Reflections of personal values, beliefs, and
    attitudes
  • Values basic guiding goals and priorities
  • Beliefs understanding of events and visions of
    the future
  • Attitudes judgments about the interactions of
    life
  • Creation of linkage between public opinion and
    government policy

26
Inconsistencies in Public Opinions
  • Dissatisfaction in 1992 (Not always easy to
    interpret)
  • Disapproval of George Bushs job as president by
    more than 60
  • Disapproval of the job of Congress by nearly 80
  • Little or no trust in the government to do the
    right thing most or all the time by more than 60
  • Satisfaction in 1992
  • Pride in being an American by more than 90
  • General belief in the workings of democracy by
    more than 60

27
  • 2010
  • Obamas approval rating in the 30 range
  • 50 of Americans have confidence in their
    government
  • 73 of people believe business can run things
    more efficiently than government
  • 76 of people believe the government needs to
    build roads and conduct research

28
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29
Public Opinion Polling
30
Public Opinion Polling
  • Sampling
  • Random
  • Complete listing of all available people
  • Selection of a random number to be interviewed
  • Equal chance of every person to be chosen
  • Multistage cluster
  • Division of the nation into regions of equal
    population
  • Division of regions into sub regions
  • Choice of several sub regions in each region
  • Selection of random sample from each sub region
  • Random-digit telephone dialers
  • Selection of every X number of houses in the
    subregion
  • Sampling error
  • Difference between the sample and the entire
    population

31
  • Margin of error
  • Probability of the entire population within X
    percentage
  • Increase in the accuracy of the poll with an
    increase in the sample size
  • Potential for inaccuracy (Watch out for..)
  • Emotionally loaded questions
  • Subtle differences in wording
  • Lack of truthfulness on the part of the
    respondents

32
Opinions of Various GroupsMust design campaigns
to get their support!
  • Gender Differences
  • Examples of the gender gap
  • Womens shift to the Republican party in the
    Eisenhower Era
  • Party of Peace
  • Importance of health issues to women and defense
    issues to men
  • Age differences
  • Examples of generation gap
  • 18 to 30 year olds only group with majority
    Republican identification
  • Less attachment to the idea of a large military
    to preserve the peace among the young

33
  • Class Differences
  • Examples of an education and income gap
  • Support for government direct assistance programs
    among people with less money and less education
  • More support for protection of civil liberties by
    upper and middle classes
  • Regional Differences
  • Examples of a geographic gap
  • Major support for a strong military in the south
  • Major support for prayer in the schools in the
    south
  • Minimum support for civil rights by many white
    Southerners
  • Racial Differences
  • Example of Race gap
  • Question of guilt or innocence of O.J. Simpson
  • Strong support for civil rights laws by blacks

34
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35
Acquisition of Political Knowledge and Opinions
in the Socialization Process (How do we acquire
our political tastes?)
  • Timeline
  • Preschool (1-4)
  • Ideas of authority and rules
  • Elementary school (5-10)
  • Concept of government as an institution
  • Portrayal of political figures as honest and
    benevolent
  • Adolescence (11-18)
  • Beginning of identification with a political
    party
  • Ability to think of politics in the abstract as
    liberal or conservative
  • Adulthood (18)
  • Generally no change in basic political beliefs
  • Open concern for jobs and personal welfare
  • Responsible for continuity of US politics

36
  • Influences
  • Family
  • General imitation of members views
  • Schools
  • Teaching about the organization of society and
    government
  • Teaching compliance to rules and authority
  • Teaching of patriotism
  • Tendency of college experience to liberalize
    views

37
  • Mass media
  • Impacts
  • Setting of the public policy agenda
  • Content of news coverage (CNBC v. FOX)
  • Stress on issues or people (where in the line up,
    what page?)
  • Development of a party identification
  • Guiding short-term opinions and voting
  • Creation of vision of political efficacy (trust
    in government)
  • Internal-personal ability to influence government
  • External government ability to handle personal
    concerns
  • General decline in both areas over the long-term

