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lecture notes

Political Science
Course Code
Ryan Hurl

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How do people decide how to vote:
-People vote differently when times are tough
-How voters decide to vote and to a large degree research suggests that pertains to
voters in other democracies as well but largely the U.S.
-The democratic voter when they decide whom to vote for they are supposed to
figure out what their interests are? Favor of higher of lower taxed?
-In favor of prayer in school or against
-Am I in favor of Afghanistan of against it
-They figure out what they stand for then which of their preferences are more
important to them and rank their preferences.
-Then figure out what kind of public policy would best serve their interest.
-Then I look for candidates who are supporting that policy.
-Which one is closest to the policy that I have in mind. Which one would result in
the most similar results that I want to obtain one I have done that I have figured
out who to vote for.
-Most voters don’t follow this because they don’t have the time to. Most of us
can’t figure out what we want better public education or higher taxes both go
hand in hand actually.
-We need to do a lot of research to figure out who stands for what policies etc.
-50s and 60s research realized that most people do not follow this they look to
opinion leaders.
-There is a rational process going into how to select opinion leaders based on
-We pick people who we think are more knowledgeable in matters that we are
trying to figure out what we are going to vote on. They look up to people they
know follow the news more closely than they d, people more engaged in politics
than they are.
-That’s one consideration people we think are more knowledgeable about or
people whose judgment we trust
-Good judges of different matters or characters. E.g. parents and relatives,
religious leaders, community leaders.
-We also turn to people who we believe think the way we do
-People, who get us, know what it is like to be us.
-There have been leaders or candidates that have been v good at making people
feel like they feel their pain. Bill Clinton was great about that his best attribute in
terms of getting elected at a time when one of his opponents initially dismissed
him as a chicken plucker form Arkinsa because he could make a lot of different
people believe that he can relate tot them.
-Some republicans in the U.S have tried to do the same. To tap into the same
mental shortcut.
-That is easily exploitable.
-Because it hangs on not only how we rationally judge a person but also how we
emotionally judge the person and there are PR experts that are really good at
getting their candidates to send out the right vibes through how they look and
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