Tides of Consent: How Public Opinion Shapes American Politics

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9780521841344: Tides of Consent: How Public Opinion Shapes American Politics

Tracking trends in American public opinion, this study examines moods of public policy over time. James Stimson looks at shorter term movements as the public approves or disapproves politicians, trusts or distrusts government. His book is distinctive in that it focuses on determining the unobserved true opinion that lies beneath superficial polls. It argues that public opinion is decisive in American politics and identifies the citizens who produce influential change as a relatively small subset of the American electorate.

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Book Description:

This book tracks movement in American public opinion. It examines moods for public policy that cycle over decades. It looks at shorter term movements as the public approves or disapproves politicians, trusts or distrusts government. It is distinctive in that it focuses always on locating the unobserved true opinion that lies beneath, turning away from the superficial polls by which we come to know the real thing. It argues that public opinion is decisive in American politics and it locates the citizens who produce this influential change as a quite small subset of the American electorate.

About the Author:

James A. Stimson is the Raymond Dawson Distinguished Bicentennial Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a former President and Treasurer of the American Political Science Association. He has authored and co-authored numerous books including Yeas and Neys: Normal Decision-Making in the U.S. House of Representatives, Issue Evolution: Race and the Reconstruction of American Politics, Public Opinion in America, and The Macro Polity. Professor Stimson has served as Editor of Political Analysis, and has served on the editorial board of journals such as the American Journal of Political Science and the Journal of Politics. He has authored many articles published in major journals of political science and is the recipient of various awards for his distinguished scholarship.

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