Powerful cross-currents of both decline and resurgence have been affecting American political parties over the past several decades. Is the era of decline that began in the late 1960s over and are the parties in a new era of rebuilding? In what direction are the parties headed and what does it mean for a healthy and well-functioning democracy? American Political Parties brings together a distinguished team of contributors to explore these questions. Students are exposed to original, “state-of-the-art” research on the parties that is written to be accessible and engaging.Presenting both historical and contemporary material on the changing U.S. parties, the book offers a balanced portrait and a wide variety of views concerning the continuing weaknesses of the parties and their concurrent signs of revitalization. Essays examine three important elements of parties—the parties in the mass public, the parties as electoral and political organizations, and the parties as governing groups. Two themes recur throughout—the first deals with party change (specifically realignment and dealignment) and the second with party responsibility in a democratic government. The concluding chapter places the contibutors' various findings and viewpoints in perspective. It offers several theories to help explain why the parties seem to be following their dual paths of development and considers the implications of this state of affairs for the future of American democracy.

Presidential Election Campaigns and Partisanship

Presidential election campaigns and partisanship
James E.Campbell

Presidential Election Campaigns and Partisanship

How do presidential general election campaigns affect the partisan behavior of the electorate? Do campaigns undercut partisanship in the electorate or activate it? From one standpoint, by centering attention on the candidates running in a particular election, campaigns would seem to undermine partisanship. Ever since The American Voter (Campbell et al. 1960) drew the distinction between long-term and short-term influences on the vote and found party identification to be the preeminent long-term political influence, some election analysts have supposed that short-term campaign influences on the vote are at the expense of partisanship. Presidential general election campaigns emphasize the particular policy issues and candidate qualifications for office that concern voters at the ...

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