Patterson Chapter 8

Patterson Chapter 8 - Patterson Chapter 8 Political Party-...

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Patterson Chapter 8 Political Party- an ongoing coalition of interests joined together in an effort to get its candidates for public office elected under a common label. Party-centered Politics - Republican and Democratic parties compete across the country election after election. Candidate-centered Politics- individual candidates devise their own strategies, choose their own issues, and form their own campaign organizations. Political competition in the US has centered on two parties, a pattern that is explained by the nature of America’s electoral system, political institutions, and political culture. Minor parties exist in the US but have been unable to compete successfully for governing power. To win an electoral majority, candidates of the two major parties must appeal to a diverse set of interests; this necessity normally leads them to advocate moderate and somewhat overlapping policies. Only during periods of stress are America’s parties likely to present the electorate with starkly different choices. US party organizations are decentralized and fragmented. The national organization is a loose collection of state organizations, which in turn are loose associations of autonomous local organizations. This feature of US parties can be traced to federalism and the nation’s diversity, which have made it difficult for the parties to act as instruments of national power. The ability of America’s party organizations to control nominations and election to office is weak, which in turn embraces the candidates’ role. Candidate-centered campaigns are based on the media and utilize the skills of professional consultants. Money, strategy, and televised advertising are key components of today’s presidential and congressional campaigns.
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This note was uploaded on 12/13/2008 for the course POLI 100 taught by Professor Rabinowitz during the Fall '07 term at UNC.

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Patterson Chapter 8 - Patterson Chapter 8 Political Party-...

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