Variation in congressional public approval: the effect of actual conflict versus perceived conflict on public approval of Congress 1970-2000 Public Deposited

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  • Variation in congressional public approval: the affect of actual conflict versus perceived conflict on public approval of Congress 1970-2000
Last Modified
  • March 22, 2019
Creator
  • Shaffer, Laura Ann
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
Abstract
  • This thesis examines the factors that contribute the public’s opinion of Congress. I posit that conflict, whether it is actual conflict or merely the perception of conflict, has the significant negative affect on approval of Congress. Other factors taken into consideration include divided government, presidential approval, and economic expectations. For measures of conflict, I used both a measure of perceived conflict (negative media coverage) and a measure of actual internal conflict (congressional party unity scores.) My results show that perceived conflict can negatively affect opinion. The evidence presented above supports my hypothesis that conflict in Congress makes people uncomfortable and angry with their government producing negative opinions of this branch of government. Media coverage may exacerbate this phenomenon. By overemphasizing conflict that does exist, the media may play a role in the reason Congressional approval is so low in general.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Engstrom, Eric J.
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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  • Open access
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