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Political Parties

A political party is an alliance of like-minded people who work together to win elections and control of the government. Political parties work to win as many offices in the government as they can so that they can put the party’s policies into effect. Like most presidential democracies, the United States has only two powerful political parties: the Democrats and the Republicans.

Interest Groups

An interest group is an organization of people who share a specific common interest and work together to promote that interest through government via lobbying or grassroots activism. Interest groups give voice to the people outside of elections, but can sometimes skew government policy.

The Media

The media refers to the private organizations that keep the public informed about politics and current events through newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and the Internet. The media also keep the government in check and can even influence the government agenda by deciding what to cover.

Campaigns and Elections

Because the United States is a democracy, the president, vice president, members of Congress, state governors, and many state, county, and city office holders must campaign for their positions in an election.