10th Edition

American Public Opinion Its Origins, Content, and Impact

By Robert S. Erikson, Kent L. Tedin Copyright 2019
    398 Pages 46 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    398 Pages 46 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Providing an in-depth analysis of public opinion, including its origins in political socialization, its role in the electoral process, and the impact of the media, American Public Opinion goes beyond a simple presentation of data to include a critical analysis of the role of public opinion in American democracy.

    New to the Tenth Edition

    • Updates all data through the 2016 elections and includes early polling through 2018.
    • Pays increased attention to polarization.
    • Adds a new focus on public opinion and immigration.
    • Covers new voting patterns related to race, ethnicity, and gender.
    • Reviews public opinion developments on health care.
    • Expands coverage of political misinformation, media bias, and negativity, especially in social media.
    • Defends political polling even in the wake of 2016 failings.

    1. Public Opinion in Democratic Societies

    2. Polling: The Scientific Assessment of Public Opinion

    3. Microlevel Opinion: The Psychology of Opinion-Holding

    4. Macrolevel Opinion: The Flow of Political Sentiment

    5. Political Socialization and Political Learning

    6. Public Opinion and Democratic Stability

    7. Group Differences in Political Opinions

    8. The News Media and Political Opinions

    9. Elections as Instruments of Popular Control

    10. The Public and Its Elected Leaders

    11. Public Opinion and the Performance of Democracy

    Appendix: The American National Election Study and the General Social Survey


    Robert S. Erikson is Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. He has written widely on American politics and is the coauthor of the following books: Statehouse Democracy (1994); The Macro Polity (2002); and The Timeline of Presidential Elections (2012). He has written articles on U.S. politics for major political science journals, including the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and Public Opinion Quarterly, among others. He is the past editor of the American Journal of Political Science and of Political Analysis.

    Kent L. Tedin is Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston. He served as department chair from 1984 to 2002 and 2017 to 2018. He has written extensively on political socialization, notably the influence of families and peers on the filial generation. He has also written a number articles on schools and public opinion, including how charter schools affect the social capital of parents, as well as how race and academic quality attributed to character school affect parent choice. Recently, he has written on family socialization in a polarized era. He has published articles in every major political science journal, including the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and Public Opinion Quarterly, among others.

    "American Public Opinion is well organized and uses excellent examples. Its focus dovetails with the way I organize my course. It is clearly written, and accessible to undergraduates. It’s also about the right length. It’s the perfect textbook for my course on Public Opinion, and the new edition will be greatly welcomed with its enhanced discussion of polarization, the updating of material to reflect recent scholarship, and recent developments in American politics, especially the 2016 election." —Howard Gold, Smith College

    "The strengths of this text have always been the authors' thorough coverage of the topic of political opinion. The book is a great primer on the most important factors. Additionally, the book is a relatively easy read for students. It is not laden with academic jargon and data is presented in a straightforward manner. The new edition is a timely update and it will continue to be my go-text for my public opinion course." —Monika McDermott, Fordham University