UNIT THREE POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION

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1 UNIT THREE POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION

2 POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION PUBLIC OPINION PUBLIC OPINION, THE SPECTRUM, & ISSUE TYPES ITEM PUBLIC OPINION IDEOLOGY THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM (LIBERAL- CONSERVATIVE SPECTRUM) VALENCE ISSUES WEDGE ISSUE SALIENCY What the public thinks about a particular issue or set of issues at any point in time. A comprehensive and mutually consistent set of ideas. - Liberal (democrats) is on the left side of the spectrum. - Conservative (republicans) is on the right side of the spectrum. - Moderate is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. (Most Americans are moderate but often belong to one of the two major parties) Concerns or policies that are viewed in the same way by people with a variety of ideologies. (Examples: Everyone wants a strong economy and national security) Concerns or policies that sharply divide the public. (Examples: People often disagree on abortion and universal health care) If an issue is important to someone than it has high saliency. (Often found in wedge issues) POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES IDEOLOGY LIBERAL CONSERVATIVE LIBERTARIAN POPULIST One of today's major ideologies. Originally under the influence of Thomas Jefferson who wanted a government to do very little. Under FDR s New Deal, the government took on a new responsibilities. Since the 1930 s liberal usually means allowing the government to expand beyond established constraints. One of today's major ideologies. Traditionally conservatives believe in following tradition and authority. Goldwater (1964 republican presidential nominee) argued that government should do less and thus allow its people more freedom. Less taxation and less government spending became its anthem. One of today's minor ideologies. They often oppose government intervention or regulation. It is a party but people in this ideology often belong to other parties. One of today's minor ideologies. They generally attend a Protestant church. They support things like prayer in school, high minimum wage, and welfare. One of today's minor ideologies. They split the republican party (peaked in early 1900 s). PROGRESSIVE Today they believe in worker s rights over corporate rights and support progressive taxes. Both parties occasionally go against their own ideology. Democrats adopt policies that are not very liberal in terms of personal liberty while Republicans adopt policies (like abortion) that require more regulation and law (not less). As a result both parties have sub- groups within them.

3 POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION PUBLIC OPINION FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION FACTORS FAMILY EDUCATION RELIGION RACE & ETHNICITY LOCATION GENDER This is the single greatest influence on one s political socialization. When children start to inquire about world events or local issues it is the parents who explain it to their children and within this explanation comes the parents opinion on the issue. (10% of seniors identify with the party opposite of their parents) (60% of adults carry the same party identification as their parents) Teachers and peer groups can have a large impact. There is no evidence that obtaining high school diploma or a bachelor's degree will affect ideology. People that graduate with a Master s degree or higher are more likely to vote for Democrats and hold liberal attitudes. (Average College faculty claim: 48% liberal;; 14% conservative) People who attend church (nearly weekly) are more likely to vote on election day. Fundamentalists (believe in literal interpretation of the Holy Bible), Evangelical Christians (promote Christian faith), and Protestants are located primarily in the South and mid-west and they vote conservative (republican). Catholics vote liberal (democrat). Jews (smallest portion of electorate) vote liberal (democrat). - African Americans have voted for democrats since New Deal and even more since the Civil Rights Movement. - Hispanics (55-65 percent) vote for democrats. - Asians usually vote for republicans. - Whites are more likely to vote for republicans. - Northeast: liberal - West coast: liberal - West: conservative - South: conservative Women: liberal (especially single women) Men: conservative (especially white men) - 40% to 50% of Americans consider themselves moderate, 30% conservative, and about 20% liberal. Only 37% consider themselves strongly partisan. How do people determine their ideology? The answer is political socialization. - Political Socialization: The process by which one develops political opinions. - Other books also include: media, region, age, occupation, & wealth. - Other books mention psychological factors: party identification, perception of candidates, & perception of issues

