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Lecture 23

GVPT 170 Lecture 23: GVPT170 Lecture 23

Government and Politics
Course Code
GVPT 170
Patrick Wohlfarth

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American Government: More on Campaigns
Campaigns as Information Flow
o Summary:
We can often predict election outcomes prior to campaigns by looking at
the state of the country, especially the economy.
The state of the country affects the direction of opinion change during
…therefore, campaign messages matter for opinion change even though
we can predict outcomes.
This implies that citizens are generally aware of conditions and hold the
party controlling the White House accountable.
Tides of Consent, Chapter 5
o Systematic Characteristics of Presidential Approval:
Equilibration approval ratings tend to fluctuate around a certain number.
Honeymoon on average, Presidents are most popular when they first
enter office
Crises Presidents tend to enjoy short-term gains in approval during
national crises as citizens “rally around the flag.”
This includes the onset of war, acts of terror, and natural disasters.
Example: George W. Bush saw an increase in approval ratings of
almost 40% following the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01.
o Approval of Government
Of Senators
Parties move in tandem ()
Of Governors
Responds to national politics
Of the Government
o Generic approval of government
Presidential approval
U.S. Senate and Congress
Trust in government
o Short-term deviations with long-term order
o Responds to changes in consumer sentiment, perhaps a public holding the
government accountable.
Tides of Consent, Chapter 6
o Macro-opinion change happens at the margin.
This means that even a small change (1 2%) can be meaningful.
o Citizen Classification
find more resources at
find more resources at
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