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Interest Groups


Matt Krsacok

on 16 January 2013

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Transcript of Interest Groups

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli Unit 2: People and Politics Matt Krsacok
Mark Dankenbring
Tom Tappel
Ben Vonderbrink Chapter 6: Public Opinion Definition: Attitudes held by significant number of people on set of issues. Chapter 7: Interest Groups -Definition- an organization, sharing common goals, that seek to influence public opinion Chapter 8- Political Parties A group of political activists who:

-Organize to win elections
-Operate the government
-Determine public policy
-Recruit candidates
-Act as opposition to the party in power
Political Socialization:
How our Opinions are Acquired Family Media Friends School Events Demographics Influence of Public Opinion These attitudes include beliefs on government, its leaders, or current issues. Primary Influence in America is Media! Stats from:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/newswar/part3/stats.html On a typical day... -57% of Americans watch TV news -40% of Americans read a newspaper -36% of Americans listen to news on the radio -1.6 million people watch The Daily Show Public Opinion Measured in: Straw Polls Telephone Polls Exit Polls Online Polls Push Polls Entrance Polls -Politicians are more likely to appeal to public opinion when making decisions, especially in reelection years. -Policy doesn't always follow follow public opinion, but policy changes almost always do. Problems with Polls -can only measure instantaneous opinion -mean of error is too big or too small -push polls with unfairly worded questions http://www.givememyremote.com/remote/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/thedailyshow.jpg IMAGES http://www.steve-gordon.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/PushPollCaricature_AK.gif http://wwwimage.cbsnews.com/images/2010/01/07/image6068714.gif Types of Interest Groups -Buissnes Interest

-Agricultural Interest

-Labor Interest -Public Employee Union

-Environmental Group -Interest Groups are not political parties

-They are much more focused on a given field What Gives Them Power? -Size


-Prestige -Popularity of Goals

-Geographical Spread

-Leadership Why Join Interest Groups? Solidary Incentives - the ability to associate with others

Material Incentives - economic benefits provided

Purpose Incentives - agreement with the goals of the group Tactics Direct Indirect -Meeting with policymakers
-Writing Bills
-Providing Information
-Creating Alliances
-Rating Voting -Protests
-Use of Media
-Letter Writing Campaigns
-Use of Constituents Direct tactics have to do with activities in Washington, while indirect tactics are done outside of Washington Problems with Interest Groups -Don't represent all of America well

-Illegal tactics are used, very shady at times

-The interest groups use money to gain control

-The concept of the "revolving door" http://www.newyorker.com/images/2008/08/11/p233/080811_r17612_p233.jpg http://static.politifact.com.s3.amazonaws.com/photos%2FRevolving_Door_second_Crop_.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dc/Anti-American_Protests_Liu_Kai_b3.jpg http://team7govblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/lobbying.jpg Influence of Interest Groups -Helps to get the people's opinions to congress
-Essentially representatives for the people
-Help to influence policy decisions through their lobbying tactics
-Always have their voice present in Washington Evolution of Political Parties Creation: 1789-1816
One-Party Rule: 1816-1828
Andrew Jackson-Civil War: 1828-1860
Civil War and Post Civil War: 1860-1896
Progressive Period: 1896-1932
New Deal: 1932-1968
Modern Period: 1968-Present Components of Political Parties Party-in-the-electorate
~Members of the general public who identify with a political party

Party organization
~Formal structure
~Election committees, local, state, and national executives, and paid staff
Party-in-government~Elected and appointed officials
Effects of Political Parties Help Voters:
Help Candidates:~Provide funding, support, ideas
Help Government:
~Creates organization, easy staff hires, provides focus
Two-Party System Tradition
~Parents pass down party alliance
~Electoral college
Shifting Party Coalitions Shifting Coalitions cntd. Realignment- when a substantial group of voters switches party allegiance
Dealignment- a decline in party loyalties; i.e. becoming independent
Elections and immigration can severely change party loyalty and strength
Minor Parties Third Parties- any other party besides Democrat or Republican
Can impact elections:
Pull voters away from main two parties
E.g. Ralph Nader took 100,000 votes away from Al Gore in the 2000 election





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