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Party Politics in America / Edition 14

Party Politics in America / Edition 14

by Marjorie R. Hershey

ISBN-10: 0205793193

ISBN-13: 9780205793198

Pub. Date: 02/19/2010

Publisher: Pearson

In revising classic works in political science, Longman celebrates the contributions its authors and their research have made to the discipline. The Longman Classics in Political Science series honors these authors and their work. Providing students with an updated context, each title in the series includes a foreword, written by one of today’s top


In revising classic works in political science, Longman celebrates the contributions its authors and their research have made to the discipline. The Longman Classics in Political Science series honors these authors and their work. Providing students with an updated context, each title in the series includes a foreword, written by one of today’s top scholars, offering a fresh, in-depth analysis of the book and its enduring contributions.

Long considered the gold standard of political parties texts, Party Politics in America provides students with an in-depth analysis of the historic 2008 Presidential campaign and election while looking ahead to assess what the shifting political winds have in store for the future of the major political parties and Americans’ political views.

Originally penned by Frank Sorauf and now authored by Marjorie Hershey, Party Politics in America provides students with the clearest, most comprehensive and engaging understanding of political parties and partisanship, which in turn are key to understanding the workings of elections, public opinion, policy-making, and leadership.

New to the Fourteenth Edition

· Completely updated information on the election results, campaign finance data, voter turnout and public opinion findings through the 2008 elections can be found throughout the entire text.

· Chapter 4 details the innovations in the national party organizations’ fund-raising and voter contact programs.

· Chapter 5 gives more attention to the participation and views of young voters, including a new “A Day in the Life” box featuring a college student working to win votes for Barack Obama in the rural areas and small towns of Appalachia.

· Chapter 7 examines the impact of the 2008 election on the remarkable regional shifts in the two parties’ bases of support.

· Chapter 8 has been reconfigured to focus on the parties’ efforts to broaden or limit access to the polls, including controversial state laws requiring voter ID and proof of citizenship in order to vote.

· Chapter 11 covers the use of technologies like texting and Twitter and how these new communication techniques are affect political campaigns.

· Chapter 12 examines the Obama fund-raising phenomenon and the rise in campaign activity by 501(c) groups.

· Chapter 16 assesses the pathways the Republican Party could choose to regain the momentum it has recently lost.

Product Details

Publication date:
Longman Classics in Political Science Series
Edition description:
Older Edition
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword by John H. Aldrich


Part 1: Parties and Party Systems

Chapter 1: What Are Political Parties?

The Three Parts of Parties

The Party Organization

The Party in Government

The Party in the Electorate

What Parties Do

Electing Candidates

Educating (or Propagandizing) Citizens


The Effects of Party Activity

How Do Parties Differ from Other Political Groups?

Parties Are Paramount in Elections

They Have a Full-time Commitment to Political Activity

They Mobilize Large Numbers

They Endure

They Serve as Political Symbols

How the American Parties Developed

The Founding of American Parties

A National Two-Party System Emerges

The Golden Age of the Parties

The Progressive Reforms and Beyond

What Do the Parties Stand For?

Parties Are Shaped by Their Environment

Voters and Elections

Political Institutions

Laws Governing Parties

Political Culture

The Broader Environment

Chapter 2: The American Two-Party System

The National Party System

The 50 State Party Systems

Measuring State Party Competition

Limits on Competitiveness: Incumbency

…And Other Reasons for Declining Competitiveness

What Causes a Two-Party System?

Institutional Forces

"Dualist” Theories

Social Consensus Theories

Party Self-Protection (The Best Defense Is a Good Offense)

Exceptions to the Two-Party Pattern

Nonpartisan Elections

Areas of One-Party Monopoly

Third Parties

Differences in Ideology

Difference of Origins

Differing Purposes

What Difference Do They Make?

The Rise of Independent Candidates

Will the Two-Party System Continue?

Part 2: The Political Party as an Organization

Chapter 3: The State and Local Party Organizations

What Is a “Strong” Party?

State Regulation of the Parties

Levels of Party Organization

Local Party Committees

State Central Committees

The Legendary Party Machines

How the Party Machines Developed

How Machines Held on to Power

Local Party Organizations Declined and Then Rebuilt

Local Parties in the 1970s

Local Parties Today: Richer and More Active

The State Parties: Gaining Money and Services

Traditional Weakness

Increasing Strength in Recent Years


Campaign Services

Republican Advantage

Allied Groups

The Special Case of the South

National Party Money

Summing Up: How the State and Local Party Organizations Have Transformed

Chapter 4: The Parties’ National Organizations

The National Parties

The National Committees

National Party Chairs

Presidents and Their National Parties

Other National Party Groups

Congressional Campaign (“Hill”) Committees

Women’s and Youth Groups

Democratic and Republican Governors’ Associations

Two Paths to Power

The Service Party Path

The Democrats’ Procedural-Reform Path

Both Parties Take the Service Path

Rising to the Challenge of New Campaign Finance Rules

Party Money and Activism in the 2008 Elections

What Is the Impact of These Stronger National Parties?

