Yet competition and the need for fast responses to events often lead news organizations to misuse polls in a way that diminishes rather than enhances democracy. Polls can shape public opinion as well as describe it; they can set the news agenda and influence the coverage of political events in ways hostile to a constructive dialogue between citizens and their leaders.
In this volume, media specialist and well-known reporters provide a comprehensive survey of the problems and possibilities of polling by media organizations in the 1990s and beyond. Thomas Mann and Gary Orren analyze the strengths and weaknesses of media polls and their impact on American politics. Everett Carll Ladd and John Benson discuss the extraordinary growth of polling in news organizations for the past two decades. Kathleen Frankovic addresses the tension between the needs of news organizations for quick results and the need to preserve the standards of survey research. Henry Brady and Gary Orren examine the most serious methodological problems with news media polls. Michael Kagay explores the sources of well-publicized variability in poll findings. Michael Traugott considers the complicated question of how polls influence the public and whether their effects are benign or harmful. Finally, E. J. Dionne, Jr. examines media organizations' obsession with polls and the impact polls have on reporters.
The authors offer recommendations for improving the conduct and use of media polls so that citizens can make better informed and enlightened decisions about the public agenda.
This collection of the most recent, critical, and thought- provoking literature, written by some of the leading scholars in southern and legislative politics across the country establishes a paradigm of thinking about southern politics vis-a-vis Congress which illustrates the major issues and impacts this connection is likely to have in future decades. For all scholars and researchers involved with contemporary southern politics, Congressional politics, and U.S. elections.
However, even while Congress has deadlocked, more than half of the states have revised their laws on campaign finance. Some of these are now being promoted actively as models to be emulated. Michael J. Malbin and Thomas L. Gais look at the states to see how campaign finance reforms have actually worked out—what has happened after candidates, political parties, and interest groups have had a chance to adapt to them.
This book is based on a fifty-state survey of campaign finance laws and their administering agencies, analyses of reports from the states that release candidate-level data, and extensive open-ended interviews with political leaders in half a dozen jurisdictions with among the most ambitious regulatory frameworks. It concludes with recommendations based on realistic assumptions set in a package that is designed to remain workable over the long haul.
Dionne, Mann, and Ornstein, who have studied our government for nearly five decades, point out that Donald Trump did not simply emerge from the swamp—his rise was the culmination of a breakdown in the norms of politics, governing, and the media, rooted in a transformation of the Republican Party that began decades ago. It is part of a global challenge to liberal democracy that friends of republican self-rule must meet with commitment, intelligence, sophistication, and sensitivity. While Trump poses particular dangers because of his personality and disposition, Trumpism—a mixture of authoritarianism, nationalism, racial backlash, and a tendency to delegitimize opposition—is an ideology with deeper roots and greater reach.
With historical context, One Nation After Trump provides a roadmap for understanding how Trumpism came to pass in 21st-century America, identifies the sources of systematic decay in our politics, and the actions necessary to prevent worldwide democratic erosion. And it reflects an optimism that we citizens are not “waifs amid forces”—that with commitment, organization, and continuing engagement in the public life of our democracy we can shape a better future for ourselves and those who follow.