Functions Of Political Parties

I. Nominate candidates

    A. Caucuses (nominating conventions) & primary elections

II. Raise and spend campaign funds

    A. National spending

    B. State specific spending

    C. Candidate spending

III. Decision process for ideologically minded voters

    A. Use of television commercials

    B. Leaflets

    C. Mailed literature

    D. Telephone banks

IV. Register voters

V. Unify diverse interests

    A. FDR’s Grand Coalition

    B. Kennedy's New Frontier

    C. Reagan's Morning in America

    D. Clinton's Bridge to the 21st Century

VI. Influence Government in Moderation

    A. Fringe elements (& candidates) squeezed out.

VII. Reduce diffusion of power in government

    A. In theory, checks and balance system is put on hold – parties act as a unifying force

    B. Split ticket concepts

VIII. Provide patronage

    A. Appointment process

        1. Develop movements in America

        2. Negative aspects

            a. Harding’s "Ohio Gang"

            b. Nixon’s "Palace Guard"

            c. Clinton’s (?)

IX. Party platforms

    A. Official stance of the party

    B. Not always the stance of candidates

    C. Convention floor fights

X. Loyal opposition