PS1010 Columbia Southern University Political Campaign Plan Paper Instructions Imagine that you have just been hired to be the campaign manager for an indi

PS1010 Columbia Southern University Political Campaign Plan Paper Instructions
Imagine that you have just been hired to be the campaign manager for an individual who is running for a Senate seat in your state, and your candidate expects you to hit the ground running by developing a political campaign plan. While you will not be expected to develop a full plan for the purposes of this course, you will begin thinking about how your campaign would handle the media and public opinion polls. This very basic plan will consist of the following sections:

Strategic Summary: In this section, you will discuss the goals of your campaign, and you will describe the campaign’s strategy for winning the election, including how you will utilize the media and public opinion polls during your campaign. Describe how the media influences the public and the impact that polling has on politics.
Targeting: In this section, you will discuss which voters you will need to target in order to win the election. How will you connect with voters of specific socioeconomic statuses and/or voters of certain cultures and backgrounds? How are voting practices and political participation affected by culture, background, and socioeconomic status?

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This assignment will consist of at least one page, and you must utilize at least two resources. Your resources should be cited and referenced properly using APA formatting. Feel free to be as creative as you would like. UNIT IV STUDY GUIDE
American Political Culture: Media, Public
Opinion, and Political Participation
Course Learning Outcomes for Unit IV
Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:
1. Summarize the origins of American political thought.
1.1 Discuss how culture influences participation in politics and voting practices.
7. Identify the impact of media on public opinion and politics.
7.1 Discuss ways in which the media influences the public.
7.2 Explain polling and its impact on a political campaign.
Course/Unit
Learning Outcomes
1.1
7.1
7.2
Learning Activity
Unit IV Lesson
Chapter 7
Unit IV Assignment
Unit IV Lesson
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Video: Media, Presidents, and Public Opinion
Unit IV Assignment
Unit IV Lesson
Chapter 6
Video: Consumer Opinion: A Valuable Commodity
Video: Media, Presidents, and Public Opinion
Unit IV Assignment
Reading Assignment
In order to access the readings from the OpenStax American Government textbook, please click the links
below.
Chapter 6: The Politics of Public Opinion (Section 6.4)
Chapter 7: Voting and Elections (Section 7.4)
Chapter 8: The Media, (Section 8.1, Section 8.2, and Section 8.4)
To access the following resources, click the links below.
Bill Moyers (Producer). (1989). Consumer opinion: A valuable commodity (Segment 2 of 14) [Video file].
Retrieved from
https://libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/login?auth=CAS&url=http://fod.infobase.com/PortalPla
ylists.aspx?wID=273866&xtid=4933&loid=45262
San Mateo County Community College District (Producer). (2001). Media, presidents, and public opinion
(Segment 6 of 6) [Video file]. Retrieved from
https://libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/login?auth=CAS&url=http://fod.infobase.com/PortalPla
ylists.aspx?wID=273866&xtid=30811&loid=1047
PS 1010, American Government
1
The transcript for these videos can be found by clicking the “Transcript” tab to UNIT
the right
of the videos
x STUDY
GUIDEin the
Films on Demand database.
Title
Unit Lesson
“Our government rests in public opinion. Whoever can change public opinion, can change the
government, practically just so much.”
—Lincoln, Speech at a Republican banquet, Chicago, IL, Dec. 10, 1856
Does the public’s opinion really matter to the people in power? Should politics or the act of governing be led
by opinion polls or directed by the media? Does an individual’s vote really matter? Such questions are at the
heart of American politics.
In large part, opinions and beliefs about most things, including politics, are formed when we are children.
Families have the greatest impact on most people, and the beliefs of family members or caretakers often are
evoked within children. The majority of adult Americans are Republican, Democrat, or Independent simply
because that is the party to which their parents belonged. The party that you identify with says a lot about
you. People tend to gravitate toward a party and people with whom they have a common cause, belief, or
ideology. Often, voters take their political views from those of their family and also from their religion, social
network, mentors, teachers, culture, geographic region, and other influences. For many people, party and
issue preference is purely a result of their surroundings, with several generations voting along a specific
philosophy or ideology. While many people do not agree with every idea or platform of their chosen party,
most people typically select and remain loyal to the party that most closely corresponds with their views, only
switching as a result of a dramatic turn of events or if an individual believes a party has changed enough to
leave it.
