Are Political Parties in Decline?
Political scientists commonly distinguish among three types of the word "party": There are parties in the electorate, parties as political organizations and parties in government. In the electorate, most political scientists agree that political parties are in decline, pointing to the rise in split ticket voting and a gradual decline in the number of self-identified "strong partisans." In spite of this, parties as organizations are flourishing on the national level, due to special interest funds, and on the state and local levels, with Republicans gaining a foothold in the once solidly Democratic south.
The picture is not as clear, however, regarding parties in government.…
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