The purpose and functions of political parties in the United States

§ The purpose and functions of political parties in the United States

§ The various ways U.S. citizens can participate in the campaign and election process

§ The function and purpose of caucuses and primary elections in political campaigns, particularly in the presidential election process

§ The role the national political party conventions play in the presidential election process

§ The presidential general election campaign process, and the important factors and events that influence it

§ The role the media (TV, radio, internet, social media) plays in modern political campaigns

§ The role and influence of money in the modern political campaign

Political Parties, Political Participation, Campaigns, and Elections Multimedia Presentation


Purpose of Political Parties


Above you will find the purpose of a political party is to find people that have the same interests in which groups are formed based of these interests. They then nominate candidates for public office and try to get as many elected as possible. This is as simple as it can get but you have to consider that this is not an easy process. It requires time, organization, and dedication when trying to get people to agree with the ideas or interests and form these groups. It then takes even more time to get these candidates nominated (Cliffnotes, 2016).



The purpose of political parties are people that work together to create and implement policies.



Nominate candidates for public office and to get as many of them elected as possible.






Functions of Political Parties

Political parties not only represent themselves but also others. They bring others together to form control over the government in order to get candidates. Policies are important because it shows what is of interest to the group and their supporters. These give an idea of expectations and the interest these group members have. As explained in the previous slide, organization and persuasion are essential when trying to get voters to elect their candidate so it is crucial that every interest, policy, and idea gets across in all forms so that voters can see what they stand for.



They represent groups and individuals



Bring people together to achieve control over the government



Develop policies favorable to their group and supporter interests



Organize and persuade voters to elect their candidates to office












How can U.S. citizens participate in campaign and election process?


First and foremost, it is important that you register to vote because every vote counts. If you don’t vote many people see it as you not caring whether the next person that is elected destroys our country. If you have views and think specific changes should be made, voice your opinion by voting. You can use social media to explain your view on the parties at hand as well as maybe getting the attention of others and persuading them to vote too even if it is not for the same person (agree to disagree). A great way to communicate with others in the community and obtain insight and perspective of others while promoting who you fit best to be elected would be to speak directly to other voters. Show how important it is to you and what the candidate you side with has to offer (Trish






Register to vote and vote after thinking about which candidate is more ideal for what you want for your country, neighborhood, and other citizens. (Very important)






You can use social media to influence/sway others






Speak directly to other voters (knocking on doors, make phone calls from a local campaign office, collect information, etc.)












Participation in the election process Cont.

Reaching out to fellow classmates is a great option as well because there are many groups, meetings, and social events for politics that you can join. Posters and signs are a great way to advertise who or what you believe in and plan to vote for. Have you ever heard the term “actions speak louder than words”? This term speaks volume when it comes to the election process. I say this because if you are expecting the candidates to believe in the importance such as keeping parks safe and clean for all children than you should or could join a clean up service or even a neighborhood watch service (Trishgart, 2012).



Reach out to other students



Create posters and signs



Do acts to show what you expect for you and your citizens (such as keep up with the neighborhoods, keeping parks clean for children, etc. anything that is of importance to not only you but others)







Function and Purpose of Caucuses in Presidential Election Process

Caucuses in the presidential election process allow states to choose political parties’ nominees for the general election. Private meetings are held to select delegates to the next round. It is important to get the most votes by discussion and persuasion before the final count is take. This requires explaining the interests each group holds and why it’s important to drag them in on their side.



Allow states to choose the political parties’ nominees for the general election



Private Meetings (by political parties) in which candidates select delegates to the next round



Try to get as most votes as possible by discussion and persuasion in the group before the final count is taken











Function and Purpose of Primary in the Presidential Election Process

Primary in the presidential election serves the same purpose as a caucuses. However, they do not show up to a party, discuss options and persuade members to join groups. They show up, cast a ballot, and leave. These can be open which is to general public, closed which is for members of a political party, top-two narrows the number to two candidates, or a hybrid which consists of voters who have not previously chosen a political party have the option to choose which primary’s to vote for.



Primary serve the same purpose as caucuses which would be to choose political parties for the general election.



Show up, cast a ballot, and leave



Can be open, closed, top-two, or hybrid







The Role the National Political Party Conventions Play in the Presidential Election Process

Hold a convention every four years by political parties


Designed to nominate and develop a statement of purpose and principles known as the party platform (“Lumen Boundless Political Science, 2016”).



Send out invitations known as “The Call” to select a nominee (“Lumen Boundless Political Science, 2016”).


Democratic Party, 2008: An image of future President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden after they were officially nominated for the Democratic ticket at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.



