11/4 Discussion Post/ and student response : Solution Essays

This is a class discussion post that needs to be approximately 2-5 paragraphs in length. 

***Discussion Post should be followed accordingly each question asked needs to be answered.

********I will post the students response below.  With the Student response it should be 1 paragraph in length reply to the students disccusion.







********************Discussion Post*****************

Of what use are presidential approval ratings? Are they more or less important today than in presidencies past? To what extent does this barometer of public opinion influence other aspects of politics (e.g., economics, foreign policy, trust in local government). Cite/link to 5 pieces of evidence to back up your claims.

************************ Student Response #1 ***************************

I believe presidential approval ratings can be truly important for presidencies because it can help predict public opinion on a political figure even though that opinion may subjective. Therefore, presidential approval ratings is extremely useful for the president, and their party. Through approval rating their party can know what voters are looking for in a president, which can help during the reelection process. For example, as stated by Hanna Fingerhut “Past experience isn’t necessarily required (especially for Republicans, military experience is preferred, but increasinly rare, support is limited for a candidate who does not believe in God, and for most voters, “electability” matters less than issue positions.” Another example is that if Trump’s approval rating was less than 15%, the Republican Party would have to think twice before making him their 2020 nominee. Another thing to consider is being able to win support from members  of their party in congress. If their approval rating is high it will be a lot easier and vice versa. If their approval rating is low it will be a lot more difficult, and they may even lose support from members of their own party. This is because the president becomes the face of their party, and if they are doing bad this reflects on the whole party. For example, Reagan was the face for many Republicans in 1980’s, and Obama became the face for many democrats in 2008.

I also believe that approval rating are way more important today than in the presidencies in the past. Hershey states, “Not all presidents have been highly partisan figures, but recent presidents have strongly affected their party’s public standing. As the most visible members of the party in government, presidents often come to personify their party at the national level”(284). Not only have presidents become extensively involved within their party, but the media has been more active as well. The way the media portrays certain presidents can help increase or decrease their approval ratings.  Jim Hobart stated that “Negative media coverage of President Trump is only making him more popular within his base.” This is because whenever the media decides to attack him, his supporters will rally around him. This doesn’t necessarily mean that this will cause his approval ratings to increase. They have actually been decreasing from how the media has been portraying him. This includes the separation of immigrant families, and etc. Trump has actually blamed the media for all the public anger which has caused a decrease in his numbers. Trump tweeted “There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly. That will do much to put out the flame.” 

Therefore, I believe the barometer for public opinion also helps influence other aspects of politics. The people know what they want, and therefore they will go after it. This can be done through rallies, protest, and parades. People want their voice to be heard, therefore they will go after political leaders who will do so and this also helps in gaining trust in local governments. Public opinion is also very important to help set the pace for reforms in  economics, foreign policy, and etc. The gubernatorial race of Georgia is good example of how public opinion can influence aspects of politics. Stacey Abrams has positively gained support from many Georgia citizens, this is because she stands behind the people. If she is elected, many changes in Georgia is likely to happen and this is because of public opinion. 

Hershey, Marjorie Randon, and John Herbert Aldrich. Party Politics in America. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2017. Pg. 283-290






************************ Student Response #2 ***************************

I believe presidential approval ratings are less important today than ever before. One piece of evidence comes from the Pew Research article we read for this module that says, “Views of the president among members of the opposing party have steadily become more negative over time.” This quote shows that as the parties get more distant that the approval ratings do as well causing a disparity. Another piece of evidence that shows that approval ratings don’t matter comes from The Tylt that says, “Trump had high unfavorable ratings throughout the 2016 election and still won the presidency.” High unfavorable ratings before a presidency and still getting elected shows how little these ratings matter. Pew Research also provides another piece of evidence that shows these ratings matter less now more than ever, “High-profile presidential scandals don’t always cause huge or lasting drops in public approval.” High-profile scandals should have an impact on the public perception of the president however they don’t seem to as Clinton carried a rating in the 70s while the Lewinski scandal was unfolding.

The Washington Post article linked provides support for the idea that larger party disparities create less meaning in the approval ratings, “problem Trump faces that you can’t see in just approval ratings is the enthusiasm on the left.” A final piece of evidence to support that approval ratings mean less now more than ever is from AL.com via the Tylt. The link shows that in a poll ratings mattering or not-mattering were almost 50/50.





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