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Public Opinion, Polling, and Politics

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Abstract

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.

Keywords

Public Opinion Direct Democracy Poll Result Defense Spending State Attentiveness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Robert Weissberg 2002

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