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Political Parties and Elections
A political party is an organization whose purpose is to gain and hold legitimate control of government; it is usually composed of people with similar attitudes, interests, and socioeconomic status. A political party (J) develops and articulates policy positions, (2) educates voters about issues and simplifies the choices for them, and (3) recruits candidates who agree with those policies. helps those candidates win office, and holds the candidates responsible for implementing the party's policy positions. In carrying out these functions, a party may try to modify the demands of special interests, build a consensus that could win majority support, and provide simple and identifiable choices (or the voters on election day.
Political parties create a platform, a formal statement of the party's political positions on various social and economic issues.

Since the Civil War. the Democratic and Republican parties have dominated the U.S. political system. Although one party may control the presidency for several terms. at some point the voters elect the other party's nominee, and control shifts. for a look at the major political parties in U.S. history.

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