Chapter 2: Party Organization as an Empty Vessel: Parties in American Politics
Richard S. Katz & Robin Kolodny
Party organization as an empty vessel: Parties in american politics Conventionally, the United States is described as having two parties — the Democrats and the Republicans. At one level, this is accurate. In 1991, all one hundred senators, 434 out of 435 members of the House of Representatives, and the president and vice-president had been elected either as Democrats or as Republicans, as had 49 of the 50 state governors. Indeed, what was remarkable about the 1990 and 1992 congressional elections was the high number (that is, one) of candidates elected who were not Democrats or Republicans — the highest number since 1952. With a few minor exceptions, the Democratic and Republican labels dominate state and local politics as well. While many American ballots appear notable for the large number of candidates and parties, it is very rare that more than two candidates — the Democrat and the Republican — ...