After reading this chapter, you should be able to:
- Describe the role parties play in making government policy.
- Explain the tension between the party base and the general electorate regarding their influence on issue positions.
- Outline the evolution of the party system in the United States.
- Explain how parties connect citizens and government.
- Describe the way in which the American party system works.
- Give examples of ways in which parties serve (or fail to serve) citizens in American politics.