In this week’s episode, Daniel J. Hopkins joins Lee and James to consider the influence of public opinion on American politics. Hopkins is a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Stable Condition: Elites’ Limited Influence on Health Care Attitudes.

How does public opinion influence policy outcomes in Congress? Do the American people have power over policymakers that they rarely use? How much leeway do policymakers have to act independent of public opinion? And how does the Affordable Care Act debate inform our understanding of the relationship between public opinion and policymaking? These are some of the questions that Dan, Lee, and James ask in this week’s episode.