It is easy to predict that American political parties of the future will show a marked resemblance to those of the present. Given the success of our system of government, drastic changes are unlikely. Yet innovations too can be expected. Particularly in Presidential elections, the parties will need to change some current practices in order to assure their own position.
The trend of future development is toward a national political system. In Presidential elections at least, the parties will evidence four shifts of emphasis. They will be more competitive and less sectional. They will be more concerned with policy and less ambiguous and similar in their programs. They will be more centralized and less unstable confederations of state organizations. They will include more national figures in their leadership and fewer purely local personalities. These are relative, not absolute changes, but the differences may be crucial.
These changes are primarily due to the increasing social and political unity of the nation as a whole. The