38
  • Mass Media cont
  • Limitations of mass media
  • Prescreening of incoming information
  • Choice of what to watch or read, sound bites
  • Party loyalty (Republican FOX)
  • Choice of party candidate regardless of
    information
  • Importance of local issues and personal
    communication
  • Increasing concern with local support rather than
    regional or national

39
Mass Media Definitions
  • Media
  • Means for the transmission of thoughts and ideas
  • Mass
  • Impact on a large number of people

40
Media Statistics (HUGE s)
  • Televisions
  • In United States homes in 2010
  • 1 in over over 99
  • 2 in over 75
  • 3 in over 50
  • 2,500 stations in 2000
  • Radio
  • 13,000 stations in 2000
  • Newspapers
  • 1,500 dailies in 2000

41
Organizational Structure of the News Media
  • Division into corporation
  • Motive to make profits
  • Need for significant audience
    (Entertainment??)
  • Need to secure advertisements
  • Increase in the number of mergers
  • Total media outlets
  • Control of 50 of outlets by 50 corporations
    (1981)
  • Control of 50 of outlets by 29 corporations
    (1987)
  • Merger mania
  • Paramount
  • Viacom
  • Turner Broadcasting and ABC

42
  • Newspapers
  • Lack of competition in 98 of US cities
  • Examples
  • Decline from 14 papers in 1920 to 4 in 1996 in
    NYC
  • Ownership of 82 individual papers by the Gannett
    Corporation
  • Broadcast Media TV
  • Increase in the number of stations legally
    permitted to be owned by a network
  • 5 pre 1980
  • 12 late 1980s
  • 20 late 1990s
  • Potential allowable market-share increase from
    25 to 35 of the nations viewing audience
  • Increase in competition with growth of cable
    television
  • World Wide Web
  • Over 1 billion documents
  • Over 15 million domain names
  • Media as a business is very competitive - but
    tough to make

43
Perspectives on the Role of the Print Media
  • Partisan Press
  • Reporting of news from a particular stance
    (Liberal/Conservative)
  • Critique
  • Harsh treatment of certain issues or individuals
    (Hardball)
  • Benefit
  • Airing of dissenting views
  • Public Press
  • Cheap newspapers for the increasingly literate
    population
  • Mass circulation newspapers USA Today
  • Examples NY Times
  • Joseph Pulitzer and Randolph Hearst
  • News and entertainment
  • Sensationalistic yellow journalism

44
  • Public Press cont
  • Opinion Magazines
  • McClures, Cosmopolitan, and Colliers
  • Use of investigative reporting
  • Revelations on the underside of industrialization
    and society at the turn of the century
    (muckrakers)
  • Ida Tarbell The History of the Standard Oil
    Company
  • Lincoln Steffen The Shame of Cities
  • Frank Norris The Octopus
  • Upton Sinclair The Jungle
  • Critique
  • Watered down, often sensationalistic, content to
    appeal to a variety of groups (USA Today, NY
    Times)

45
Can the Press be objective???
  • Objective Press
  • Cannons of Journalism 1923
  • Principles of an objective press
  • Appearance of reporting all sides of all issues
  • Critique
  • Impossibility of objectivity
  • Inclusion or exclusion of certain newsworthy
    items
  • Emphasis or de-emphasis on certain aspects of a
    situation
  • Positive or negative slant to coverage
  • Interpretive Press
  • Job of reporter to interpret and analyze what is
    said and done
  • Critique
  • Advocacy of certain policy positions of either
    the establishment or its opponents

46
Government Control of the Media
  • Judicial The Courts
  • Support of 1st Amendment protections
  • No prior restraint on publication of material,
    but responsibility for publication
  • Definition of limitations on obscenity and libel
  • Question of right of access to information
  • Freedom of Information Act, 1966
  • Protection of citizens right to information
  • Branzburg v. Hayes, 1972
  • No guarantee of special access for the press to
    information not available to the general public
  • Richmond Newspapers, Inc v. Virginia, 1980
  • Open access of press and public to criminal
    trials and the government bureaucracy

