Answer the 12 questions fully and coherently. Please include as much of an analysis for each answer as you possibly can. Be sure to use citations and reference as necessary. This exam is due on April 24, 2013.
1. What factors affect public opinion? Which factors do you think are most important? Which are least important? Are some factors closely related to others? Explain and provide examples of each factor.
2. What are public opinion polls? To whom are they useful? How are public opinion polls conducted? Are they reliable? Why or why not?
3. What is political culture? What are some essential elements of American political culture? Have those things changed over time or not? Provide examples in your response.
4. What is a subculture? What is a minority subculture? What are their functions in the broader political arena? Do these subcultures play similar roles across countries?
5. Why are the media and government adversaries? When did this adversarial relationship begin and why has it persisted? Is this relationship positive or negative for democracy? Explain. Is there any chance that this relationship will change in the future? Why or why not?
6. Which medium is the most influential in the formation of American public opinion? How long has this been the case? Why is this particular medium so powerful, especially relative to others? What are some specific ways in which this medium has influenced Americans, specifically in regard to politics?
7. Compare and contrast interest groups and political parties. Provide examples in your discussion of their similarities and differences. What advantages do interest groups offer that political parties don’t? What advantages do political parties offer that interest groups don’t?
8. What are the various strategies employed by interest groups to accomplish their goals? Discuss each of these strategies along with their effectiveness. Which of these strategies are utilized the most and why? Provide examples of each.
9. What is a political party? What are the various functions of parties? Which of these functions do you find most important and why? Provide examples and even reference personal experiences if applicable.
10. What types of people are most likely to vote? Provide examples and explain why these groups are more likely than others to vote. Discuss their interests and abilities in your answer.
11. How are elections won? In other words, what distinguishes candidates who win from those who lose? Have these factors changed over time? Are the current factors that influence electoral outcomes positive or negative for a democratic society? Explain and provide examples.
12. What is the most important factor in determining whether someone will vote in an election? Why is this particularly factor more important than other factors? Does this hold true for all countries or just the U.S.?