Cover image for Jimmy Carter, public opinion, and the search for values, 1977-1981
Jimmy Carter, public opinion, and the search for values, 1977-1981
Domin, Gregory Paul, 1966-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Macon, Ga. : Mercer University Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
104 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E873.2 .D66 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Carter, Public Opinion, and the Search for Values, 1977-1981, reveals that, at times during his term, President Carter was able to effectively manage the four fundamental characteristics of political public opinion: interpretation, mobilization, limitation, and control. When Carter was able to crystallize these facets of public opinion, he experienced his greatest political victories. His brilliant 1976 presidential campaign, as well as his success in ratifying the Panama Canal Treaties, are both examples of Carter's successful use of public opinion. Conversely, when Carter was unable to harness this complex mechanism, he experienced his greatest failures. His political losses with regard to energy legislation and water projects were perhaps his most debilitating. As relations with the public are not mutually exclusive from those of Washington for the executive, this book also analyzes President Carter's stormy relationship with Congress. Carter was not at all comfortable with Washington politics. He abhorred the ingrained system of bargaining and compromise that dominated the Washington political scene, and consequently, distanced himself from it. He also often publicly criticized his peers in Congress, voicing his intolerance for their willingness to compromise the public good for political expedience. Predictably, many of Carter's political pleas died on Capitol Hill, proving that in order to be a political player, you must know how to play the game. Carter knew the game of pluralist politics, but refused to abandon his majoritarian ideal in order to play. Consequently, he failed to reach the lofty expectations of the public and left office with an approval rating in the teens.