Public opinion

Public opinion plays a vital role in shaping political campaigns and the policy platforms that they champion. Those in power often have to gauge public opinion in order to make sound decisions and policies. Public opinion can also be a factor in informing how parties campaign for elections, as some candidates may be seen as more favorable than others by the public. We’ve put together a list of what public opinion (and well-informed opinions) means for politics, and why this matters for everyone.

Interest groups impact elections through advocating issues, contributing funds, mobilizing voters and so on. In 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported that interest groups spent over $1 billion on political campaigns. This is because interest groups have significant amounts of funding from private individuals and organizations. They are an example of one-man band in the electoral arena. Interest group’s ability to influence decision making affects many areas such as exercising power and creating external constraints on government officials which impede their ability to make rational choices best for society (Eliasson & Huet, 2018). The pressure exerted by these organizations is critical for democracy because it allows people with divergent views to advocate effectively for interests that cannot typically be represented by either party alone.

Political parties play a vital role in elections. They take a stand on certain issues and have leaders to run for office. The impact of party attributes on the outcome of elections is an interesting topic that has been studied by many scholars over time. In recent years, there has been more citizen participation in election campaigns, which has increased the need for parties to appeal to various demographic groups in order to win votes. With this more diverse population, it becomes just as important for parties to be able to identify and target their bases rather than generalist ideals (Bugajski, 2020).


Bugajski, J. (2020). Political parties of Eastern Europe: a guide to politics in the post-communist era. Routledge.

Eliasson, L. J., & Huet, P. G. D. (2018). TTIP negotiations: Interest groups, anti-TTIP civil society campaigns and public opinion. Journal of Transatlantic Studies, 16(2), 101-116.