The Implications of Public Opinion for Public Managers: The Case of Charitable Choice

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In the contemporary policy-implementation process where policies in practice often reflect a compromise, public managers increasingly must consult with the relevant public to learn what that public wants. The purpose of this article is to argue that public managers might sometimes find public-opinion polls valuable as a source of information on public preferences. After explaining when and why this might be the case, the authors illustrate their argument using public-opinion data on the attitudes of Georgia residents toward the issue of Charitable Choice and provide examples of how these data might assist public managers in implementing the program.