• Political parties form for the simple purpose of winning
• It is a group of people who share common goals and
attempt to control government.
• Difference between political parties and interest groups
• Address more issues
• Nominates and runs candidates for office.
• Interest Group- Group of individuals who strongly
support a certain political cause. The cause may be an
item of legislation, an industry, or a particular section of
society. Such as the NRA.
• The basic structure of the
two major political parties
in the U.S. are described
• Coalition means each
party consists of a variety
of groups that come
together to win elections.
• These groups usually
agree on vague ideas,
however there’s a lot of
tension that forms.
• Parties in other countries
exhibit a structure
labeled as ideological.
• This means a group or
party that is built around
a set of principles.
• Because there is a lot of
Texas, ideological groups
tend to not work because
the political parties need
to appeal to a broad sets
• Conventions- are formal party meetings to
select leadership delegates and create
• Platforms - the statement of principles
passed by a political party’s convention.
• There are 4 types of conventions.
• One of the first political parties to organize in
Texas were the Democrats, who were established
• During this period in time, there wasn’t much
competition so Democrats fought Democrats
in elections. The key group in this would be
• Factions- divisions within a political party
• Each faction varied in size but had similar views
• Redeemers- got their name because they wanted
to “redeem” the South from the Republicans.
• Liberals- supported Roosevelt's New Deal
• Conservatives- disliked Roosevelt and
HATED his New Deal programs.
• Texas Regulars- A conservative faction of the
Democratic party during the 1940’s.
• Democrats of Texas- A liberal faction of the
Democratic Party during the 1950’s.
• Fun Fact: The victory of Republican Bill Clements
in the 1978’s governor’s race ended 105 years of
Democratic control of that office.
• At that point Democrats realized that they no longer
have the luxury to fight amongst themselves. They
wanted to keep all their supporters which included
Blue collar workers
Rural Conservatives (Yellow Dog Democrats)
• The Democrats still till this day do well among both
African Americans and Hispanics.
• Believe in a strong national government that
protects the interest of individuals while
promoting a stronger union. Calls for increased
national government spending.
• Believes that decision making should be closest
to the people, with significant powers dispersed
to state and local governments. Downsizing
the federal government.
• Before 2003, the last republican party that
controlled Texas was during the reign of E.J.
• Although Democrats were dominating, two factors
caused the state to turn more Republican.
• One factor was that the national party started to
become more liberal but the state party stayed
• The other factor was the differences between the
Republican and Democratic parties in 1952.
• Senator Tower’s 1961 victory started the
foundation for the growth of the Republican
Party. He won again in 1966 and 1972.
• In 1978, Tower not only won again, but a
Republican Governor was also elected for the
first time since Reconstruction.
• Democrats still controlled the legislature though.
The Reagan Revolution
• In 1982, the Republicans took a step back when they lost
the governor’s office.
• They rebounded quick in 1984 when Reagan and Bush
ran the ticket again.
• Texas couldn’t be considered a two-party state in 1986
because the Republicans showed an inability to win
statewide down-ballot races.
• Down-ballot races- contests below the level of the
president, governor, or U.S. senator.
• So these include the lieutenant governor, attorney
general, Supreme Court justice, railroad
commissioner, and comptroller.
• Texas became a two-party
state on Election Day of
• Texans voted for
• Then in the down ballot
races, Republicans won 3
Supreme Court seats, chief
justice, and railroad
Party Politics in the New Millennium
• As the Republican Party has risen, it was
plagued with factionalism.
• It’s divided into 3 different factions:
• Economic Conservatives- believe in lower
taxes and less business regulation
• Libertarian Conservatives- fear government
intrusion on an individual’s life
• Social Conservatives- believe the biggest
problems are caused by nation’s moral decay