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Public Opinion:. Presidential Approval Ratings and The “Rally ‘Round the Flag” Effect. Presidential Approval. Today, presidential approval is gauged in very regular intervals “ Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president? “

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public opinion

Public Opinion:

Presidential Approval Ratings and

The “Rally ‘Round the Flag” Effect

presidential approval
Presidential Approval
  • Today, presidential approval is gauged in very regular intervals
    • “Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president? “
    • In addition to this general assessment of presidential job performance, polling companies also ask a variety of more specific questions on the economy, foreign affairs, taxes, etc.
presidential approval3
Presidential Approval
  • A President’s public approval ratings will give him leverage:
  • In Washington
    • Increases bargaining ability
    • Increases his ability to “go public”
    • Some believe that it increases his success rate on roll-call votes in Congress
  • Nationally
    • Can serve as an early barometer for upcoming elections
determinants of presidential approval rating
Determinants of Presidential Approval Rating
  • Best predictor:
    • Consumer expectations
  • What leads to deviations from this?
    • Honeymoon effects
      • Presidents enjoy higher levels of approval at the beginning of a term
    • Rally ‘round the flag effect
      • Presidents get a large bump in approval during times of national crisis
rally events
Rally Events
  • What defines a “rally event”?
    • International event
    • Event directly involves the United States and particularly the president
    • Specific, dramatic, and sharply focused
    • Salient to the public
  • These events confront the nation as a whole
    • Gain enormous public event and attention
why do people rally around the flag
Why do people “rally around the flag”?
  • People will increase their support for the president (at least in the short-run) because he is the symbol of the country and the primary focus during times of crisis
  • People do not want to hurt nation’s chance at success by opposing the president