Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to understand:

  • how political parties and interest groups differ
  • the role of political parties at the state level
  • regional and demographic variation in support of political parties
  • the responsible party model
  • the pros and cons of political machines
  • the role of primary elections and the different types of primaries
  • how the role of state and local political parties has changed
  • the regulations concerning campaign finance
  • why third parties have had relatively little electoral success in the United States
  • the role of interest groups, which interest groups are the most influential, and the different types of interest groups