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National Party Structure Today

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Presentation on theme: "National Party Structure Today"— Presentation transcript:

1 National Party Structure Today

2 National Party Structure
Both Republicans and Democrats have similar organizational structures A brief introduction… National Convention A meeting of party delegates held every 4 years National Committee Delegates who run party affairs between national conventions. National Campaign Committee Focuses on strategy of election/campaign National Chairperson Day-to-day party manager elected by the national committee

3 Differences RNC moved to bureaucratic structure
Well-financed Used technology to raise $$ Created national firm of political consultants Democrats were factionalized And lost because of it Learned from Republicans and caught up

4 National Convention Officially nominate party’s presidential candidate (ratify choices made in primary season) Develop party platform Formulas used to allocate delegates to the conventions Democrats also have superdelegates— don’t have to commit to a candidate beforehand, therefore can vote for any despite the primary Democrats reward large states Republicans reward loyal states Delegates tend to be more liberal than ordinary Democratic voters and more conservative than Republicans It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s the superdegelates!

5 National Chairperson Selected by party’s presidential candidate
Serves as spokesperson for the party Establishes national headquarters, raises campaign funds, etc. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrats Reince Priebus, Republicans

6 State Party Structure Real strength and power of a national party at the state level No “average” state party because all 50 are different, but most have some organizational features in common State party chairperson State central committee Responsible for policy decisions of party’s state convention Composed of members representing congressional districts, state legislative districts, or counties

7 Local Parties The Machine Ideological Parties Solidary Groups
Recruits members via tangible incentives Ideological Parties Principle is more important than winning elections Solidary Groups Members motivated by solidary incentives Sponsored Parties Created or sustained by another organization Personal Following Political supported provided to candidate on the basis of personal popularity and networks

8 The Two-Party System A. Rarity among nations today B. Evenly balanced nationally, but not locally C. Why has the two-party system endured for so long? 1. Electoral system – winner-take-all and plurality system limit the number of parties 2. Opinions of voters – two broad coalitions work, although there may be times of bitter dissent 3. State laws have made it very difficult for third parties to get on the ballot

9 Minor Parties Ideological parties – comprehensive, radical view; most enduring (Examples: Socialist, Communist, Libertarian) One-issue parties – address one concern, avoid others (Examples: Free Soil, Know-Nothing, Prohibition) Economic protest parties – regional, protest economic conditions (Examples: Greenback, Populist) Factional parties – from split in a major party, usually over the party’s presidential nominee (Examples: Bull Moose, Henry Wallace, American Independent Party)

10 Impact of Minor Parties
Surprising that more social movements have not produced their own parties Impact of minor parties on American politics hard to judge

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