A convention is held at a chosen location every four years by political parties. In the image above is President Obama and Joe Biden after being nominated for the Democratic ticket in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention. The role of the National Political Party is to also send out invitations know as the call to select a nominee. More times then none they are already aware of who will be nominated before the event. (“Lumen Boundless Political Science”, 2016).




The Role the National Political Party Conventions Cont.

Provides evening speeches

Provides the stage for the nominees



Democratic Party, 2008: An image of future President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden after they were officially nominated for the Democratic ticket at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Political Party Conventions provides events for evening speeches, stages for the nominees, and can be a place to hold rally’s as well. As you can see in the picture above these conventions are huge and are generally a place where many supporters will go.



The Presidential General Campaign Process


Step 1. The candidates

Step 2. The Debates

Step 3. The Primaries and Caucuses

Step 4. The Running Mates (Vice President)

Step 5. The National Conventions

Step 6. The Electoral College

Step 7. The General Election



The presidential general campaign process can feel lengthy. Generally the steps include determining the candidates in order to do this the candidates must first be a natural born citizen, be at minimum 35 years old and a U.S. Resident for 14 years. Then, holding debates, the primaries and caucuses, determining the vice president (“running mates”), the National Conventions, The Electoral College, and then the General Election. The image above is a great preview of what it consists of and symbols as to what each step means.



Important Factors that Influence the Presidential General Campaign Process

Class, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, etc. every part of one person that is important to them will be an important factor that will heavily influence their decision on who they will vote for. This goes hand and hand with the campaign process because if the campaigns do not show what the voter wants to hear or see from a candidate they are highly unlikely to vote for that candidate. A voter’s party identification is determined by what political party they claim or have adopted respect for based off of other people that influence them such as family, friends, their neighborhoods, the day and age when they were born, etc. The voter’s view of performance is what they see as how far a president or candidate has gone and can go. For example, Obama went two terms and could not go any further (, 2018).



Voter’s background and identification with candidates



The voter’s party identification



The voter’s view of performance











Important Events that Influence the Presidential General Campaign Process

All of these invents are crucial to the presidential general campaign process. Rally’s in different swing states are important because they have different diversity, cultures, you can help get your message out and get to know who you really are. It is more of an intimate type setting and many people will take notice to someone traveling to a different state just to show their support. Debates are important to keep your attention on because they send many messages from both candidates in which you need to get an idea of how to express those messages to other to get other supporters. These debates show true colors when it comes to the candidate expressing how they feel on certain areas and what they can do that the other candidate can’t.



Rally’s in different swing states






November 6th Presidential Election (Voting Day)



Primary Caucuses and primaries



The National Convention















What role does Media Play in Modern Political Campaigns?


To inform citizens about competing political parties



Provide citizens with voter educational material



Broadcasters of media can not influence opinions by suggesting which one to vote for but can create discussions or topics on the politics and candidates at hand to get people involved



Media such as Facebook, Twitter, television, radio, ads through apps, etc. are all important when it comes to campaigns. When competing to get elected this is one of the best options towards getting the attention of voters and keeping it. You are constantly doing something whether you are on your phone, driving in the car listening to the radio or even pandora, watching tv, etc. If a broadcast goes out for a candidate it is more than a great chance you will hear or see it and then automatically start to form an opinion on what you thought of it. This is what they want in order to get votes. Media is a great way to explain what citizens can do to get registered to vote and educate them on why every vote counts regardless of who you do or do not like. While media can broadcast just about anything, they are not allowed to influence or suggest which citizen to vote for.




The role of money in the Modern Political Campaign

Candidates have to raise and use private funds to finance their campaigns.


Campaign staff, office space, advertisements, travel, etc. cost money


Media ads, broadcasting services, etc. can come at a cost


Signs, shirts, pins, or any other voting marketing materials cost money


If you think about everything that becoming a candidate has to include such as the above, the cost can add up. Candidates have to raise and use their own funds to finance their campaigns. The majority of these funds can come from banks, billionaires, & wealthy special interests. Sometimes, people will also donate to help which gains more influence.





CliffNotes(2016). Retrieved from


Tishgart, S. (2012, April). What You Need to Know to Volunteer for a Political Campaign. TeenVogue, (), . Retrieved from


Long, W. (2016). The Difference Between Primaries and Caucuses. followmyvote, (), . Retrieved from


Lumen Boundless Political Science(2016). Retrieved from



References Cont. Retrieved from (2018). Video [Multimedia]. Retrieved from, POL102 website.









References Cont. (3)

BBC News (2013, October 24). US ELECTIONS: WHERE DOES THE MONEY COME FROM? – BBC NEWS [Video file]. Retrieved from YouTube website:

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