4 POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION PUBLIC OPINION MEASURING PUBLIC OPINION ITEM PUBLIC OPINION POLLS AKA: POLLING STRAW POLLS Interviews or surveys with samples of citizens that are used to estimate the feelings and beliefs of the entire population. Newspapers use to conduct simple, non- scientific tallies of selected voters to make predictions. (Since they were not scientific they were often wrong.) TRACKING POLLS EXIT POLLS FOCUS GROUPS APPROVAL RATINGS Researchers ask people the same or similar questions over time to track the path of public opinion. They are conducted outside of polling places on election day to predict the outcome of an election. Small groups of citizens (10 to 40 people) gather to hold conversations about issues or candidates. These are used for candidates to determine how to change their image for elections. (Example: People told Mitt Romney to wear more jeans) Researchers simply ask whether or not the respondent approves, yes or no of the president s job performance. Presidents usually hover at 50%. They can go up when the country finds itself in crisis. Truman s went up after he dropped the atomic bomb and George W. Bush s went up after 9/11 (Bush also had 29% when he was leaving office, which is really low) The most accurate way to measure public opinion is through scientific polling. The next page discusses this in detail.

5 POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION PUBLIC OPINION MEASURING PUBLIC OPINION WITH SCIENTIFIC METHODOLOGY ITEM SCIENTIFIC METHODOLOGY Construct a questionnaire with properly worded and ordered questions Select a representative sample Correctly interview the respondents Analyze the data appropriately Draw the correct conclusions Questions should be neutral and should not lead people to a certain answer. (Example of a bad question: Don t you think we should get rid of welfare so those lazy people can take care of themselves?) Define Universe: Who is in the group you wish to measure. (Example: All citizens or girls that age 13-19) Random Sampling: This method gives everyone in your defined universe the same chance of being selected. Stratified Sampling: Most national surveys and commercial polls use samples of 600 to 1,000 individuals and use stratified sampling which is a variation on random sampling. This included using information from the Census that rules out those unlikely to vote, breaking the country into 4 regions and counties and metropolitan areas that are in proportion to the total national population. They break into units and each unit gets 20 people selected. The interviewer contacts and interacts with the respondent can impact a pool. People are more honest on paper than when they are on the phone or in- person. People could skew that data to meet their own selfish goals. (Some people.they are the worst) Perhaps the end result does not show convey people s true feelings. (Which was the entire point) SHORTCOMINGS OF POLLING - Margin of error: All polls contain errors. Typically in a sample of 1,000 the margin of error is 4 percent. So if the result is 52 to 48 you can add or minus 4 to each number. So once you add the margin of error you see the race is too close to call. - Sampling error: If parts of the universe are not questioned the whole poll could be skewed. Homeless are hard to find, but they can vote. - Limited respondent options: If you answer agree or disagree you complex views may not be recorded. - Lack of information: People answering may have no knowledge/ and or opinion of the subject being surveyed. So what good is that? - Difficulty measuring intensity: Respondents opinions may not have been expressed. - Scientific polling (often referred to as polling) is the most accurate way to determine public opinion despite all its shortcomings. - The media uses polls often during an election and they start sounding like a horse race announcer. They often focus on who is winning instead of showing what the candidates are actually saying about these issues.

6 POLITICAL PARTICIPATION BASIC TERMINOLOGY REGARDING THE ELECTORATE ITEM ELECTORATE SUFFRAGE FRANCHISE The people who are entitled to vote in an election. The right to vote. The right to vote. DISENFRANCHISE To take away the right to vote. VOTING- AGE POPULATION VOTER TURNOUT This refers to people who are 18- years or older (since 1971). The portion of the voting- age public that votes. - Generally speaking about the eligible adult population: 40% votes regularly, 25% are occasional voters, and 35% rarely or never vote. - In 2012, 62% of the eligible electorate voted in the presidential election which was the highest since EXPANDING THE ELECTORATE AMENDMENT YEAR 15TH AMENDMENT TH AMENDMENT RD AMENDMENT TH AMENDMENT TH AMENDMENT 1971 The right to vote will not be denied on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. The right to vote will not be denied on account of sex. Washington D.C. residents have the right to vote in Presidential election (even though they are not in a state) The right to vote will not be denied for failure to pay a tax. The right to vote will not denied to people at least 18- year- olds due to their age. - Initially states would bar Women, African Americans, and immigrants from voting. But they also limited white men from voting by imposing religion tests, property taxes, and poll taxes. - By 1830 (Jacksonian Era) most states had removed the property requirement for being eligible to vote. (North Carolina was last in 1856) - Don t forget the 15th Amendment was ignored by many southern states when they added literacy tests, poll taxes. The Civil Rights Movement lead to national law to address these issues and even fueled some of the amendments on this chart.

