Northwestern University

Thu 6:00 PM

What Politicians Believe About Public Opinion

When: Thursday, April 12, 2018
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM  

Where: Wieboldt Hall North Entrance, Room 709, 339 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Elizabeth Christian   312.503.8836

Group: Master of Public Policy and Administration

Institute For Policy Research

Category: Academic


The first lecture of the Practical Policies: Real-world applications of policy theories with Institute of Policy Research series. 

Christopher Skovron
Postdoctoral research scholar, Institute for Policy Research and Data Science Initiative

Food and refreshments will be provided.

Many political advocates express frustration that public policy does not correspond with majority public opinion, even on salient issues that are the topic of significant public debate and polling. In his research, he proposes a possible explanation for disconnects between public opinion and policy: politicians may systematically misperceive their constituents’ opinions. Using thousands of original surveys of candidates for state legislature as well as fine-grained estimates of district-level public opinion, he shows that Republican politicians consistently and strongly overestimate public support for conservative issue positions. Democratic politicians have more accurate perceptions of opinion in their district. He considers possible explanations for these trends, especially how politicians perceive different citizens’ likelihood of voting.

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