AP Gov: What are the types of political participation? What is polling? - Parts 3 & 4

hi this is Cassie Bukowski and in unit 2

part 3 we'll be looking at political

participation as well as polling two

very important things within our

political system so let's first thought

off with classifying voters and really

to four main groups the ones that you

see here so we have talked about

ideology more specifically liberals

libertarians and conservatives typically

we lump them into the two main groups of

liberals and conservatives and when we

talk about an ideologue they are

somebody who is purely libertarian

conservative or liberal they only think

in those types of of ideologies if you

will a second group is known as group

benefit voters and this is where you see

where most voters 42% could be lumped in

they vote based on how candidates serve

the needs of the of their particular

social group so if your social group

might feel overtaxed then you might be

more inclined to vote for the politician

who's going to lower your property taxes

or your income taxes you might be a

social group that might feel you know at

the same time economically oppressed in

the sense that is very hard to get ahead

economically in the country so they

might be leaning toward a candidate who

might allow for more pathways to college

that might be paid for or subsidized by

the government and a good way to think

about that one would be maybe you might

be more inclined to vote for Bernie

Sanders or if you are again against

taxes being overtaxed you might find

somebody who's anti Bernie Sanders so

that would be a group benefits voter you

also have nature of the times voters

which make up a large chunk about 1/4 of

American voters in their view of

politics is based on weather times are

good or bad really the worst thing that

can happen to a politician in office is

if the economy tanks and typically when

the economy tanks they tend to blame

people who are in office even though the

reality is Republican Democrat they

typically don't have that much control

as we might think or hope of controlling

the economy but nevertheless people vote

and keep people in office typically

speaking during good times and vice



not so good economically times if that

makes sense and then you also have no

issue content voters where they vote

routinely for party or personality so

you might be always Republican no matter

who the person is you will vote

Republican or vice versa for a Democrat

somewhat in line with ideologues as well

so it's important to keep that in mind

that ultimately the majority of voters

are group benefit voters how can they

benefit so when we look at political

participation and these of course are

activities used by citizens to influence

the selection of clinical leaders or the

policies they pursue well how do normal

people participate in politics without

being the president well the most common

form is actually voting in presidential

elections more specifically that's the

number one way of conventional

participation that has shown up in

previous AP gov exams also working on

campaigns or maybe even running for

office it doesn't not have to be

national office by any means it can be

running for mayor it can be running for

Town Council or some leadership position

in government it could also be

contacting an elected elected official

it could be writing to a newspaper

editor these are conventional or

standard ways in which voters can

participate now when we look at

unconventional methods protests is

amongst one of the more common ways so

of course when you think protests you

might think back to the 1960s Martin

Luther King jr. and this is in line with

civil disobedience which was very common

in the 60s where this type of political

participation where you're making this

conscious decision to break a law that

you believe this immoral so for example

if you think segregation was immoral

hopefully we all do then you would

purposely violate that law so a good

example think Martin Luther King with

civil disobedience certainly you should

have that US history knowledge as well

so keep in mind there is some overlap

between these two courses as there is

some history here now when we look at

political participation by family income

it is interesting that the wealthier you

are the more likely you are to donate

money but

really not too much of a comparison here

this is actually one of the lesser ways

of political predation political

participation really attending meetings

you see is higher for people wealthier

means but if you are of limited means

you might sign petitions you're more

likely to contact your politician or

attend a meeting as you see here but it

does make sense that if you are under

this threshold you're probably not going

to have enough disposable income to

donate to a political campaign so

another thing you should be aware of or

people known as political elites and

they're important because they can shape

public opinion as well especially when

we talk about political activists who

tend to be elites a good example of this

would be Michael Moore if you're

familiar with his documentaries whether

it be Fahrenheit 9/11 or the more recent

one being sicko he has more access to

the media he has certainly wealthier

means where he can shape people's

thoughts and certainly do our good

number people will follow him but at the

same time a number of them who do not

like him nevertheless it's important to

know that even amongst elite groups they

are not unified sometimes they have

their own specific issue or agenda that

they want to bring to the forefront of

Americans and to shape public opinion

and Michael Moore is a prime example of

that okay we're gonna move on to part

four of public opinion in this video and

when we look at public opinion it is the

distribution of the population beliefs

about politics and policy issues this is

essentially measured through polls polls

are always coming out even you know

years before the election where they're

always matching up potential candidates

who were running and putting them

against them some politicians you know

love polls if they're showing good

numbers for them at the same time

politicians can hate polls especially if

they do not reflect something positive

also in terms of polling the demography

is important because population

especially in the United States is

rapidly changing and we look at

demography through the census which of

course is conducted every 10 years as

required by the US Constitution

so again just to lump this all in some

terms you might want to be familiar with

in terms of one discussing the American

people you have course the United States

is known for being the melting pot

certainly the mixing of cultures a good

example of this would be in New York

City where you might have Little Italy

you have Chinatown you have Greenwich

Village and you have all these different

populations living in this city it is

also important to note the minority

majority which is the emergence of non

Caucasian or non-white majority

specifically the biggest demographic

growing in the United States are

Hispanics and this certainly is going to

affect the political landscape in terms

of future elections so when we look at

