Political parties in the United States are dominated by two major parties. Since the s they have been the Democratic Party and the Republican Party , This two-party system is based on laws, party rules and custom. Various small minor parties come and go and occasionally win major offices at the state level. Local offices, however, are often nonpartisan. The need to win popular support in a republic led to the American invention of voter-based political parties in the s.
The winning supporters of ratification of the Constitution were called Federalists, the opponents were called Anti-Federalists. The Federalist Era was a period in American history from roughly when the Federalist Party was dominant in American politics. This period saw the adoption of the United States Constitution and the expansion of the federal government. In addition, the era saw the growth of a strong nationalistic government under the control of the Federalist Party.
All or Nothing: How State Politics Became a Winner-Take-All World
When the 21st century began, no legislative chamber in the country was more volatile than the Indiana House. Control switched between Republicans and Democrats no fewer than six times between and The idea of a Democratic majority in Indiana is a dim memory at this point. Although they gave up three seats in November, they still hold two-thirds of the chamber. As in many other states, Democrats have been wiped out in rural counties.
Although the parties contest presidential elections every four years and have national party organizations, between elections they are often little more than loose alliances of state and local party organizations. Other parties have occasionally challenged the Democrats and Republicans. In the election , for example, former Republican president Theodore Roosevelt challenged Republican President William Howard Taft , splitting the votes of Republicans and allowing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win the presidency with only 42 percent of the vote, and the 2. Bush by attracting votes that otherwise would have been cast for Democrat Al Gore. In order to win a national election, a party must appeal to a broad base of voters and a wide spectrum of interests.