American Political Parties: Growth and Change
The 1992 elections presented both challenges and opportunities for American political parties. Record numbers of candidates ran for Congress and the race for the White House evolved into a spirited three-way contest. The parties were poised to play an important role in these elections as a result of some major changes they initiated in the previous two decades. During this period, the parties revitalized their organizations and increased their roles in election campaigns. Most of these changes were designed to increase opportunities for citizen participation in party activities or enhance the roles the parties play in the political system. Some political observers hoped that these developments would not only strengthen the parties, but result in the emergence of party-focussed campaigns similar to those waged in western European and other industrialized democracies.
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