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The authors review what is known about the relationship between public opinion and presidential policy making. While American presidents have paid increasing attention to public opinion with the institutionalization of polling and public opinion analysis in the White House, it should by no means be presumed that policy making has become more responsive to public opinion. Recent political developments have provided presidents and both parties in Congress increasing incentives and opportunity to attempt to lead or manipulate public opinion. Evidence from the Clinton years most strikingly demonstrates this. We are only now beginning to learn about the relationship between presidents and the polling and public opinion analysis that has gone on in presidential administrations since the 1960s. The working hypothesis is that the Reagan years are pivotal in understanding recent and future developments regarding the relationship between public opinion and presidential behavior.