Sofia Calabrese12/7/2015Dr. BurgePublic OpinionFinal Public Opinion and Political Behavior FinalPart AACADC Part BThe Schlozman et. al. article argues that the SES model of voter turnout explains how socioeconomic status variables like income and education can predict people’s political participation. The piece argues that those with a lower socioeconomic status have three primary reasons for not participating in elections: they can’t, they don’t want to, or nobody asked them to (Schlozman et. al.). The cant refers to the inability of some people to register to vote or attend the polls. Some states require a driver’s license to register to vote, which would require time off work to go to the DMV and fill out the necessary paperwork. Those without a registered address are not allowed to vote which excludes anyone who is homeless. Even if people were able to leave work and go through the long process to get a driver’s license and register to vote, they would have to leave their jobs again to go to the polls as very few states offer mail-in votes. In addition to the difficulty of actually voting, many do not have the civic skills or education to properly participate. Civic skills refer to vocabulary and experiences such as preparing presentations or speeches which come from participating in groups and organization that take a personal commitment of time and sometimes money. A larger portion of political participation is through financial donations, and those on the lower end of the socioeconomic scale do not have the financial capital to donate to a political organization. Another portion of those who do not participate is those who were never asked to. A significant amount of voter mobilization comes from people’s employment, as well as their participation in civic organizations like churches or by donating time and money to political rallies (Schlozman et. al.). The rational choice model is one in which people act in a way which maximizes their own self-interest. This reflects in who the person decides to vote for. Instead of weighing the benefits of a candidates policy on all of the fellow members of society, the rational choice theory asserts that a voter will assess how it benefits themselves, and how the benefit of the program to other people will ultimately benefit themselves. The affective intelligence model of political participation argues that overtly affective states like anxiety or enthusiasm predispose voters to be open to new political information (Valentino). These affective moods, however, can also cause a significant amount of bias in voting. The five emotions that have been proven to be highly emotionally affective are surprise, anger, anxiety, fear, and pride. Surprise can magnify the effects of other emotions in voting. Anger increases stereotypes and other heuristics. Anxiety increases political attentiveness and lowers party identification (Valentino). This causes voters to be more attentive to events and improves their decision-making abilities. People who claim to feel anxious before an election are twice as likely to defect and vote for the candidate whose policy they actually prefer. Fear can lead voters to seek more detailed information and spend more time investigating and learning about policies and candidates. Like anxiety, this increases voters political participation skills. Appeals to pride have been proven to be highly motivational in motivating voter turnout, especially for high propensity voters (Valentino et. al.). The mobilization model was referenced in “Mobilization, Participation, and Democracy in America”. In the piece, Rosenstone and Hansen explain that people vote when they are mobilized by politicians. Mobilization relies on the social nature of political life. There are two types of mobilization; direct and indirect. Direct mobilization is the way that candidates get people out on election day to vote for them, whereas indirect mobilization comes from things like people’s priests telling them to get out there and vote. People who get mobilized are the employed, people who lead civic organizations, community and organization leaders, and people from the upper and middle tiers. To mobilize voters, political organizations use information like voter registrations, organizations like magazine subscriptions, and census tract information about where you live. The mobilization model leads to the overrepresentation of the elite because of the mobilization methods that are commonly employed (Rosenstone, Hansen). Lijphart referred to the institutional model by saying “We look for remedies in nonvoting… institutional factors are especially important, rules and institutions are, at least in principle, more amenable to manipulation than individual attitudes” (Lijphart). The institutional model focuses on the context of the election, including whether it is close and whether the rules encourage or discourage participation. It explains voting in the context of the election based on factors that encourage or discourage participation based on institutional factors like poll taxes, literacy tests, gerrymandering, and minimum age requirements. I believe that the affective choice model and the mobilization model provide the best explanations of the voter turnout in the 2016 Presidential election. The 2008 election proved that self-reported emotions toward President Obama and Senator McCain were more accurate predictors of voting than party identification (Pew). The importance of emotion and the vote has only increased since the 2008 elections. The Make America Great Again campaign effectively mobilized voters by using pride and fear. American pride was the largest platform of the election. Associating American nationalism and pride with the Republican party collected a lot of votes from candidates of both political parties by creating a rebirth of the traditionally strong American pride. The Clinton campaign, on the other hand, was not effective in mobilizing women to vote. The Democratic campaign counted on the votes of Latino and female voters and therefore did not put effort into contacting these communities and mobilizing these votes. When the election rolled around the Clinton campaigns failure to reach out to communities in the midwest was extremely apparent, as well as her lack of support in midwest unions which has been historically strong in favor of Democrats (Kleeman). By relying on these votes and not pursuing any mobilization efforts the democratic campaign lost the support of the Midwest. 