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Facing the Challenge of DemocracyExplorations in the Analysis of Public Opinion and Political Participation$
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Paul M. Sniderman and Benjamin Highton

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151106

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151106.001.0001

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Political Parties in the Capital Economy of Modern Campaigns

Political Parties in the Capital Economy of Modern Campaigns

(p.207) VIII Political Parties in the Capital Economy of Modern Campaigns
Facing the Challenge of Democracy

Jonathan Krasno

Princeton University Press

This chapter takes up two claims regarding political parties in American politics. First, the chapter contends with the conventional wisdom about the rise of candidate-centered campaigns sometime following 1950. The emphasis on candidate-centered campaigns obscures a much more fundamental transformation, especially for parties, from a campaign economy based mainly on labor to one based mainly on capital. Second, this chapter posits that parties' and candidates' goals, though overlapping, are distinct and separate. This has always been true, but the parties' transition from mobilizing election workers and volunteers to providing money or paid services exposes a fundamental conflict between the interests of parties and of candidates. This conflict has had immediate and serious ramifications for how parties allocate their resources, present themselves to the electorate, and mobilize voters, ultimately calling into question many of scholars' assumptions about parties.

Keywords:   political parties, modern political campaigns, candidate-centered campaigns, conflict of interest, political candidates, American politics

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