We have a pretty good literature on how presidents use and manipulate their information and propaganda advantages to move public opinion toward their positions on the use of force.  Both bottom –up, rational public arguments and top-down elite cueing models look at the institutional advantages of the presidency such as the bully pulpit, privileged access to information transmitted though classified intelligence and diplomatic channels, forging special access to the media, and the benefit of a history of Congressional and public deference to presidential leadership.

But, when and under what conditions does public opinion constrain presidential decision making on war and intervention? Continue reading