2. Lijphart identifies that the major problem with voting in the United States is that voter turnout is generally very low. Voter turnout is especially very low in comparison with other nations. Voter turnout in the United States is not representative of the population as a whole because mobilization and civic participation have been centered around the higher class people (Lijphart). As a result, voting reflects the ideas and beliefs of the upper class of the United States. Lijphart believes that compulsory voting laws have benefits that far outweigh the “normative and practical objections to it” (Lijphart). He reaches this conclusion after his investigation of the benefits of compulsory voting on the maintenance of high levels of voter participation in Belgium. Compulsory voting has been found to raise participation by around seven to sixteen percentage points on average. He shows that compulsory voting has an effect on individual citizens participation because it boosts the rational choice logic in voting because it neutralizes a significant portion of the cost of voting. It would affect the community and democratic responsiveness as a whole because it would create a responsive political environment as it did in Malta which now has a near-universal turnout (Lijphart). He also addresses the potential of compulsory voting to preserve the welfare-enhancing effect of electoral accountability.I agree with Lijphart’s claims especially his reference to the creation of a responsive political environment as a result of compulsory voting. Although there is the issue of uninformed voters, I believe that requiring all citizens to participate in government would give them a form of civic participation that would lead them to participate in other civic organizations that would then boost the overall civic education of the community. 3. Schlozman, Verba, and Brady would approve of the compulsory voting laws put forth by Lijphart. Schlozman Verba and Brady agree that there is an issue in the United States with mobilizing the lower class. Instituting a compulsory voting law in the United States with a fine for not participating would motivate the lower class to go to the polls. Additionally, this requirement for civic participation would motivate citizens who are now at the polls for the first time to partake in other forms of civic participation. Schlozman et al would agree with Lijphart that increasing civic participation would help decrease the representational inequality that is the result of biased mobilization. Short Answers6. Public opinion cannot be said to exist because how the people actually think or feel about things is nearly impossible to measure. The opinions of highly educated voters carry more weight because their votes have been mobilized by civic participation. Schlozman et. al. explains that the poor are underrepresented because of their inability to financially participate in civic participation. The piece shows that the poor don’t receive mass mail because of low income. Those who are in charge of information distribution often sort the targeted homes by income, and those that fall below a certain level are not given access to information about candidates and policies that other homes would be. Those who already have characteristics that have been sought out are those who are further mobilized to vote. The overrepresentation of the elites is again referenced in Lijphart’s piece. He states that civic participation and mobilization has been centered around the upper class. The policies instituted as a reflection of public opinion according to these two pieces are actually just a reflection of the upper class (Lijphart). 4. The gender gap in public opinion refers to the difference between the percentage of each gender that support a certain candidate. This number has been between four and eleven percent in every election (Dittmar). The ways that men and women interact with the political environment differs as a result of their genders. In recent times, women have been shown to favor leftist policy, possibly because they tend to focus on reproductive health and equality. Additionally although the gap is closing women tend to vote at a lower rate than men. This comes from their lower rates of participation in civic activities like debates and discussion. Policies where men and women might differ are spending for the poor, temperance, guns and war, government involvement, and the death penalty. Women look for candidates and policies that are a reflection of compassion and morals, whereas men look for confidence, strength and strong leadership. The McThomas and Tesler piece “Historic Gender Gap Isn’t Enough to Propel Clinton to Victory in 2016 Presidential Race” shows the effects of this gap in the 2016 Presidential election. The gender gap in this election was larger than in any presidential election other than 1996. Although the gender gap was large and in favor of the democratic side for women, the democratic party failed to mobilize women because they did not appeal to the interests of female voters. 