Political Socialization, Political Behavior, and Public Opinion

Each test question is worth equal points. Each answer should be at least one paragraph long (8-10 sentences). Please proofread your responses and make sure you use complete sentences.

Chapter 8 – The Judicial System in Texas

1. Judges in Texas are elected and must therefore run for re-election. Federal judges are appointed by the President of the United States (with the approval of the United States Senate) and then they serve for life or until they retire. They are not elected and therefore do not have to ever run for election. Which system do you think is better (judges elected OR judges appointed) and fully explain why.

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Chapter 9 – Political Socialization, Political Behavior, and Public Opinion

2. Politicians study political socialization and the political behavior of their constituents to direct their campaigns. Politicians may focus on different issues and messages during their campaigns depending on the audience they are speaking to at any given time. For example, if a politician is speaking to a group of business people then the politician would know that and direct their messages to the interests of those people in that certain business industry. If the politician is speaking to a group of farmers, the politician is going to direct their messages to the interests and needs of farmers. Before politicians speak to any group they will study and understand the characteristics of that group so they can direct their messages to that group’s interests. If you were a politician about to go and speak to a group of people, tell me the at least three (3) things you would want to know about that group of people that would help you direct your message. Fully explain why you want to know about these characteristics and how they would help you.

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Chapter 10 – The Party System in Texas

3. Which existing political party do you identify with the most and why? OR Which existing political party do you NOT identify with the most and why?

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4. Which political party posted by one of your classmates would you be the most interested in joining OR not joining and why?

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Chapter 11 – Elections, Campaigns, and Voting in Texas

5. “The Daisy Ad” is still considered to be one of the most negative / controversial political advertisements. What did you think about it and why?

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6. A major topic today in politics is the personal lives of the politicians that represent you. Some people care deeply about the personal lives of their politicians and may choose to vote or not vote for a candidate that has had controversy in their personal life. Others “do not care” what politicians do in their personal lives and only want to focus on their records in their professional life. What do you think? Do you “care” about the personal life of a politician that represents you in the government or not? Fully explain your answer.

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Chapter 12 – The Mass Media in Texas Politics

7. Which form of media do you think is the most influential when it comes to voters today? Fully explain.

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Chapter 13 – Interest Groups and Political Power in Texas

8. For your post on this Chapter, you wrote about what kind of interest group you would form if you were to form an interest group. If you were to JOIN an interest group, what kind of interest group would you join and why?

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9. Do you think interest groups play a positive role or a negative role in our government? Fully explain your answer.

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Chapter 14 – Contemporary Public Policy Issues in Texas

10. FREE POINTS!!! You all have worked on these issues throughout each chapter. Thank you for your hard work and for your very thoughtful responses to your classmates’ posts on these issues. Great work!!!

Extra questions:

Chapter 8 – The Judicial System in Texas

This chapter is about the Texas judiciary. We have all seen television programs about the legal system and I find that when people read about the judicial system “for real” they find it fascinating and sometimes different than they have seen on television if they are not in the legal field. Have fun reading this chapter and let me know if you have any questions! I think you will enjoy this chapter.

For your post on this chapter, tell us three (3) things you learned in this chapter that you found fascinating and why.

Chapter 9 – Political Socialization, Political Behavior, and Public Opinion

In this chapter you will explore the process by which people gain their political values and learn their political viewpoints. You will also learn about public opinion and the role it has in Texas politics and with our government. For your post on this chapter, tell us the three (3) things that have shaped your political socialization / behavior the most and fully explain why and how.

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