47
  • Executive The President
  • Appointment with Senate approval of members of
    Federal Communications Commission
  • Use of White House Press Corps. to communicate
    policies of the executive branch
  • Reporters traveling with the President at
    taxpayer expense
  • Legislative - Congress
  • Appropriation of funding for Public Broadcasting
    System
  • Allocation of scarce resources- broadcasting
    frequencies

48
  • Establishment of the Federal Communications
    Commission (FCC) (1934)
  • Origin In Radio Act (1927)
  • Assignment of frequencies by Federal Radio
    Commission
  • Membership
  • Appointment by the President with Senate approval
  • Duties How does the FCC operate?
  • Management of all electronic communications
  • Regulation of broadcast content to protect the
    publics interest
  • Equal time provision
  • Requirement of time for all candidates, not
    selected ones

49
  • Fairness Doctrine
  • Provision of time for opposing views on
  • controversial topics
  • Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, 1969
  • Upholding of doctrine for broadcasts
  • Miami Herald Publishing Co v. Tornillo, 1974
  • Striking down of doctrine for
    newspapers
  • Abolition by FCC in 1987
  • Political editorial rule
  • Right of candidate to reply to a stations
    editorial
  • Personal Attack Rule
  • Right of individual or group to reply to
    negative statements
  • Abolition of required number of radio
    commercials
  • Abolition of required public affairs
    programming

50
  • Regulation of Childrens programming with
    Childrens Television Act (1990)
  • Requirement for FCC license to serve
    educational
  • and informational needs of
    children
  • Regulation of the use of Public Airwaves
  • Definition of technical standards
  • Creation of licensing procedures
  • 7-7-7 rule early 1950s
  • Licensing of 7 AM , 7 FM and 7
    television stations to the same
  • source
  • Expansion to 12-12-12 rule in the
    1980s
  • Development of a crisis situation in
    1992
  • Support for increasing single
    ownership of radio stations
  • Compromise of 18 AM and 18 FM
  • Only 2 AM and 2 FM in the
    same market
  • Control of broadcasting standards

51
  • Regulation of Ownership
  • Prevention of multiple station ownership by
    a corporation
  • or person in a single market
  • Prevention of cross-ownership by a
    corporation or person
  • in a single market
  • Ownership of different types of media
    outlets
  • Potential easing of restrictions with
    advent of cable industry
  • Reduction of regulations on mergers in
    1985
  • Fear by some of more domination by
    conservative owners
  • Regulation of cable television rates with Cable
    Television Consumer Competition Act (1992)
  • One billion dollar reduction 1993
  • Facilitation of development of alternative
    media
  • technologies
  • (Govt approval needed to raise Rates)
  • State Governments
  • Protection of sources
  • Use of shield laws in 25 states to protect
    reporters sources

52
Interaction of the Media and the Public
  • Criteria for decisions on the choice of news
    articles -What to cover?
  • High impact on the audience
  • Natural or man made violence, conflict, disaster,
    or scandal
  • Familiarity of the subject
  • Novel and up to date stories
  • Local events
  • Elasticity of definition of local with shrinking
    world
  • Changing concepts of news
  • Broadcast media Blur between news
    and entertainment
  • Blurring of distinction between news and
    entertainment in broadcast media
  • Infotainment of morning news
  • Cheaper production costs of late night news type
    shows
  • 48 Hours
  • Dateline
  • Production of tabloid news programs
  • Hard Copy
  • A Current Affair
  • Increasing premium on short stories with dynamic
    pictures

53
  • Print media
  • First priority to news of public events
  • Greater depth and breadth of news coverage
  • Increasing presence of alternative sections
    Entertainment!
  • Sports
  • Comics
  • Human Interest Features
  • Entertainment/recreation
  • Family/gender issues

