Public Opinion, Polling, and Politics
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Today’s polls have achieved a prominence inconceivable fifty years ago; even disbelievers pay homage if convenient. They far surpass all rivals in proclaiming our collective self-definition. Are we a liberal society? Is America racist? Only the pollster can stare into our minds and answer authoritatively. Scarcely any cause can prosper without recourse survey-driven arguments while the court of public opinion renders its verdict via polls. Matters once determined solely by judging outward behavior, for example, an office holder’s honesty, is now, thanks to polls, translated into “peoples’ attitudes about his or her honesty.” Wars are now “won” if a majority of interviewees believe this to be true.
KeywordsPublic Opinion Direct Democracy Poll Result Defense Spending State Attentiveness
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