Competing for the Platform: The Politics of Interest Group Influence on Political Party Platforms in the United States

32 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2012

See all articles by Gina Yannitell Reinhardt

Gina Yannitell Reinhardt

Jennifer Nicoll Victor

George Mason University - Department of Public and International Affairs

Date Written: August 7, 2012

Abstract

While parties view interest groups as a means to mobilize voters, interest groups view parties and their platforms as a means to articulate interests. We demonstrate the conditions under which parties will articulate an organized interest group’s preferred positions in its quadrennial platform. Utility functions illustrate that parties will reward groups that can mobilize voters, as evidenced by a group’s resources, loyalty to the party, and ideological similarity to the party status quo. We test these implications using content analysis on three years of DNC platforms and group testimony. Results show that parties reward loyal groups that are ideologically near the party, but that resources have no effect.

Keywords: Parties, Interest Groups, Manifestos, Party Platforms, Median Voter, Campaign, Voter Mobilization

Suggested Citation

Reinhardt, Gina Yannitell and Victor, Jennifer Nicoll, Competing for the Platform: The Politics of Interest Group Influence on Political Party Platforms in the United States (August 7, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2125974 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2125974

Jennifer Nicoll Victor

George Mason University - Department of Public and International Affairs ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://mason.gmu.edu/~jvictor3

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