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National Party Structure

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  1. National Party Structure Wilson 9B

  2. Still the Same National convention has ultimate power Convention nominates presidential candidate National committee composed of delegates Manage affairs between conventions Candidates supported by congressional committee National chair manages daily work Set agendas for direction of party

  3. Changes to structure Republicans Democrats Bureaucratic Well-financed Focus on congressional elections Computerized mailing lists Provide services to candidates National firm of political consultants Factionalized Redistributed power Lost 5 of 6 presidential elections in 1970s, 80s Copied RNC model in the 1990s Send money to state parties to avoid federal spending limits

  4. National Conventions • National committee sets time and place • “Call” for delegates • Number from each state • Rules for selection DNC – shift N and W = more liberal Rewards large states RNC – shift S and SW = more conservative Rewards loyal states

  5. New DNC Rules Weaken local party leaders Increase proportions of women, blacks, others attending convention Hunt Commission increased influence of elected officials at convention Superdelegates increased weakening special interest caucuses Conventions only ratify choices made in primaries

  6. Affect on Candidates • Complex formula for apportioning delegates DNC – proportional representation • Longer process • Dual caucus count • Penalties for states RNC – winner-take-all • Disciplined • Loyal • Pressure from states about calendar and rules

  7. State and Local Parties • Distribution of power varies within states • Different incentives at work • Central Committee • County Committee • Local Committees • The Machine • Party organizationthat recruits members with incentives • High degree of leadership control over member activity • Build coalitions among members with money

  8. Reforming The Machine • Terrible Abuse • Voter fraud, kickbacks, contracts, patronage • Services • Welfare, participation, socializing immigrants • Changes • Voter registration • Pendleton and Hatch Acts • Campaign Finance • Education, information, income • Federal Welfare

  9. Response to The Machine • Ideological Party (Greens, Christian Coalition) • Principle more important than winning • Generally focused social movements • More factionalized, less leader freedom • Solidary Groups (Rainbow-Push) • Motivated by the competition, companionship • Flexible, not corrupt, not hard-working, local • Sponsored Parties • Created or sustained by another organization • Not common in US (UAW, NARAL) • Personal Following • Personality, name recognition, money • Kennedy, Bush, Clinton, Paul

  10. Free Response Practice Since the 1960s, the process of selecting presidential candidates has been altered by the changing role of presidential primaries and national party conventions. Discuss FOUR effects that have resulted from this change in the presidential selection process. What affects can you list regarding the selection of congressional candidates?