# american government and organization ps1301 friday, 5 march

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• Slide 1
• American Government and Organization PS1301 Friday, 5 March
• Slide 2
• Announcements Midterm next week; review sheet now available Additional book, American Politics after September 11 now available on line for no additional charge (go to my backpack) Take Quiz in Chapter 7 How to prepare study guide on line
• Slide 3
• Measuring Public Opinion Non scientific Straw polls Straw pollsScientific Based on probability sampling Based on probability sampling
• Slide 4
• The Logic of Probability Sampling Difference between a population and a sample Homogeneity V. Heterogeneity If everyone were the same we would not need to sample. If everyone were the same we would not need to sample. One person could be surveyed to find out the characteristics of the entire population. One person could be surveyed to find out the characteristics of the entire population. Variation in what we study; precisely why we study it For a sample to be useful in providing information of the population from which it is drawn must be representative Essentially the sample must contain the same variation as in population
• Slide 5
• Principle of Probability Sampling A sample will be representative of the population from which it is selected if all members of the population have an equal chance of being selected in the sample. We can do this by selecting respondents randomly; each respondent has an equal chance of being selected Accuracy is a function of sample size (and proportion). Accuracy is also a function of the way the question is worded (more on this later) as well as context
• Slide 6
• Question wording: Example of Abortion Hard reasons womens health seriously threatened womens health seriously threatened rape rape birth defects birth defects Soft reasons low income low income not married and does not want to marry not married and does not want to marry married but does not want more children married but does not want more children interfered with work or education interfered with work or education
• Slide 7
• Question wording Should abortion be legal as it is now, or legal only in the cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother, or should it not be permitted at all? 48% legal as it is now 48% legal as it is now 43% limited to rape, incest, health of mother 43% limited to rape, incest, health of mother 9% not permitted at all 9% not permitted at all Source: CBS/NYT January 1989
• Slide 8
• Question wording Do you think abortions should be legal under any circumstances, legal under certain circumstances, or illegal under all circumstances? 28% legal 28% legal 53% under certain circumstances 53% under certain circumstances 19% illegal 19% illegal Source: Gallup/Newsweek January 1989
• Slide 9
• Differences Same time, same sample. Why the difference? Respondents were not given the same alternatives. Explicitly state circumstances that fit the hard reasons.
• Slide 10
• Other Examples If a woman wants to have an abortion and her doctor agrees to it, should she be allowed to have an abortion or not? Yes 65% Please tell me whether or not it should be possible for a pregnant woman to obtain a legal abortion if she wants it for any reason? Yes 36% Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Every woman who wants to have an abortion should be able to have one? Agree 61% Please tell me whether or not it should be possible for a pregnant woman to obtain a legal abortion if she wants it for any reason. Yes 41%
• Slide 11
• Opinion on Abortion
• Slide 12
• Views on Abortion by Religion
• Slide 13
• Voter Turnout Lower for congressional elections than Presidential elections Decline in voter turnout How low is it? Does it matter? The role of age and education
• Slide 14
• Decline in Turnout
• Slide 15
• Turnout in Comparative Perspective
• Slide 16
• Age and Turnout
• Slide 17
• Role of Age and Education
• Slide 18
• Who Voted in 2000?
• Slide 19
• Role of Parties Link to George Bushs website George Bushs websiteGeorge Bushs website The John Kerry campaign The John Kerry campaign
• Slide 20
• Why is voter turnout so low? Difficulty of registration Lack of convenience Early voting Early voting Absentee voting Absentee voting Vote by mail Vote by mail Voter Attitudes Electoral System Changing demographics