Polling and Pandering: The End of the Presidency’s Moral Authority?

Robert Y. Shapiro, Lawrence R. Jacobs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The proliferation and visibility of public opinion polling during the Clinton administration, at century’s end, have led many critics of American politics to fear that poll-taking-or focus groups and the like-has permanently replaced political leadership. Politicians and presidents will blow with the winds of public opinion, and pandering will come to dominate presidential politics. If future presidents simply responded to public opinion, the end result would surely be a presidency with considerable moral authority. The evidence for the morality and religiousness of the American public is overwhelming. Public opinion and other data have long shown that Americans are among the most religious people in the world, in terms of belief in a supreme being, memberships in religious organizations, and attendance at religious services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Moral Authority of Government
Subtitle of host publicationEssays to Commemorate the Centennial of The National Institute of Social Sciences
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781000944112
ISBN (Print)9780765800244
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2000 by Taylor & Francis.


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