Midterm Review.doc

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Political Science
Cheryl Boudreau

Pol Midterm Preparation Potential Short Answer Questions1 How did the civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s change the political calculations of Democratic politicians How were the demonstrations planned strategically to increase pressure on politiciansCh 4 Civil Rights Northern Democrats needed Southern support to retain power they became more receptive to African American voters Politicians became more successful when they appealed to the political or economic interests of the majorityCivil rights leaders in the 1960s sought to pressure elected officials with demonstrations designed to attract media attention These efforts led to the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 which brought about fundamental change by shifting the burden for protecting civil rights from individual plaintiffs party who initiates a lawsuitto federal authorities 2 What is the Courts current stance on capital punishment the death penalty What have been some past Court objections to executions and how have states attempted to address these issuesthCh 5 Civil Liberties The Courts current stance on capital punishment is limited by the 8 Amendment to the United States Constitution consisting of the cruel and unusual punishment clause applying to all of the states Capital punishment is used exclusively for aggravated murders committed by mentally competent adults these crimes are considered capital offenses Some past Court objections to executions include Roper vs Simmons in which the Supreme Court held that it is cruel and unusual punishment to execute a person who is under the age of 18 at the time of committed murder this was the attempt to protect the civil liberties of minors Atkins vs Virginia declared that executing the mentally handicapped was cruel and unusual punishment Both instances are considered violations of ththe 8 Amendment regardless of the crime 3 What are opinion leaders Why might typical individuals rely on the statements or positions of these opinion leaders in forming their own opinionsCh 10 Public Opinion Opinion leaders are individuals and groups that are incentivized to collect and disseminate information about particular issues they provide cues that uninformed citizens can use to make informed political decisions Most individual opinions are unstable many individuals have no incentive to pay attention to politics and are ambivalent about many political issues As a result the stability of aggregate opinion is attributable to opinion leaders4 What factors undermined the accuracy of early polling attempts What factors can undermine the accuracy of even scientific pollingCh 10 Public Opinion Problems with question wording and representativeness of samples undermined the accuracy of early polling attempts Before scientific polling politicians gauged public opinion by relying on information supplied by things like editorials pamphleteers local leaders spokespersons for social groups party activists and sometimes less conventional sources Scientific polling developed a tool for systematically investigating the opinions of ordinary people The rate of improvement accuracy declines with a polls margin of error although large sample sizes are considered to be reflective of the answers of the entire population sample sizes larger than 12001500 people produce less accurate results for representing the overall population Another problem associated with accuracy of scientific
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