• The Presidency, Congress & Public Opinion

    Pages: 8

    An 8 page research paper that examines the effect of public opinion on the relationship between the Presidency and Congress. Examination of the interplay and relationship between these two branches shows that it is mediated by an outside factor that largely serves to define the boundaries of power for each administration. That factor is public opinion and its effects on the relationship between the presidency and Congress constitutes the focus of this investigation. Bibliography lists 6 sources.

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    that is, policy is established by both the Presidency and Congress working in collaboration. The Constitution delegates the responsibility of proposing legislation to the executive branch, while Congress has full  legislative powers. Examination of the interplay and relationship between these two branches shows that it is mediated by an outside factor that largely serves to define the boundaries of power  for each administration. That factor is public opinion and its effects on the relationship between the presidency and Congress constitutes the focus of this investigation. The social scientists that  study public opinion and its effect on public policy agree on the following points pertaining to public opinion in democratic countries. First of all, that "public opinion influences public policy,"  and, secondly, "the more salient an issue to the public, the stronger the relationship is likely to be" (Burnstein, 2003, p. 29). In other words, there is a direction correlation  between the degree to which citizens care about an issue and how likely they are to take elected officials to task over their behavior toward that issue on election day  (Arnold, 1990). As this suggests, public opinion can be a highly influential factor both for the presidency and Congress, often mediating their relationship. Success of the Relationship Whether or  not the relationship between the executive and legislative branches is successful is due, in large part, to a presidents ability to negotiate with members of Congress and work through the  inevitable conflicts. History shows that presidential support in Congress is intrinsically tied to public opinion. Abraham Lincoln once said that "With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can  succeed" (Davidson and Oleszek, 2004, p. 295). The ultimate objective of every president is to produce a tide of public opinion that supports his policies and, therefore, helps persuade lawmakers 

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