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GITELSON CH. 6 NOTES

AMERICAN POLITICAL PARTIES: In the United States, a coalition of peole organized formally to recruit, nominate, and elect individuals to office and to use elected office to achieve shared political goals.

REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ARE DECENTRALIZED ORGANIZATIONS, REGULATED AT THE STATE LEVEL.

DECENTRALIZATION: Means many different individuals within the party share the decision-making power, no single individual controls the system.

COMPARED WITH OTHER NATIONS, THE UNITED STATES HAS ONE OF THE MOST LOOSELY INTEGRATED PARTY SYSTEMS IN THE WORLD.

PARTY-AS-ORGANIZATION: An entity with few members, primarily consisting of state and county chairpersons and ward and precinct captains, who work for the party throughout the year, recruiting candidates and participating in fundraising activities.

PARTY-IN-THE-ELECTORATE: The coalition of everyone who identifies with a particular party and tends to vote for that party’s candidate.

PARTY-IN-GOVERNMENT: The individuals who have been elected or appointed to a government office under a party label.

IN 1995, THE REPUBLICANS REORGANIZED CONGRESS AND SUPPORTED POLICIES DIFFERENT FROM THOSE SUPPORTED BY THE DEMOCRATS.

DEMOCRATS MAINTAIN THEIR GREATEST STRENGTH WITH:

AFRICAN AMERICANS, HISPANICS, CATHOLICS, JEWS, WOMEN,

MEMBERS OF THE WORKING CLASS, UNION MEMBERS, AGES OVER 50.

REPUBLICANS ARE SCATTERED ACROSS THE COUNTRY AS:

WHITE, CUBAN AMERICANS, PROTESTANT, AND MIDDLE TO UPPER CLASS, YOUNGER THAN 50, NOT UNION MEMBERS, AND THEIR VIEWS ARE COMPARATIVELY CONSERVATIVE.

ELECTORAL COALITIONS: Groups of loyal supporters who agree with the party’s stand on most issues and vote for its candidates for office.

PLATFORMS: Statements of party goals and specific policy agendas that are taken seriously by the party’s candidates but are not binding.

PRIMARY: An election in which party members select candidates to run for office under the party banner.

PARTY REALIGNMENT: a major shift by voters from one party to another that occurs when one party becomes dominant in the political system, controlling the presidency and congress and many state legislatures as well.

SINGLE-MEMBE DISTRICT, WINER-TAKE-ALL ELECTORAL SYSTEM:

The system of election used in the US in all national and state elections and in most local elections. Officials are elected from districts that are served by only one legislator, and a candidate must win a plurality (the most votes).

POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (PAC): An independent organization that interest groups, officeholders, and political candidates can establish for the sole purpose of contributing money to the campaigns of candidates who sympathize with its aims. PACs are the result of federal laws that prohibit most interest groups from donation money to political campaigns.

DESPITE THE STRENGTH OF THE MAJOR PARTIES, MINOR PARTIES THRIVE AND PRESENT PROGRAM ALTERNATIVES THAT ARE OFTEN ADOPTED BY THE DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PARTIES. (175)

BOTH LOCAL AND STATE PLITICAL PARTIES HAVE GROWN IN IMPORTANCE IN RECENT YEARS. ALTHOUGH COMPETING GROUPS HAVE CHALLENGED THE NATIONAL PARTY ORGANIZATIONS, THEY HAVE RESPONDED TO THE CHALLENGE AND IN CHANGING HAVE REVITALIZED THEMSELVES. (175)