HGov: Party Organization


Political Parties Organization Structure

America’s parties are decentralized, fragmented organizations. Both major political parties in the United States are organized at the local, state, and national level. Committees manage the affairs of the party at each level.

The national party organization does not control the policies and activities of the state organizations, and these in turn do not control the local organizations. The national committee is made up of delegates from each state. A national chairperson oversees the day-to-day operations of the committee. The chairperson also makes public appearances to raise support for the party and improve its chances in upcoming elections.

Traditionally, the local organizations have controlled most of the party’s work force because most elections are contested at the local level. The organization of state and local committees mirrors the structure of the national committee. Each state has a central committee with a chairperson.

Beneath the state committee are various county committees. Some states also have committees at the city, town, or precinct level. A precinct is a local voting district. Local parties, however, vary markedly in their vitality. Whatever their level, America’s party organizations are relatively weak.

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