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How Political Parties Work

How Political Parties Work - suggests that political...

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How Political Parties Work A political party is an alliance of like-minded people who work together to win elections and control of the government. Political parties compete against one another for political power and for the ability to put their philosophies and policies into effect. Many voters demonstrate party identification, even though they do not formally belong to a party. So a voter might claim to be a Democrat, even though she does not pay dues, hold a membership card, or technically belong to that party. Other voters see themselves as independents: These voters do not belonging to any party, and they willingly vote for the best candidate regardless of that person’s party affiliation. The Rise of Independents The number of people in the United States who identify themselves as independents has increased significantly in the past thirty years. Some scholars argue that this fact
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Unformatted text preview: suggests that political parties are weakening. It is not clear, however, just how independent these people really are. Some scholars have argued that many people who call themselves independents always vote for the same party, just like partisans do. Political socialization influences party identification. Family beliefs, education, socioeconomic conditions, and recent political events all help determine whether a person chooses to identify with a political party. American Voter Identification In the United States, the electorate breaks down roughly into thirds: One-third of voters identify themselves as Democrats, one-third as Republicans, and one-third as independents. These numbers, however, fluctuate to some degree, especially around elections....
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