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Public opinion and the Panama Canal Treaties of 1977

Public Opinion Quarterly [Spring 1987]

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Copyright (c) 1987

Abstract: In April 1978, after nine months of national debate, the Senate narrowly ratified new Panama Canal treaties. Voting was apparently influenced by numerous opinion polls, which were seen as showing increased support for the treaties. But several analysts have shown that this interpretation was erroneous; public opinion consistently opposed the treaties. This study attempts to determine what went wrong. It begins by arraying and analyzing all national poll results on the topic in order to establish a coherent picture of public opinion. It then identifies a number of polling and reporting practices which may have contributed to the misinterpretation of the findings. The study concludes with recommendations for alleviating these problems.


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Publication Year:1987
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Public Opinion Quarterly
Publication Info:Volume 51 Number 1
Issue:Spring 1987
Page(s):5-30
Notes:Footnote 12: "Television poll reports were identified through an exhaustive review of the Television News Index and Abstracts; abstracts of all Panama stories and studied through the use of videotapes provided by the Vanderbilt Television News Archive." (p. 24)
Subject: Vanderbilt Television News Archive -- Research Use
Online access:http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0033-362X%28198721%2951%3A1%3C5%3APOATPC%3E2.0.CO%3B2-V
Record Number:10091
Last Update:2012-12-29 14:06:47
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00