Learning Objectives

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.