Membership and Pressure Groups

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  • Created by: Isabella
  • Created on: 08-06-14 10:32
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"Membership is a crucial factor in pressure group
· The success of large groups like the NRA, who has 5 million
members and was able to derail Obama's gun reforms and
AARP, which has 37 million and was successful in resisting
the attempts of Bush to reform social security
· Membership brings more money to the pressure groups, and
with that, access to lobbyists, the ability to advertise and
make campaign donations are much easier to have. For
example, NRA has 5 million members and a budget of $256
million, and similarly has made many campaign donations to
Bush and Obama.
· Easier to put pressure on politicians if there is a large
membership, as these members can be utilised to organise
large marches, write ins or call ins. If there are more people
pressuring them, they are more likely to respond to this
· The opposition of the pressure group. For example, many
pressure groups advocate gun control, however NRA
dominate the other side.
· AIPAC- a pressure group which supports pro Israeli policies
in the US, which is small in size but has support. This
support may lie in public opinion; many politicians may
support it because many Americans are pro Israeli
· Favourable Supreme Court decisions- the Supreme Court is
an access point for many low membership groups, for
example the cause of gay rights was advanced by Lawerence
v Texas which legalised homosexuality across all states
Conclusion: Membership is a crucial factor in deciding pressure
group success, as demonstrated by the success of NRA and AARP.
Although other factors like the Supreme Court may suggest
otherwise, membership wins out overall as this helps to gives
money to pressure groups and helps them to exert influence.


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