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Public Opinion and the Media


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public opinion
How people think or feel about particular things.
poll
A survey of public opinion.
random sample
sample selected in such a way that any member of the population being surveyed (for example, all adults or voters) has an equal chance of being interviewed.
sampling error
The difference between the results of two surveys or samples. For example, if one random sample shows that 60 percent of all Americans like cats and another random sample taken at the same time shows that 65 percent do, the sampling error is 5 percent.
elite (political)
An identifiable group of persons who possess a disproportionate share of some valued resource such as money or political power.
new class
That part of the middle class that has college and postgraduate degrees and works in occupations that involve using symbols (such as writers and teachers). It tends to have liberal views.
traditional middle class
That part of the middle class that has jobs in business or farming and tends to have conservative views.
gender gap
Differences in the political views and voting behavior of men and women.
liberal
In general, a person who favors a more active federal government for regulating business, supporting social welfare, and protecting minority rights but who prefers less regulation of private social conduct.
conservative
In general, a person who favors more limited and local government, less government regulation of markets, more social conformity to traditional norms and values, and tougher policies toward criminals.
political ideology
A coherent and consistent set of attitudes about who should rule and what policies should be adopted.