The American Party System: An Introduction to the Study of Political Parties in the United States

By Charles Edward Merriam | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
THE PARTY AND THE SELECTION OF
OFFICIAL PERSONNEL (Continued)

REVIEW OF THE PROCESS OF ELECTION

Once nominations are made, the party concentrates its efforts on success in the election.1

Organization, Propaganda and Finance are the central points to be covered in the campaign. The backbone of the Organization for the campaign is the "regular" party force, ready at hand for the struggle. This is supplemented by an auxiliary organization which reaches far beyond the limits of the usual standing army. The regular organization has its standard routine duties to perform, including the registration of voters, the conduct of the canvass, the execution of the party propaganda, the manning of the polls, the supervision of the count and the canvass. In an electorate of some 50,000,000 this is a task of no light proportions, and requires concerted effort of a large scale type. In times when popular excitement is at fever heat there will be many willing hands to aid in this operation, but in the "off" years, when popular interest is relatively slight, it will be much more difficult to obtain the force necessary to carry through the task vigorously and effectively.

____________________
1
See Ray, op. cit., Pt. III; Stanwood, History of Presidential Elections; Mc- Clure , Our Presidents and How We Make Them; H. M. Bishops, Presidential Nomination and Elections; Our Political Drama. Election statistics are often given in report of the Secretaries of States. Compilations are found in Appleton's Encyclopædia ( 1861 1903); The American Year Book, The New York World and New York Tribune Almanacs and of the Brooklyn Eagle and the Chicago Daily News. The best running accounts of election processes are found in the columns of the daily and weekly press. Some cities publish election statistics, regularly or irregularly.

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