Group Commitment Among U.S. Party Factions: A Perspective From Democratic and Republican National Convention Delegates
Parties need to win elections, but they also heed the policy preferences of activists to provide the incentive to mobilize. Moving beyond the debate as to whether parties as a whole are policy or office driven, we examine groups within parties and identify different factions that place differential emphasis on office-seeking versus policy-demanding. Using data from the 2012 Convention Delegate Study of Democratic and Republican Party national delegates, we identify distinct factional groups within each party. We map these factions within each party, finding policy-driven and office-driven factions of delegates in both Republican and Democratic parties. We evaluate each group’s response to political and party involvement, support for the larger party organization, and response to both intra- and interparty conflict. Finally, we make clear the picture of factional relationships within each party by accounting for how factional goals are integrated into the party organization over time.