2. The demobilization hypothesis states that “negative ads disenfranchise voters by turning them off from the political process” (Geer). Geer defines negative campaigning as “any criticism leveled by one candidate against another during a campaign”. There is a silver lining to negative campaigning, however. Negative campaigning usually requires more evidence to convince the reader than a positive ad would. Negative ads also benefit the political process because the threat of negative ads inspires politicians to create sound policies (Iyengar). Critics of American politics say that there has been an increase in negative campaigning strategies since the 1960s. Polls show that despite this increase in negative polls, a majority of Americans claim that they do not like negative campaign strategies. There is no evidence, however, to corroborate that negative campaigning has a negative effect on the American political system. Effects of these campaigns have been proven to be more nuanced, and that it does not have a strong effect on political outcomes. In the piece by Kuklinski et. al. the authors write that “If facts are the currency of citizenship, then the American polity is in a chronically impecunious state.” Negative campaigning will always be present, but it is up to the populace to be armed with evidence and truth. Geer summarizes that uncivilized attacks are not as worrisome as they appear to be. Article AnalysisHypothesisThe hypothesis of the article is that “There will be no significant shift in the impact of racial attitudes in the presence of explicit racial messages compared to those that are implicit, because whites feel that their own group is in need of defense.” This hypothesis whites who are surveyed will not react differently to implicit versus explicit racial priming. Method The method was to investigate how exposure to different frames impacted racial attitudes. To do this they used three different frames, the first of which was an implicitly realized frame that used coded language to insert race and racial conflicts along with images of African Americans. The second frame was the explicitly realized frame which included references to racial groups and their conflicts, and derogatory language that accused blacks of asking for undeserved handouts. Finally they inserted a control frame that had no references to any racial cues to understand baseline racial attitudes. To mimic real-world campaign strategies the racial priming was included in things like newspaper articles and advertisements. To ensure that collected results were indeed the result of priming they took measurements of the exposure to a stimulus. To analyze the data they used a straightforward statistical model by “regressing support for health care reform, welfare, and evaluations of political figures.” y=bo+b1(racial attitude)+b2(implicit cue)+b3(no race cue)+b4(racial attitude*implicit cue)+b5(racial attitude*no race cue)+e To ensure the validity of these calculations they “excluded group is always explicit racial cues so that the ie model predicts that the influence of racial animus for those with implicit cues will be significantly larger than the explicit race condition.” Four survey experiments on national samples between 2010 and 2012. The samples were of whites only and were fielded online using YouGov/Polimetrix for the first three and the fourth was contacted through Knowledge Networks. Using the two firms was to ensure that particular sampling techniques were not responsible (Valentino et. al.)Study 1 employed a sample of 2,394 voting age Americans from July 16 to August 8, 2010Study 2 had 234 and study 3 had 321 and study 4 had 3114. (Valentino et. al.) Independent Variable The independent variable was symbolic racism. This determined the implicit attitudes of the respondents to African Americans. To determine this they used an implicit association test and removed anyone who took more than two seconds to respond to ensure that they were truly implicit and not conscious associations. Dependent Variable The dependent variables were attitudes towards the affordable care act. This included the “general approval of the bill, support for the specific provisions that had been proposed during the debate, anticipated effects of the passed legislation, and anger toward the health bill in general.” The second major dependent variable was opinions towards political figures and groups. Key Findings The key findings were that the IE model had no support. There was no difference between the racially implicit and explicit priming on the support of candidates or policies. The first table showed that initial racial attitudes strongly represented attitudes even after respondents were exposed to racially explicit priming in regard to health care and political leaders. There was no statistical significance in regards to implicit priming either where initial attitudes were strong indicators of resulting attitudes which means that racial attitudes cannot be primed with implicit cues. DataFigures two and three display how symbolic racism dramatically decreases the amount of support for health care reform yet a racial cue has no effect on the reduction of support. Figure three shows that there is no association with racial animus when racial rhetoric turns explicit. Table three also shows that every dependent variable has identical results across the dependent variables and that the timing of the explicit cues had a large effect on the symbolic racism. Figures 2 and 3 summarize the results from all four studies in policy and leader favorability. All of the tables have a negative slope that shows that symbolic racism greatly reduces the amount of support for health care reform. The slope for explicit versus implicit cues was identical, indicating that the different priming had no effect. Table 4 showed that respondents perceived the explicit condition to be more racially insensitive than the implicit one. This was unanimous between liberal and conservative respondents. How This Relates In summary the evidence collected in this experiment show that there is no evidence that hostile views towards African Americans will be rejected by the white populace. This article relates to the social desirability problem. The social desirability problem shows that Americans are considerably more racially tolerant in their responses to survey questions now than in the late 50s and 60s. Others who research the effects of explicit racial priming state that there is a heavy normative pressure that prevents people from actually sharing their negative racial views. If you combine this research with the conclusion from the article, then you are faced with a statement of white voters who no longer can recognize racism in advertisements and media, but if they recognize it they are not willing to admit it.