Presidential Messeges and Public Opinion


My name is Ben Gloger and I am senior studying public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. My self-defined focus area within the program is entitled Persuasive Politics and Public Opinion, and my paper topic explores this topic.

Specifically, I am interested in understanding the extent to which President’s can utilize targeted and strategic communication in directing public opinion. Essentially, under what circumstances is the President persuasive? Using public opinion/approval as a barometer for the administration’s influence, I hope to explore fluctuations in popular support and their effects.

Inherent in this design is the question: in an area defined by a complete saturation of voices (through blogs, podcasts, pundits, and otherwise), can Presidential messages remain salient? The answer to this question will have profound implications on the leadership capabilities of any political leader in our day and age.

My design is as follows: First, I will analyze and isolate the administrations rhetoric and final message on a few isolated cases (I’m thinking Gun Control and/or ACA, Benghazi, and Syria, but want to make sure I keep my focus narrow enough to be useful and am having a bit of difficulty deciding which issues are best to isolate). From there, I will explore how these messages disseminated throughout public opinion, and whether they remained salient. Using this framework, I will then assess the final outcomes, and, using public opinion as a measurement of the administrations control, assess the success/failure of its strategic plan.

I am certain this topic will experience change throughout the year, and look forward to working with everyone!

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