American Government
Azusa Pacific University
Mr. Jonathon Pyles
September 28, 2004
"Public Opinion and the Media"

I.   Keys to accurate polling
A.   Random sampling
B.   Asking the questions makes a big difference
C.   Interpreting the results
1.   Questions wording
2.   Question order
3.   Sample population
4.   Sample size
5.   Randomness
6.   Interview methods
II.   Problems of Public Opinion
A.   Citizens are often poorly informed about complex issues
B.   People's opinions are often unstable and changeable
C.   Opinions change depending on the wording of the question
D.   Many political issues are not interesting to the public – they may have an opinion but not a strong one
III.   Origins of Political Attitudes
A.   Family – Party identification and "politicalness"
B.   Religion – Social issues; Evangelical Christians
C.   Gender – Women a little more "liberal" than men
D.   Education – more education = more liberal
IV.   Political Ideology
A.   Ideology: Coherent and consistent set of beliefs about who ought to rule, what principles rulers ought to obey, and what policies rulers ought to pursue
B.   Economic Issues vs. Social Issues
1.   Pure Liberal: liberal on both economic and social issues
2.   Pure Conservative: conservative on both economic and social issues
3.   Libertarian: conservative on economic issues, liberal on social issues
4.   Populist: Liberal on economic issues, conservative on social issues
V.   Culture War
A.   Religious America vs. Unreligious America
1.   Abortion, secular humanism, homosexuality, drugs &