7 POLITICAL BELIEFS AND BEHAVIORS POLITICAL PARTICIPATION MODERN SUFFRAGE REQUIREMENTS & POSSIBLE LIMITATIONS CATEGORY SPECIFIC ITEM SUFFRAGE REQUIREMENT POSSIBLE VOTING LIMITATIONS Citizenship Residence Age Registration Mental Competency Convicted Felons Must be a U.S. citizen. Must be a resident from the State you are voting in. (There are absentee ballots if you are away from home) Must be 18- years- old to vote. Must be registered with officials in your state to vote. (Except North Dakota) Some states deny people in mental institutions the right to vote. Some states deny convicted felons the right to vote. (Some still cannot vote for a number of years even after being released from prison) HIGH VOTER TURNOUT AND CORRUPTION ITEM PROBLEM SOLUTION - Fraudulent developed in voting in late 19th century (AKA: the late 1800 s) - Some estimates show 90% voting participation. - Vote Early & Vote Often repeat voters (like in movie: Gangs of New York) - People were bribed with money, alcohol, and threats of being fired. - Ward bosses intimidated voters to vote a certain way. - A generation of machine politics and patronage dominated from the precinct up to the national level. - Register to vote (now 30 days prior to an election is most a State can require) - The Australian Ballot - Four key components: 1) Ballot is printed and distributed at public expense 2) Ballot must show all candidates names 3) The ballot is only available at the polling place 4) The ballot is filled out in private The Australian ballot was first used in Australia in By 1892, 33 U.S. states adopted it.

8 POLITICAL BELIEFS AND BEHAVIORS POLITICAL PARTICIPATION MEASURING VOTER TURNOUT OPTION USE REGISTERED VOTERS USE VOTING- AGE POPULATION You take the percentage from registered voters. (So if 5 people voted out of 100 registered voters then the voter turnout would be 5%) You take the percentage from the voting- age population. (So if 5 people voted out of 1000 people who are old enough then the voter turnout would be.5%) - Percentage of registered voters that voted in 2008 was 89.6% while the percentage of voting- age population that voted was 63.6%. - Voter turnout refers to the percentage of voting- age population unless otherwise stated. And it has rarely have gone above 60% in since It usually hovers closer to 50% or 55%. REASONS FOR LOW VOTER TURNOUT REASON TOO BUSY DIFFICULTY OF REGISTRATION DIFFICULTY OF ABSENTEE VOTING NUMBER OF ELECTIONS VOTER ATTITUDES WEAKENED INFLUENCE OF POLITICAL PARTIES Surveys indicate people have conflicting work or school schedules, were ill, disabled, or had a family emergency. (Researchers have also found no one likes to say that they are uninformed about candidates and issues even though it may be the case) In the United States voter registration requires individual initiative. It costs people time and effort. (Other nations place the burden on the government and not the people) Many states require a person to apply for an absentee ballot in person. The person is probably busy and on the go if they aren t even in their state for elections. The United States hold twice as many federal elections as other Western Democracies. American federalism leads to many additional elections at the state and local level. - Voter apathy: a simple lack of concern for the election - Voter efficacy: feeling your vote really counts (some people don t have it) (Some nations inspire people to vote by fining them money if they don t) The parties were once grassroots organizations that forged strong party- group links with their supporters. Today, candidate- centered campaigns has resulted in a more distant party from the people. - I feel like Netflix should be included with too busy and voter attitudes. - The United States has the lowest voter participation rates of any nation in the industrialized world: (Examples: 1960: 65% : 51.5% : 60% : 62%)