Effects on Candidates’ Campaigns

Effects on State and Local Parties

The Dean 50-State Strategy

Effects on the Presidency

Effects on Congress

Relationships within the National Party

The Limits of Party Organization

Chapter 5: Party Activists

What Draws People into Party Activity?

Material Incentives


Elected Office


Solidary (Social) Incentives

Purposive (Issue-Based) Incentives

Mixed Incentives

Professional and Amateurs

How Do Parties Recruit Activists?

Finding Volunteers: Is Anybody Home?

Means, Motive, and Opportunity

What Kinds of People Become Party Activists

People from “Political Families”

Better Educated and Wealthier Than Average

Different Agendas

More Extreme Views

Party Activists and Democracy

The Problem of Representation

Amateurs and Pressure for Internal Party Democracy

Activists, Party Strength, and Democracy

Part 3: The Political Party in the Electorate

Chapter 6: Party Identification

How People Develop Party Identifications

Childhood Influences

Influences in Adulthood

Patterns of Partisanship over Time

Has There Been a Decline in Partisanship?

The Recent Rise in Democratic Party ID

Party Identification and Political Views

Party Identification and Voting

Party Voting

Party Versus Candidates and Issues

Partisanship as a Two-Way Street

Party Identification and Political Activity

Party Identification and Attitudes toward the Parties

The Myth of the Independent

Attitudinal Independents

Behavioral Independents

Are Independents a Likely Source of Support for Third-Party Candidates?

Change in the Impact of Party ID

A More Candidate-Centered Politics

The Continuing Significance of Party

Chapter 7: Party Coalitions and Party Change

The American Party Systems

The First Party System

The Second Party System

The Third Party System

The Fourth Party System

The Fifth Party System

The Social Bases of Party Coalitions

Socioeconomic Status Divisions

Sectional (Regional) Divisions


Religion and Religiosity




The Central Role of Issues in the Group-Party Linkage

Polarization of the Polarization of the Two Parties’ Coalitions on Issues

The Development of the Sixth Party System

Major Changes in the Parties’ Supporting Coalitions

From Democratic Majority to Close Competition

How Can We Characterize These Changes: Realignment, Dealignment, or What?

Problems with the Idea of Realignment

Chapter 8: Parties and Voter Turnout

Elections: The Rules Affect the Results

Expansion of the Right to Vote

Rules Affecting Access to Voting Rights

The Secret Ballot



Residence Registration

The Special Case of Voting Rights for Black Americans

The Long Struggle for Voting Rights

From Voting Rights to Representation

Getting Blacks’ Votes Counted

Efforts to Liberalize Voting Rules

Election Day Registration

"Motor Voter” Laws

Early and No-Excuse Absentee Voting

The Voter ID Controversy

Voter ID Laws

Proof of Citizenship

Voting Systems: Are Votes Counted Fairly?

The Low Turnout in American Elections

Why Don’t More Americans Vote?

Individual Differences in Turnout



Gender and Race

Social Connectedness

Political Attitudes

The Impact of the Current Campaign

The Excitement of the Election

Close Competition

Party Efforts to Mobilize Voters

Do Party Efforts Diversify the Electorate?

The Challenge to the Parties

Part 4: Parties, Nominations, and Elections

Chapter 9: How Parties Choose Candidates

How the Nomination Process Evolved

Nominations by Caucus

Nominations by Convention

Nominations by Direct Primaries

The Current Mix of Primaries and Conventions

Types of Primaries

Closed Primaries

Open Primaries

Blanket Primaries

Why Does the Type of Primary Matter?

How Candidates Qualify

How Do Candidates Get on the Ballot?

Runoffs: When Too Many Candidates Get on the Ballot

What Parties Don’t Like About Primaries

Difficulties in Recruiting Candidates

The Risk of Unattractive Nominees

Divisive Primaries

Problems in Holding Candidates Accountable

The Party Organization Fights Back

Persuading Candidates to Run (or Not to Run)

Endorsing Candidates

Providing Tangible Support

Candidates and Voters in the Primaries

Many Candidates Run Without Competition

...And Voters Are in Short Supply

The Impact of the Direct Primary

Has It Made Elections More Democratic?

How Badly Has It Harmed the Parties?

Is the Primary Worth the Cost?

Chapter 10: Choosing the Presidential Nominees

The Move to Presidential Primaries

Turbulence in the Democratic Party

Presidential Primaries and Caucuses Today

The Race to Win Delegate Votes

The “Invisible Primary”

Candidates’ Strategic Choices

Win Early or Die

Comparing the Clinton and Obama Strategies

What Is the Party’s Role?

Voters’ Choices in Presidential Nominations

Who Votes?

Are Primary Voters Typical?

Do Voters Make Informed Choices?

Do Primaries Produce Good Candidates?

On to the National Conventions

Roots of the Conventions

What Conventions Do

Approving the Platform

Formalizing the Presidential Nomination

Approving the Vice-Presidential Nominee

Launching the Presidential Campaign

Who Are the Delegates?