54
Interaction of the Media Politics
  • Campaign Coverage How to cover a campaign?
  • Types of campaign news (listed in order of
    declining importance)
  • Strategy planning
  • Discuss campaign strategies
  • Horse racing image
  • Perception of the campaign as a competition
  • Hoopla excitement
  • Coverage of exciting news
  • Real Issues
  • Discussion of substantive campaign issues
  • Candidate character
  • Revelations on the attributes and flaws of
    candidates
  • Polling results
  • Reporting of poll results and analysis
  • Common man interviews
  • Interviews with potential voters

55
  • Current Political events/actions
  • Linking of candidates and campaigns to breaking
    events
  • White House
  • Congress
  • Media usage
  • Reporting on other medias campaign coverage
  • Expert commentary
  • Analysis by political experts
  • Pack Journalism Use of Pools
  • Homogenization of reports
  • Reporting of politicians statements
  • Reporting of other reporters statements
  • New Initiatives during 1992 Campaign
  • Dedicated effort by news reporters to avoid
    manipulation by the candidates or parties
  • Bypassing of network news political media
  • Use of MTV
  • Use of interview shows - Oprah

56
  • Media Bias
  • Difficulty of classification
  • Subjectivity of positive and negative decision
  • Assumption of 50/50 treatment
  • Keys to the selection and reporting of news
    stories
  • Access of information
  • Succinctness
  • Newsworthiness
  • Sound bites

57
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58
  • General government news reporting - How does
    media get its info on government?
  • Major sources for political and economic news
  • National Government
  • Official proceedings
  • White House Papers
  • Press conferences
  • Interviews
  • Staged events
  • Leaks
  • Foreign governments
  • Pollsters
  • National Wire Service
  • Associated Press
  • United Press International
  • Reuters
  • Interest Groups

59
  • News Reporting and the national government
  • Influences on and of the executive
  • Promotion of cause or agenda
  • Focus on politics not policy
  • Concentration on personality not issues
  • Potential for promotion of disinformation
  • Intentional use of misinformation to influence
    future events
  • Influences on and of Congress
  • Broadcasting of floor debate by C-Span network
  • House of Representatives
  • Amendment of rules (1979)
  • Coverage of Nixon impeachments hearings
  • Open coverage of floor debate (1986)
  • Senate
  • Open coverage of floor debate (1986)
  • Audience
  • Potential of 150 million viewers
  • Viewing by 21.6 million households

60
  • Influences on and of the Courts
  • Minimal coverage
  • Inaccessibility of judges
  • Importance
  • Investigation of crimes and trials

61
Views on the Media
  • Importance for the information of public opinion
  • Repetition of selected stories
  • Selection of news stories and or candidates for
    coverage
  • Allotment of time and space to story placement
  • Priority of the story
  • Ability to withhold a story or manipulate the
    reporting
  • Attempts to control journalistic content of the
    news by spin efforts
  • Source for most information on candidates,
    convention, and campaigns
  • Source for most information on local, state,
    regional, national, or international events

62
  • Use of investigative reporting
  • Broadening of the information base
  • Enhancement of democratic control
  • Deterrence on abusers by institutions and groups
  • Alteration of views not strongly held
  • Impact on the public agenda
  • Creation of a view on a previously unknown item
  • Withholding of information

63
  • Reasons for the potential decline in the impact
    of the media is it losing its influence?
  • Importance of beliefs of family, church, and
    community
  • Viewing of news programs or reading of newspapers
    by a relatively small number of people
  • Selection by the public of news shows and columns
    in support of pre-existing beliefs
  • Difficulty in understanding the fragmented rapid
    fire television news broadcasts
  • Fear of the new technologies
  • Concern of government eavesdropping on citizens
  • Availability only to those with money
  • Lack of instruction in how to use the
    technologies
  • Worry over increasing government regulation

64
  • Reasons for the potential increase in the impact
    of the media Will media impact increase?
  • Decentralization of access to information and
    transmission lines with new technologies
  • Diversification in sources of information and in
    ways of communicating
  • More control by individuals
  • Ability to become a publisher
  • Ability to communicate with people around the
    world
  • Development of new and revised codes of ethics
    and definitions of civic responsibility
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