American Political Parties

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American Political Parties

Introduction

American state elections are often complex in nature and can be considered to be influenced by a host of factors. Different parties as well as individuals at all levels have an influential effect on the holistic welfare of the candidate. Voters and party leaders alike have an upper hand in determining the candidate that is chosen to represent the party at the state level. Again, different factors ranging from social to financial and personal determine this choice. It is certain that most parties tend to give leadership preferences to candidates that have a high probability of winning the same. Thus state and local parties have been cited to play critical roles in influencing the welfare of a given candidate. Besides providing fundamental financial help, they provide guidance and offer emotional as well as technical support to the given candidate. Most importantly, they provide a networking environment that enhances the popularity of the candidate and exposes the same to different environments.

Notably, these offer various opportunities for the respective candidates to enhance their popularity and probability of winning. Different states have specific approaches of choosing the party candidates. These are influenced by different factors that range from the respective state policies that govern the elections to the policies that are employed in governing the activities of the politics and the financial status of the given political party. Of great importance is the need for the candidate to have the ideal qualities and satisfy the fundamental specifications of the given party.

It is in this against his background that this paper provides an explicit analysis of the role of the state and local parties in party elections. In order to enhance a harmonic consideration, it will provide a clear comparison between the role of two state parties in elections in Arkansas and the role of the state parties in New York. Although there are likely to be significant similarities, it is worth noting that he local conditions trigger certain differences. This evaluation would be in light of the experiences of the previous elections in each state.

Background Information on Politics in New York

Just like in Arkansas, politics in New York revolve around two main parties, the conservative republicans and liberal democrats. However, the state also has several other minor parties that equally play an influential role in state politics. Minor parties according to the 2006 election record include Conservative party, Independence party, Right to Life, Liberal, Green Party, Libertarian and Working Families (Hershey 35). These influence state elections because of their ability to cut down the voter percentage significantly. In 2001 elections, leadership of the state was assumed by the Republican Party.

In this, Hershey indicates that the financial influence played a critical role in determining the choice of the voters (46). Nevertheless, it is widely contended that unlike other states in the United States, the New York State has the tendency of electing republican leaders at a state level. However, this trend changes with national elections as the democrats are given preferences by the same in this regard. Evidence indicates that since 1939, the republicans have been in control of the state senate until 2008 when the Democratic Party won by three seats.

Factors Affecting Vote in 2004 and 2008 in New York and Arkansas States

In 2004, state elections in the state of Arkansas were influenced by a host of factors that constituted mainly of political issues. Just like in New York, illegal immigration as well as military spending played a critical role in shaping the attitudes and behavior of the voter. Social issues such as abortion were also pronounced and can be considered to have influenced the voting behavior during this year. This was further perpetuated by the fact that the Christina groups were advocating for the abolition of the relative policies. However, the 2008 voter elections assumed a different dimension as emergent and complex issues determined the behavior of voters in the two states (Beaudry 51). To begin with, it is certain that internet technology had taken root and together with media advertisements, this played a critical role in influencing the attitudes of the voters.

In particular, the internet and social networking sites provided a viable environment through which the candidates could reach a significant percentage of the population. Other social issues such as gender issues and the welfare of minority populations such as the Latino and the Black Americans were also at the center stage of the elections. The voter turn out in this year was significantly high in both state, courtesy of the technological development that had been experienced in the recent past.

Role of State Parties

Currently, elections at the state level are largely candidate centered and therefore the role of the parties in the same does not entirely affect the welfare of the candidates. Nevertheless, parties exercise extreme caution when making choices with regard to the candidates because due to the nature of the elections the success of the party is solely depended on the competence of the candidates. Candidates are however charged with the responsibility of determining whether they participate in the elections or not. Nonetheless, the role of parties in assisting the respective candidates can not be overlooked.

Besides offering the candidates financial help, they provide a brand name of the party under which the given candidate can run. This is important because usually, it shapes the attitudes of the voters and can determine the choice of the same. The brand name is then defined to reflect the values and intentions of the party. The role of publicizing the brand name and enhancing the awareness of the population with regard to the underlying meaning and function of the same is also assumed by the state parties. However, despite offering this important aspect to the candidates, it is worth noting that the parties do not meddle in the program of the candidate. Considering the fact that the candidate and his or her staff are entirely in charge of the campaigns, they assume the responsibility of making and initiating vital programs. However, to enhance cohesion, this is done in consultation with the party.

In a recent interview, Kaine notes that the state parties are also instrumental in carrying out financial redistribution and ensuring that their candidates have sufficient resources to carry out the campaigns with ease. Usually, the finances that candidates get from the parties in New York State average an insignificant five percent of the total spending of the party. In this respect, it is indicated that the direct financial support that the parties accord their candidates during state elections do not exceed twenty percent of the total expenditure of the party. Nevertheless, the parties organize for fundraising and help the candidates to source for other resources from business entities and personalities. In other words, they network on behalf of the candidate in this regard and help to source for widespread support from the prominent individuals who would be willing to sponsor the same.

During elections, state parties provide representatives of the party who play important observation as well as monitoring roles. Usually, these observe the proceedings at the polling station and are not allowed to carry out any form of campaigns at such places. This accredits the election process and eliminates incidences of elections irregularities. Although they are not allowed toinfluence the voters, they can question any procedures that are not in accordance with the regulations of the elections. Studies contend that this enhances transparency and objectivity that gives every candidate an equal opportunity to win the elections. Most importantly, they record the challenges and complaints that are likely to arise at the polling station and ensure that the same are addressed in a timely and effective manner. In general, they act as election watch dogs and seek to enhance justice. Notably, the candidate may not be able to attain this single handedly or with his or her staff, especially consiodering the geographical vastness of the states.

According to studies, state parties in Arkansas help the candidates by providing them with professional campaign services. At this point, it should be acknowledged that the political changes and strategies have become dynamic in nature. Increasingly the public is requiring more creative approaches in encouraging and convincing them to vote for a particular candidate. The expectations of the society have become very complex and satisfying them requires a high level of creativity and a clear understanding of the emergent and multifaceted needs of the population. Of great importance is an understanding of the election environment and the intricacies that characterize the same. Considering the fact that the political environment puts the candidate in a state of tension, s/he may not be in position to understand the different facets of the entire process. This is likely to compromise the ability of the candidate to win the elections.

Hershey cites that state parties help the candidate in making viable choices in this respect (56).  Notably, there has been a rise in firms that provide specialized services in this respect. In particular, they specialize in running the entire campaign process for the candidate. Specific areas of concern in this respect according to Crews pertain to writing speeches, sourcing for campaign funds, handling all forms of press releases in a timely manner, preparing and availing advertising copies accordingly, programming television and radio news and generally developing ideal publicity strategies for the candidate. From a psychological viewpoint, these are important as they impact significantly on the voters’ behavior.

As indicated earlier, the candidate may not be in position to run the campaign process individually. In order to attain optimal results, s/he requires a dedicated staff to work with. Usually, state parties tend to have vital information about the individuals and firms that are competent in provided ideal help during the campaign and election period. This is often derived from the records that they maintain over time. In particular, such records contain factual information and contacts of com.............


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