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p. 637. Public opinion and its influencelocked

  • Richard M. Valelly

Abstract

‘Public opinion and its influence’ asks: Should pollsters be middlemen between the people and government? George Gallup and his fellow pioneers in polling paved a new way for elected officials to represent the public. His surveys, though imperfect, represented the machinery that would realize a new phase in the development of American democracy. Modern polling changes how representatives represent. An additional new standard for representation has emerged besides, for example, earning the trust of one's constituency. Representatives must now think about matching their decisions about public policy and what public opinion polls tell them that the public wants.

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