This paper looks at the effects of public opinion on politics.
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This paper analyzes and examines the multitude of issues relating to public opinion. It discusses what moves public opinion and the implications for the political process. This paper concludes with recommendations for strengthening the relationship between policy making and public opinion.
“Public opinion is both essential and vital in our information-fueled democracy. Many factors influence politicians, including constituents, lobbyists, mass media, political parties, and special interest groups. In addition, politicians are directly and indirectly influenced by public opinion, i.e., sentiments expressed by citizens regarding a particular issue. Public opinion is crucial to policymaking because it has the ability to determine or shape policymakers’ choices. Unlike lobbyists, political parties, and special interest groups, public opinion is less vulnerable to external influences and motivations (i.e., the desire to vote a certain way in the hopes of gaining increased financial support). Likewise, public opinion creates an opportunity for politicians to get in touch with their constituents and to understand their views. This paper analyzes and examines the multitude of issues relating to public opinion. Part II discusses what moves public opinion. In Part III, the implications for the political process are examined. Lastly, this paper concludes with recommendations for strengthening the relationship between policymaking and public opinion.”