Building on a sea change that began in the 1960s, the means of political engagement have continued to evolve at a rapid pace over the past decade. New methods of mobilization were wielded by inventive, ambitious candidates-as deftly illustrated by President Barack Obama’s efforts to reach young voters via his “net-roots” campaign-but also by a myriad of new organizations flush with cash in the wake of eroding campaign finance regulations (Shea 2010; Johnson 2011; Thurber and Nelson 2010). The ability to narrowcast carefully targeted voter messages, once a resource-, labor-, and time-intensive endeavor, has come to fruition with the ease of new technologies. Now, voters are just (if not more) apt to receive a text message, e-mail or tweet directly from a candidate or an advocacy group than they are to answer a knock on the door or receive a phone call from a party activist. As candidate-centered-or as Shea (1996) 104has termed them, consultant-driven-campaigns take even deeper root in the American electoral process, and the array of well-heeled advocacy groups attempting to influence electoral outcomes continues to multiply, one might question what, if any, distinct functions are left for local party organizations in a process that they once dominated. Local parties, at the front lines of voter mobilization for nearly two centuries, once again face a dramatically shifting context that appears to further challenge their political relevance.
|Title of host publication||The Parties Respond|
|Subtitle of host publication||Changes in American Parties and Campaigns, Fifth Edition|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||30|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2018|