First 270 words of the document:
Why do pressure groups
play such as a significant
role in US politics?
Fragmented political system, as it is split at state and federal
level. Because of this, there is a multitude of access points
for pressure groups to exert their influence- federal and state
branches of government, local government, state initiatives,
recalls and propositions.
Weak parties. Parties do not have as much control over their
members, and there is not much party discipline, and
members do not as often vote their parties, thus there is
more of a chance for a Congress member to vote with a
Election campaigns are costly, and there is limited party
financial support available. Thus, pressure groups often fund
them and this lets them have some influence later to ensure
financial backing. Although this been harder in recent years,
the emergence of PACs and Super PACs have helped. For
example, the NRA funded Bush's re election and in return he
promised not to interfere with gun laws.
Initiatives and Propositions. Pressure groups can bypass
politicians altogether, and fund a initiative/proposition "yes"
or "no" campaign, and allow their goals to be achieved this
way. For example, Mormons funded the Proposition 8
campaign, which banned same sex marriage in California.
There is a diverse population of the US, and not all of their
needs can be met by parties, thus pressure groups fulfil this
function for some, like the NAACP.