Patterns of political party activity among U.S. cities

Timothy Bledsoe, Susan Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Urban political parties have enormous potential for affecting local politics, as was demonstrated in the era of the party machine. But we have little systematic knowledge of where and under what circumstances parties remain as viable forces in our cities. Using a measure of local party activity obtained from a survey of elected municipal officials in 186 American cities, this study attempts to identify the conditions that accompany active urban parties. The prevailing level of party activity is found in part to be a function of community education level, region, and city size, but the overriding influence is found to be the presence of legally nonpartisan elections. Further, a connection is found between the level of party activity in a city and voter turnout in city elections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-269
Number of pages21
JournalUrban Affairs Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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