Essay Questions

1. Discuss the similarities and differences between political parties and interest groups. How do their goals overlap? Why are they considered two distinct concepts? Provide support and examples within your answer.

2. Consider the idea that all party realignments have occurred because of racial issues in the United States. Provide and examine in detail two examples of party realignment that took place in the context of major racial issues.

3. Discuss the ways in which money and political party politics are intertwined. How has the relationship between money and political parties shifted over time? Is money the main or sole source of power for these groups?

4. Consider why we talk about racial and ethnic minority groups (particularly Latinos, Asian Americans, and American Indians) in terms of “party support” and “views of political parties” rather than party identification. Consider various factors regarding these groups that would lead to a lesser degree of connection to political parties.

5. Discuss whether the results of the 2016 presidential election and the 2018 midterm election reflect the concepts of party dealignment and party realignment. Examine the degree to which these elections suggest that there is party polarization.