Political Parties and Campaign Finance
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Political Parties and Campaign Finance book
This chapter discusses the role that political parties have played in financing elections, focusing primarily on the national parties. It analyzes the effects of recent changes to campaign finance rules, which the parties are working to adjust and adapt to in order to continue to play a relevant and important financial role in American elections. Parties are the only electoral actors primarily interested in building a majority coalition over the long term, and thus they are the funders most likely to spread their resources beyond the most competitive races, which in turn can make more races competitive. As the nation left the Civil War behind and entered an era of rapid industrialization and massive immigration, the parties became highly sectional. The major parties continued to raise some money from the candidates themselves, often extracting contributions from candidates who sought the party's nomination, but the big money was still raised from the infamous fat cats.