the coming minority majority as I was

saying before Hispanics are certainly on

the rise and when we look at white

non-hispanics that is going to be

declining especially since 2010 a very

steady decline there so it is important

to keep in mind that with a melting pot

you have different values you have

different cultural beliefs that are

always changing and of course when we

look at Hispanics more specifically they

are the largest minority group faced

with the problem of illegal immigration

and this has always been a major issue

especially in the last 15 to 20 years

and there have been efforts to secure

the border there's also the issue of the

illegal immigrants in the United States

today there have been acts in particular

the Simpson Mazzoli Act which requires

employees or rather employers to

document citizenship of their employees

so that's important to know when we look

at other minorities within the United

States Asian immigration has been driven

by a new class of professional workers

you see this in California with African

Americans certainly a legacy of racism

and certainly in the past two or three

years with the black lives matter

movement that has come up as a major

political issue for politicians and then

you also have with Native Americans

certainly being disadvantaged on

reservation so you have within the

United States aside from the non-white

or aside from the white majority that

still exists within the minority

community you have certainly

pockets of problems that politicians are

probably going to pay a larger attention

to now the graying of America certainly

is interesting as the baby boomer

generation is growing significantly in

terms of aging they are the fasting

fastest growing age groups over 65 and

they are certainly going to continue the

problem here is the drain on Social

Security as this is a pay-as-you-go

system in 1942 42 workers per retiree

now with the lower birth rates you have

a mere two workers per retiree so this

is something that you're gonna have

politicians having to deal with in

probably the next 10 20 years

so as populations do shift there has

been a migration more towards the south

and as that's happened you've seen the

Northeast actually lose a couple

representatives in particularly New

Jersey lost one after the census was

conducted because with the members of

the House of Representatives

reapportionment happens so if more

populations happening in Texas and you

have millions going in there but people

are being drained from New Jersey

because the House of Representatives is

based on population has to be

reapportioned so certainly be aware of

that word the apportionment in which you

are reallocating the seats of the House

of Representatives because again 435

seats that are going to be distributed

by population now let's look at polls

very important to know having a sample

is important and if you were going to

sample americans on whether or not they

like barack obama as president and you

only want into a very conservative part

of texas and you ask a hundred people

well even though you have a hundred

people which may sound like a good

amount can you generalize that toward

all americans and you can't because it's

important that when you have samples

they are of a size of at least 1,500 to

2,000 not to mention that they have to

be a mixture or a random sampling random

sampling is very important to make sure

that the polls that you get are accurate

and make sure that everyone should have

an equal probability of being selected

for the sample special

you're gonna generalize this as all

Americans certainly one you do have

these poles being conducted it's always

interesting if you look at the recent

poll that there is something called a

sampling error the level of confidence

in the finding of a political or of a

public opinion poll generally there's a

plus or minus three percent a sampling

error with a 95% confidence interval

meaning that they're 95% sure that these

polls are accurate based on the ways

that they conducted it now it is

important to note the power of words and

as to how you phrase a poll so if you

said hey how do you feel about a state

tax that is probably a more neutral way

but if you were to say hey how do you

feel about a death tax nobody likes that

you know that sounds very biased other

examples of this is you know what's

wrong with some of these methods asking

survey participants to call in their

vote well you're now relying on people

to call you instead of the Pulsar

calling random people or what happens if

you're only polling people at a

retirement home to gauge the nation's

views on health care certainly they're

gonna have stronger views on health care

as opposed to the average American might

between 25 and 50 so you know even also

these are good ways of you know is

perhaps a pulse bias for example are you

in favor of killing babies in an

abortion survey well that's very skewed

the way that you asked it so it's

important that even the way that you

phrase a question is neutral and does

not lead people one way or the other but

certainly polls are important they help

to put a pulse on the public's

preferences some critics do say of

course that polls make politicians think

more about following them leading the

public that they're known take their own

initiatives so it's important

politicians will always claim that the

polls don't matter for the most part but

be rest assured that all politicians are

always looking at polls all the time now

when we look in terms of elections there

are something called no exit polls these

are used by the media to protect

election day winners the problem with

this is that they can discourage people

from voting

people in particular in California they

used to release exit polls and they

actually used to predict who would win

prior to the election are voting being

over in people in California already

sees that you know somebody won in New

Jersey somebody want to know hi already

but the polls are still open in

California because we're in Pacific time

and that might discourage them to vote

so now exit polls are still release

however typically media outlets are not

going to say one person one or not until

all polls are closed so polls ultimately

do it assist politicians and detecting

their public preferences shifts and

thinking but one thing that is going to

be in effect is something called the

bandwagon effect where politicians are

more eager to jump on board instead of

doing what's right and you always see

politicians sort of doing that what's

popular not going against the grain so

let's finish up with a review question

here take a moment to read it and then

answer it so if you need to use the

pause button please do okay so what

would be the best way to ask a citizen

their viewpoint concerning abortion and

if you've selected choice e do you

believe abortion should be legal or

illegal you are correct

killing babies certainly isthmus is

certainly a bias do you favor allowing

them to make decisions regarding their

bodies again bias

do you like abortion again you are sort

of leading on that question and then do

you believe the government should

interfere with a woman's right to have a

baby again a little bit misleading the

best answer of course being