Chapter 8

Chapter 8: Public Opinion, Participation, and Voting


        This chapter is basically about the people and the public. How they vote and how things can affect their opinions. People and their view/opinions about politics are usually influenced from their childhood. This gives them an idea of what party to support or who they vote for. This chapter also talks about how people with higher education and are older tend to vote more. The voting technologies have been changing in order to minimize frauds and corruption. Party identification is the most important element in determining how most Americans vote. Participation is very important in order to make America a good country where everyone wants to live in.


Public Opinion:The distribution of invdividual preferences for evaluations of a given issue, candidate, or institution within a specific population

Public opinion is the attutide or belief of the population towards political matters.


Random Sample: A type of sample, every individual has a chance of being known and randomly selected

For the political ideology survey we took a random sample from students on campus.

Margin of error: The permittable or acceptable deviation from the target or a specific value; an allowance for slight error or miscalculation; an allowance for changing circumstances

There is no room for margin of errors in brain surgery.

Consensus: The opnion of the majority. A general agreement or concord

We reached a consensus of a reelection of the president.

Polarized: A concentration, as of groups, forces, or interests, about two conflicting or contrasting positions

The controversy has polarized voters into pro- abortion and anti- abortion groups.



 Intensity: How strongly people feel about their opinions. This produces the brightest and deepest hues in the fabric of public opinion

The public shows their intensity through protests.

Latency: Political opinions that people may hold but does not fully express

Latency is not crystallized but they are still important ideas.

Salience: Measures the extent to which people believe issues are relevant to them

When a national issue affects an individual's life, their salience rises.

Political Socialization: The process by which we develop our political attitudes, values, and beliefs which is mostly developed from families and schools

Family is the biggest factor that affects a child's political socialization.

 Attentive Public: Those citizens who are interested and follow public affairs carefully.  

The attentive public follows weekly debates of the running candidates.


Protest: An expression or declaration of objection or disapproval

The labor union protested against increasing the working hours of factory workers.

Disenfranchise:  To deprive a person a right of citizenship and of the right to vote

Literacy tests were used to disenfranchise African Americans the right to vote.

Nineteenth Amendment:  An amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1920, guaranteeing women the right to vote

The Nineteenth Amendment gave the right to vote to women.


Twenty- fourth Amendment: Prohibits the Congress and other states from imposing a poll tax, or any other tax on the right to vote

The Twenty- fourth Amendment banned the Congress from imposing poll taxes.

'Here's another one for you.'

Voting Rights Act of 1965: Eliminated various devices, such as literacy tests

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 made it easier for African Americans to vote.

[© Bruce Davidson]


 Australian Ballot: A secret ballot printed by the state

The Australian Ballot provides more privacy to voters.

Motor Voter bill: Clinton signed this bill in 1993 to allow people to register to vote while applying for or renewing their driver's license

The Motor voter bill allows people to register their vote at the same time they apply for their licenses.


Turn out: The proportion of the voting-age public that votes, sometimes defined as the number of registered voters that vote

The voter Turn out of Democrats this year was higher than last year's because of the fall in the economy. 



Mobilize/ Mobilization: When candidates rally their most loyal supporters "base" and they reaffirm their supports for issues or groups that matters most to the base

Candidtaes mobilze their supporters to validate the most important issues.

Canvass: When campaigners learn which issues matter to potential voters and which candidates these voters prefer by conducting polls or interviews

Candidates and campaigners learn the voters political preferences through canvass.

Swing voter: Undecided voters. They receive a major focus by campaigners

Swing voters are targeted by campaigners because they are easily swayed.

Civic duty: The responsibilities of a citizen 

Voting is a civic duty.

Candidate Appeal: Voters opinion on how they feel about a candidate's background, personality, leadership ability, and other personal qualities

Candidates hire media consultants to increase their candidate appeal.











Demographics: The statistical data of a population. Those showing average age, income, education, etc

The demographics of South Africa shows the increase of population in that country.

Ad Chap January 2008 Facebook User Demographics

Manifest Opinion: A widely shared and consciously held view, like support for homeland security

Support for Social Security is a manifest opinion.




