Kris Seago
Government/Political Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Academic Lower Division
Austin Community College
ACC Liberal Arts, ACC OER
Creative Commons Attribution
Media Formats:

Public Opinion and the Media in Texas


Public Opinion and the Media in Texas

Chapter Learning Objective

By the end of this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the role of public opinion and the media in Texas politics


The collection of public opinion through polling and interviews is a part of political culture. Politicians want to know what the public thinks. Campaign managers want to know how citizens will vote. Media members seek to write stories about what the public wants. Every day, polls take the pulse of the people and report the results. And yet we have to wonder: Why do we care what people think?

Over time, our beliefs and our attitudes about people, events, and ideas will become a set of norms, or accepted ideas, about what we may feel should happen in our society or what is right for the government to do in a situation. In this way, attitudes and beliefs form the foundation for opinions.

As many a disappointed candidate knows, public opinion matters. The way opinions are formed and the way we measure public opinion also matters. But how much, and why? These are some of the questions we’ll explore in this chapter.