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How The Campaign Finance System Affected Party Organizations In The 2008 Elections

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Executive Summary

This paper explores changes and continuities in how parties organized themselves in the 2008 elections through the lens of party financing. Two questions motivate this analysis. First, how do changes in campaign finance laws affect political parties? In this study the author observes changes wrought by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, which was implemented in the 2004 elections. The second question is closely related to the first. How does the presidential public financing system, started in 1972, interact with the new campaign finance law to shape party activity? In the past decade, the public financing program has become increasingly obsolete because it does not provide sufficient resources or flexibility to run contemporary presidential campaigns.

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