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Politicians Don't Pander
Author: Lawrence R. Jacobs

ISBN: 9780226389837
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 436
Published: 17 December 1999
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.7 x 16.8 x 2.4
Description:
Public opinion polls are everywhere. Journalists report their results without hesitation, and political activists of all kinds spend millions of dollars on them, fueling the widespread assumption that elected officials "pander" to public opinion--that they tailor their policy decisions to the results of polls.
In this provocative and engagingly written book, the authors argue that the reality is quite the opposite. In fact, when not facing election, contemporary presidents and members of Congress routinely ignore the public's policy preferences and follow their own political philosophies, as well as those of their party's activists, their contributors, and their interest group allies. Politicians devote substantial time, effort, and money to tracking public opinion, not for the purposes of policymaking, but to change public opinion--to determine how to craft their public statements and actions to win support for the policies they and their supporters want.
Taking two recent, dramatic episodes--President Clinton's failed health care reform campaign, and Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America"--as examples, the authors show h...

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