chapter  4
25 Pages

The Parties’ National Organizations

The Democratic and Republican national party organizations are probably more powerful now than they have ever been. Today's Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Republican National Committee (RNC) are multimillion-dollar fund-raising and candidate-support operations. Officially, each major party's supreme national authority is the national convention it holds every four years to nominate a presidential candidate. Each party's national committee is a gathering of representatives from all its state parties; its leaders run the national party on a daily basis. The national Republican network includes small business groups, the National Rifle Association, and groups of conservative Christians. Although these groups are not formally a part of the party organizations, they communicate extensively with party organization leaders and play a big role in party campaigns. A party organization that supports candidates' campaigns with money and other resources, as opposed to running the campaigns itself, can be termed a service party.