9 POLITICAL BELIEFS AND BEHAVIORS POLITICAL PARTICIPATION EFFORTS TO IMPROVE VOTER TURNOUT IDEA EASIER REGISTRATION & CONVENIENCE VOTING MAKE AN ELECTION DAY HOLIDAY STRENGTHEN PARTIES OTHER SUGGESTIONS - Same day (as election) registration states have higher voter turnout. - Some people think 18 year olds should be automatically registered. - Oregon eliminated poll places and did all- mail balloting. This could make it easier for people to get out of work. Better keep election day on a Tuesday or people might go on long weekends. Political parties have recently been putting more time, effort, and resources into areas that have had lower turnout. It has helped somewhat. - Hold fewer elections - Use a proportional representation system for congressional elections to encourage 3rd parties - Change election day to Saturday or Sunday - Making voting mandatory - Provide a tax credit for voters - Have an election week instead of an election day - Allow people to vote over the internet - Have more polling places (some places have people waiting for hours) CONGRESS AND NATIONAL VOTING REGULATIONS ITEM NVRA (NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION ACT) HAVA (HELP AMERICA VOTE ACT) In 1993, Congress passed this law to help citizens register to vote at any state- run agencies, such as the bureaus of motor vehicles. Hence the motor- voter law nickname. In 2002, Congress created a national standards for voting and election management: - All States had to upgrade voting systems to electronic format - People with disabilities must have easy access to polling places - Registered voters must provide a driver's license or the last four digits of their social security number. - HAVA was passed in response to the Bush- Gore election. In Florida there was a confusing punch- card ballot in which pieces of paper called chads made counting ballots difficult.

10 POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION POLITICAL PARTICIPATION VOTING BLOCS & BEHAVIOR VOTING BLOC TURNOUT % G E N D E R MALES 61.5 FEMALES Slightly less likely to vote than women. - Believe in harsher punishments & are more fiscally conservative - Slightly more likely to vote than men. - More likely to vote democrat (especially if single) - Oppose harsh punishments & are less war- prone. - Support welfare systems. WHITES 66.1 More likely to vote conservatively. R A C E BLACKS 64.1 HISPANIC Since New Deal vote for democrats. - Support money for poor areas rather than on foreign policy. - Have a less favorable view of the justice system. - Side with democrats on urban, minority, & labor issues million voters (fastest growing minority population) ASIAN Tend to vote for conservatives A G E (YOUNG VOTERS) (SENIOR CITIZENS) Low voter turnout. - Might be uninformed because houses, careers, family, and running a business is all in the future for them. - High voter turnout. - Have more experience and understanding of the political process because they are likely to have much at stake: social security, Medicare, taxes, & inheritance. S C H O O L NO HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA OBTAINED A MASTERS DEGREE 39.4 N/A - The less education you obtain the less likely you are to vote. - The more education you obtain the more likely you are to vote.

11 DEMOGRAPHIC VOTE LIBERAL VOTE CONSERVATIVE GENDER Women Men RACE RELIGION REGION EDUCATION OCCUPATION African Americans Hispanics Catholic Jews East Coast West Coast Obtaining a masters Wage earner Craftsman Factory line workers Whites Asians Protestants Evangelicals Mormons South West The rest of educational attainment is pretty split between the two parties. Business community Entrepreneurs Shareholders - Obviously these are just statistical majorities. There is no way to know how a person votes just because of their demographics. In some instances it is like 55 % of these people vote like this. Well 45% of them still vote for the other side. So don t go nuts with this stereotypical data. But you might need an example or two on the AP test. - Party identification is still the strongest indicator as how someone will vote. - Also in terms of the electoral college, many states in certain regions vote consistently.

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