Nationalism: A conciousness of the nation- state and of belonging to it

Nationalism is opposed to colonialism or imperialism

Public policy: The fundamental policy on which laws rest

It is public policy to respect those in authority.

Non- voters: A person who does not vote or who is not eligible to vote

Women were considered as non- voters before 1920.


 Voter Registration: A system that is designed to minimize voter fraud by limiting voting to those who have established eligibility to vote by submitting the proper documents

Every citizen should go through voter registration before voting.

Primary ElectionVoters determine party nominees

Calvo and Tenorio won against Cruz and Espaldon in the primary elections.


 General Election: Voters elect office holders

A general election is an election which representatives are chosen in all constituencies of a state.



 Presidential Election: Elections held in years when the president is on the ballot

President Obama defeated McCain in the 2008 Presidential Election.

Midterm Election: Elections held midway between presidential elections

Midterm elections are general elections in the United States that are held two years after the four-year elections for the President of the United States

Special Election:  Elections held when a member of the House of Representatives died or left the office

When a member of the House dies, retires, or gets expelled, a Special election is held.

Off- year Election: Elections held in odd numbered calendars

Off- year Elections are held during odd numbered years.


Party Identification: The subjective or self-defined sense of identification pr affiliation that a person has with a political party. Mostly aquired in childhood

Party Identification is when one's underlying allegiance is pledged to a certain political party.

 Twenty- sixth Amendment: The amendment that limited the voting age from 18 years of age

Since the Twenty- sixth Amendment has been passed, minors are not able to vote.



Prospective issue voting: Voting based on what a candidate pledges to do in the future about an issue, if he/she is elected 

Prospective issue voting motivates candidates to reaffirm their stand on issues to fit the voter's opinions.

Retrospective issue voting: Holding incumbents, usually the president's party, responsible for their records on issues, such as the economy  or foreign party

Retrospective issue voting is when voter's vote based on the candidate's past performances.


 Independent: A voter that is clearly not aligned with a political party. A voter who does not usually vote for the same political party from election to election

Independent voters do not belong in any political parties.



 FILL IN THE BLANKS to test you chp.8 vocab skills!

1. ____________ remains the most important element in determining how most Americans vote and is an informal affiliation with a political party that most people acquire in childhood.

2. __________ is the distribution across the population of a complex combination of view and attitudes that individuals acquire through various influences from their childhood and on.

3. __________ usually determines public's voting choice because this gives the candidate's background, personality, leadership qualities and other personal qualities.

4. In _________, which is held in years when the president is on the ballot, there is a ___________ which is an election held midway.

5. In order to reduce voter fraud, a system called _________________ limits voting to those who have established eligibility to vote by submitting the proper documents.

6. Citizens who follow public affairs carefully are called, _____________.

7. _____________ is mostly influenced by our families and schools in developing political attitudes, values, and beliefs.

8. In __________, every individual has a known and random chance of being selected.

9. ________ is simply an election in which voters elect officeholders.

10. ______________________ is voting based on what a candidate pledges to do in the future about an issue if elected.

11. __________________is when the rights of voting of a citizen is ignored. 

12. The statistical data of a population is called a_________________.

13. _______________are voters that are unaffiliated or undecided of their political party.

14. The _______________allows people to register to vote the same time when they apply or renew their driver's license.

15. When a member of a House of Representative passes away, a_________________is held. 

16. If national issues threatens a security or safety of a citizen,the_________________of national issues rises sharply.

17. ______________are intensely courted with person to person interviews, phone calls, mailings before election.

18. The______________granted women the right to vote. 

19. ________________is how the voters feel towards the candidate's background, appearance, or personality.

20. When an incumbent is held responsible for certain issues in the past, this is called__________________.






ANS: 1. party identification 2. public opinion 3. candidate appeal 4. presidential elections/midterm elections 5. voter registration 6. attentive public 7. political socialization 8. random sample 9. general election 10. prospective issue voting 11. disenfranchise 12. demographics 13. independent 14. motor voter bill 15. special election 16. salience 17. swing voters 18. nineteenth amendment 19. candidate appeal 20. retrospective issue voting 

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