Discuss the ramifications of changes in levels of American partisanship (party affiliation and identity) on the power of political parties in the present era? How do the trends of de-alignment or lower rates of party loyalty and realignment reflect changes in the issues and mobilization of groups into the process?
In my mind, the most intense ramification of change in political partisanship in America has to do with spending of political action committees. I think that an argument can be made that while the fundamental difference between both parties is not that much, there is a significant difference in the political action groups that spend on a particular candidate's election cycle. It is here in which the trends of party loyalty and alignment can be seen.
Mobilization of these groups becomes a significant part of loyalty to partisan brand. Karl Rove's group or Sarah Palin's political action committee spring into action whenever election cycles come around. Candidates feel obliged, if nothing else because of financial reality, to make significant overtures to these groups. These groups do much to determine the perception of a candidate's loyalty and affiliation to a particular party. These groups also play a significant role in the mobilization in these groups' attempt to demonstrate their perception of party loyalty. The unlimited spending power of these groups' political advocacy play a significant role in levels of partisanship and party loyalty in modern American politics.