What is the role of political parties?

Political parties contribute money to their candidates and make expenditures on their behalf, but party money accounts for only a small share of most candidates' campaign funds. In 2012, party money made up only 1 percent of House candidates' receipts and 3 percent of Senate candidates' receipts. This money was contributed and spent by the two parties' House and Senate campaign committees: the National Republican Congressional Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.10

These committees also offer practical advice on how to run a campaign, and help with fundraising, voter registration, and get- out-the-vote drives. These services are especially useful to candidates who are running for the first time or who are in close contests. The Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee usually do not get involved in House and Senate races, but they provide similar services to presidential candidates.11

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