Predictions: I believe this chapter is going to talk about why a citizen casts their vote a certain way and how the media keeps track of the polls.
Thesis: Every voter casts their vote in a certain way based on their social standing, education, and family.
- Public opinion: “The collective expression of attitudes about the prominent issues and actors of the day (284).”
- There are three ways to measure public opinions:
a. Straw poll: A nonscientific method of measuring public opinion which is used when one wants to measure where the majority of the votes are going.
b. Representative sample: “A sample that includes all the significant characteristics of the total population (286).”
c. Margin of error: It measures the possible errors in a survey.
d. Random sample: “A strategy required for a valid poll whereby every member of the population has an equal chance of appearing in the sample (287).”
e. Sampling bias: A survey in which a certain group of people are more likely to appear in the final sample than the general populous.
- The media is a very large factor in political campaigns. One way the media keeps up with polls is by using “tracking polls” which are polls used by the media to track the support level for candidates over a span of time. Another way is “exit polls” in which news anchors question voters as they leave the voting booth to predict the outcome of an election.
- Family also plays a very large factor in how the votes are casted, as does social status, where the voter lives, education level, and religion.
- Generational effect: “Socialization patterns in which a generation of adults who grew up during a certain decade or period appears to have its own outlook, differentiating itself from the previous age (291).”
- Education is also a main influence on how votes are casted.
- The gender gap is a difference in the