Apportioning Delegates among the States

How Representative Are the Delegates?


Political Experience


Amateurs or Professionals?

Who Controls the Delegates?

How Media Cover Conventions

Do Conventions Still Have a Purpose?

Should We Reform the Reforms?

What Could Be Done?

Chapter 11: The General Election

Campaign Strategy

How Campaigning Has Changed

Professional Consultants

Sources of Information



Methods of Persuasion: the Air War


The Internet

Social Networking Sites


The Ground War: “Under the Radar”

Direct Contact by Mail, Text, and Twitter

Direct Mail

Text Messaging


Canvassing and Phone Banks


Negative Campaigning

The 2004 Campaign

Democrats Regain the Advantage in 2006

The Old and the New in 2008

Do Campaigns Make a Difference?

The Argument That Campaigns Matter

The Argument That They Don’t

Some Tentative Answers

Candidate-Centered or Party-Centered Campaigns?

Party Influence in Competitive Campaigns

The Continuing Struggle between Candidates and Party Organizations

Chapter 12: Financing the Campaigns

How Much Money Is Spent on Campaigns?

Presidential Campaigns

Congressional Campaigns

State and Local Campaigns

What Is the Impact of Campaign Spending?

Where Does the Money Come From?

Individual Contributors

Political Action Committees


The Candidates Themselves

Public Funding

Money in State and Local Campaigns

Reform of the Campaign Finance Rules

Contribution Limits

Public Disclosure

Public Funding of Presidential Campaigns

Spending Limits

The Loopholes That Ate the Reforms

Independent Spending

Soft Money

Issue Advocacy Ads

527 and 501(c) Advocacy Groups

What Did the 1970s Reforms Accomplish?

Intended and Unintended Effects

Effects on the Parties

Another Try: The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA)

Big and Small Contributions in 2004 and 2008

The Parties Survived BCRA

State Regulation and Financing

Money in American Politics

Part 5: The Party in Government

Chapter 13: Parties in Congress and State Legislatures

How the Parties Are Organized in Congress

Changes in the Power of House Party Leaders

The Revolt Against “Czar” Cannon

Growing Party Coordination

The Gingrich Revolution

… And the Change to Democratic Control

What Caused This Stronger Party Leadership?

Parties in the “Individualist Senate”

Parties in the State Legislatures

Methods of Party Influence

Carrots and Sticks

Agenda Control

Party Influence on Legislative Voting

How Unified Is Each Legislative Party?

Party Votes

Party Support

Greater Polarization of the Congressional Parties

When Are the Parties Most Unified?

Issues That Touch the Interests of the Legislative Parties

The Executive’s Proposals

Policies Central to the Party System

Comparing Party Power in Congress and State Legislatures

Party Polarization and Cohesion

Greater Interparty Competition

No Competing Centers of Power

Other Needed Resources

Lesser Legislative Professionalism

Styles of Individual Leaders

The Power of Legislative Parties

Chapter 14: The Party in the Executive and the Courts

Presidents and Governors as Party Leaders

The President as Campaigner-in-Chief

The President as the “Top of the Ticket”

Coattail Effects

Coattails Even without the Coat

Party Leadership and Legislative Relations

Legislative Support for Executives

Divided Control of Government

Party Influence in Executive Agencies

Limits on Presidential Influence: Bureaucrats Have Constituents Too

Party Experience Among Bureaucrats

Changing Political Outlooks in the Federal Bureaucracy

Traces of Party in the Courts

Judicial Voting Along Party Lines

What Causes Partisan Behavior on the Courts?

Party and Judicial Appointments

Federal Judges

State Court Judges

The Party within the Executive and the Judge

Chapter 15: The Semi-Responsible Parties

The Case for Responsible Party Government

How Would Party Government (Responsible Parties) Work?

The Case Against Party Government

It Would Increase Conflict

It Wouldn’t Work in American Politics

The Gingrich Experiment: A Temporarily Responsible Party

Party Cohesion and Ideology

Are the American Parties Ideological?

Do They at Least Offer Clear Choices?

But Internal Divisions Remain

Ideology and the American Voter

How Ideological Is the American Public?

Differences among Voters, Activists, and Candidates

When Is Party Government Most Likely?

When There Is Strong Presidential Leadership

In Times of Crisis

When the Parties’ Supporting Coalitions Realign

Party Government and Popular Control

Chapter 16: The Place of Parties in American Politics

Parties and Their Environment

The Nature of the Electorate

Political Institutions and Rules

Societal Forces

Party Decline in the 1960s and 1970s

The Parties in the Electorate

Party Organizations

The Party in Government

Shifting Power Centers within the Parties

Party Renewal

Change in the Parties’ Electoral Coalitions

A Return to Democratic Party Dominance?

The Rise of More Cohesive Parties in Government

The New “Service” Parties

The Future of Party Politics in America

A Changing Intermediary Role

The Need for Strong Parties

How to Make the Parties Stronger

Conclusion: The Parties’ Prospects

Party Politics on the Internet




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