Title

Interest group influence on the ideological orientations of local party activists

Abstract

This paper uses a national survey of local Democratic and Republican Party officials to determine the extent to which interest group attempts to develop a formal organizational presence within the grassroots Democratic and Republican parties might push the parties towards taking more ideologically extreme positions. It is hypothesized that members of predominantly Democratic and Republican groups will be more ideologically extreme than other local party officials. The survey results provide support for the hypothesis. Group-influenced party activists tend to be more ideologically extreme than other party officials. However, while a large percentage of Democratic and Republican local party officials are members of interest groups, only a relatively small percentage reported being recruited to party activism through their group involvement. The survey provides little support for the thesis that interest groups have systematically tried to "take over" grassroots party organizations.

Department(s)

Political Science

Document Type

Article

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soscij.2007.https://doi.org/10.002

Publication Date

2007

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