March 31, 2014
Office hours Tuesday, April 1st: 2-4pm
➔ What are the dimensions of political parties?
Are parties in decline?
➔ Why no 3rd party in US?
Dimensions of Parties: PIE
➔ Pie - the extent or power of partisan loyalty in the electorate
◆ Historic rise of citizens who identify as independent rather than as a Republican
● Decline in partisan identification is reflected by alienation
○ Unpopular Presidents
● Reflects an Increasing Education
○ More educated people (college) are less reliant upon a political
● Media reporting on politics
○ For much of media history, media focused on political parties
○ NOW media is Candidate Centered - Not Party Centered
● Increase of independent voters is an “illusion”
○ Individuals who identify as independent LEAN to one party over
○ Between 50-75% of “independent” voters admit to leaning toward
Democrat or Republican identification
● Evidence of increase in strength of partisan identification - party
polarization and identification
○ Democrats only vote for Democrats, Republicans only vote for
○ Vote Choice
◆ Racial Issues
○ Two Americas?
◆ Distinct Religions, Values, Lifestyles, and Economies
○ Best Predictor of Vote Choice/Attitudes
➔ Second way of understanding parties - Parties in the Government “PIG” The ability of party leaders to direct both of the everyday workings of Congress
and and the behavior of rank and file members in electoral office to follow and
implement party policies and directives
● Coordinate Activities and Overarching Party Goals
● Set and Define Agenda of Problems to Deal with and Craft Solutions to
Those Particular Problems
● Discipline Members Who “Step Out of Line” Using Resources such as...
○ Committee Assign, Money, Challengers
● Rise of Congressional Mavericks
○ Individuals in Congress who do not follow directives of party
○ Go against party when they morally disagree
● More concerned with Reelection
● Vote Against Party when policies conflict with constituents
● Little discipline to these mavericks
◆ Increased Polarization?
● Increase in Partisan Loyalty
Dimensions of Parties as Organizations: PAO
◆ Ability of party to recruit, nominate, and elect candidates to political office
through mobilization of voters
○ Find new and exciting individuals who embod