Although parents and caretakers have a large impact on an individual’s
political thinking, environment and culture play a significant role. Even
teachings and lessons in schools affect children’s thoughts and ideas.
While most teachers attempt to remain politically neutral when
teaching their students, their thoughts and predispositions can emerge.
During election time, one will often hear even young children talking
about those running for president and how one candidate is better than
another. Though a teacher’s job is to teach the subject matter,
personal views are inevitably shared; however, this should also be
considered part of the process and an observation of individual
freedoms and the ability to choose a candidate of an individual’s liking
through the democratic process.
Religious organizations also greatly influence political thinking,
particularly when it comes to marriage, family, and health. This
influence is seen in such things as the forming of the Christian
Ronald and Nancy Reagan at the
Coalition and the influence of Evangelical Christians on party politics.
Republican National Convention in 1980
Along with religion, one can see evidence of how an individual’s peers,
(Happyme22, 2008)
mass media, authority figures, and major events play in one’s political
leanings. The media, in particular, plays a huge role in shaping opinions, especially through the evolution from
print to television, and mostly recently, to social media. In fact, most people would be surprised at the
methods employed by some members of the media to implant ideas and steer the public in one direction or
another. The proliferation of social media has created an atmosphere conducive to the perpetuation of rumor
and acceptance as fact of any information found online. The term fake news has been used for many years,
but one has to ask whether the mainstream media is at fault for fake news more or less than claims made on
social media sources. One needs to be able to recognize that advertising and news agencies, as well as
politicians, can skillfully phrase comments to focus on one issue, avoid another, and alter an overall meaning
to suit their needs and agendas.
When parties put together their platforms or politicians want to know what the public thinks about an issue,
they turn to surveys or opinion polls. Pollsters do not query every single person; rather, they rely on
probability by randomly selecting a sample of individuals from the population to ask a series of questions in
PS 1010, American Government
2
order to gain public opinion. From this survey, a polling organization such as Gallup
present
its findings
UNIT xmight
STUDY
GUIDE
as to what the population as a whole is thinking. Some limitations with polling Title
include the refusal of those
selected to answer, people telling pollsters what they think they want to hear, or those selected not answering
truthfully. Other limitations arise related to the survey design, including how questions are presented or the
order in which they are presented. In the 2016 presidential election, several presidential polls were incorrect
regarding the election results, so much so that Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton came as a surprise
to many. Although Trump’s victory was a surprise to some, it was not a surprise to Dr. Allan Lichtman, an
American University professor who has been able to accurately predict the winner of presidential elections
since 1984 (Stevenson, 2016).
Because of television and the
Internet, voters are
bombarded with political
campaign ads, especially
during a hotly-contested
House, Senate, gubernatorial,
or presidential election.
Millions of dollars are spent
getting politicians elected to
office, and most of what is
said in these commercials
focuses on the negatives of
the rival candidate. In
addition, politicians and their
supporters may call potential
voters on the phone with
canned messages, go door to
door, or hold rallies and
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the 2016 United States presidential campaign
pancake breakfasts, all in an
(Krassotkin & Skidmore, 2016)
attempt to gain votes. Social
media is now a growing part of any political campaign.
Many voters are turned off by politics and refuse to get involved or even vote because of all of the tactics
used. Even with the common refrain that voters want a clean campaign, studies show that voters respond to
negative advertising in political campaigns. One must wonder about this split in what is said and what is done
by voters. Regardless of how information is gathered by voters, the battleground is ultimately the polls. Of
course, even exit and opinion polls can be slanted to suit one’s purpose. On Election Day, the Tuesday
following the first Monday in November, voters are able to exercise their right and cast their votes for the
candidates of their choice. Even though everyone has an opinion about politics, only about half of eligible
voters exercise their right to vote.
There are many reasons why citizens do not vote. First, in order to vote, citizens must register, and
registration laws differ from state to state. Many citizens simply fail to register or do not realize registration
cannot be done at the polls. Some states allow for same-day registration but only in limited cases. Second,
some believe voting is pointless and that it will not change the status quo. Others say they do not like the
candidates. Third, in some states, convicted felons may not vote. The fourth reason for poor voter turnout in
the United States is voter exhaustion. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the United States holds more
elections than any other nation (Independence Hall Association, n.d.). In fact, the United States has an
election for president every four years, U.S. House elections every two years, a third of U.S. Senate seats
every two years, and local elections in odd- and even-numbered years, depending on local laws. It also can
be inconvenient that election days are held on a Tuesday when most voters work. Voting on Tuesdays is a
tradition established in 1845 and was based on a farmer’s schedule of attending church on Sunday, travelling
on Monday, voting on Tuesday, and returning home to be able to go to market Wednesday (Andrews, 2013).
Many states have made voting easier with expanded voting periods, absentee ballots, and electronic ballots.
Though the United States is a country for which citizens have died for the right to vote, typically voter turnout
is only slightly greater than 50%, as evidenced during the 2016 presidential election when the turnout was just
slightly more than 56% (Regen, 2016). By most standards, a turnout of about half of eligible voters is low and
ranks the United States 31st among the 35 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
PS 1010, American Government
3
Development (Pew Research Center, 2016). That ranking is revealed to be a bit
misleading,
UNIT
x STUDYhowever,
GUIDE when
one factors in the nations that have mandatory voting. The Pew Research Center
Title(2016) noted that six of the
countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have compulsory voting. Indeed,
25 countries around the world have laws requiring citizens to vote (DeSilver, 2016). For example, in Australia,
voters are fined if they do not cast a ballot, and if they do not pay their fines, they can lose their driver’s
licenses (Weller, 2016). Given the political culture of the United States, the Founding Fathers believed
strongly in the idea that one should have rights but should not be made to exercise them, such as forcing one
to vote. In a nation built on freedom, do you think requiring citizens to vote could be successful?
The United States is considered a two-party system, with the Republican and Democratic parties comprising
the vast majority of voters; however, out of 200 million registered voters, there are approximately 28 million
registered Independent voters (Goldmacher, 2016). Independent third parties are usually single-issue parties
and infrequently see their candidates elected to office. Over the years, parties have become weaker, and
candidates have become stronger. With the majority of states going to primary elections to decide who is
going to run for each state, the parties themselves have taken a supporting role in most elections. This trend
was especially prevalent during the 2016 Presidential election in which a large number of Republicans ran for
the Republican Party nomination. The process was heavily questioned with the nomination process of Hillary
Clinton over Bernie Sanders, but in the end, the rules are laid out before the election.
In this fast-paced, multimedia-heavy, and politically volatile environment, voters are inundated with
information all of the time. People are constantly sending surveys, even on smartphones, trying to get a feel
for what the population as a whole might be thinking. In the end, it is up to citizens and voters to take the time
to find the facts and not let others form biased opinions. It is also an individual’s responsibility to vote and hold
elected officials from all political affiliations accountable, whether a voter is a Republican, Democrat,
Independent, or from another political party
References
Andrews, E. (2013, October). Election 101: Why do we vote on a Tuesday in November? Retrieved from
http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/why-do-we-vote-on-a-tuesday-in-november
DeSilver, D. (2016). U.S. voter turnout trails most developed countries. Retrieved from
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/08/02/u-s-voter-turnout-trails-most-developed-countries/
Goldmacher, S. (2016, October). America hits new landmark: 200 million registered voters. Retrieved from
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/how-many-registered-voters-are-in-america-2016-229993
Happyme22. (2008). Reagans at the 1980 Republican National Convention [Image]. Retrieved from
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Reagans_at_the_1980_Republican_National_Convention.jpg
Independence Hall Association. (n.d.). 5b. Campaigns and elections. Retrieved from
http://www.ushistory.org/gov/5b.asp
Krassotkin & Skidmore, G. (2016). Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during United States presidential election
2016 [Image]. Retrieved from
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Donald_Trump_and_Hillary_Clinton_during_United_States_p
residential_election_2016.jpg
Pew Research Center. (2016). U.S. voter turnout trails most developed countries. Retrieved from:
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/08/02/u-s-voter-turnout-trails-most-developed-countries/
Regan, M. D. (2016, November). What does voter turnout tell us about the 2016 election? Retrieved from
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/voter-turnout-2016-elections
Stevenson, P. W. (2016, September). Donald Trump is headed for a win, says professor who always gets it
right. Retrieved from https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/donald-trump-is-headed-for-a-winsays-professor-who-always-gets-it-right-20160924-grnjb4.html
PS 1010, American Government
4
Weller, C. (2016, November 7). Half of Americans probably won’t vote—but requiring
them to GUIDE
would change
UNIT x STUDY
that. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/compulsory-voting-what-ifTitle
americans-have-to-vote-2016-11
PS 1010, American Government
5

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