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Brett M. Clifton, "Romancing the GOP: Assessing the Strategies Used by the Christian Coalition to Influence the Republican Party," Party Politics, 10 (September, 2004), 475-498.

First Paragraph:
Despite the increasing involvement of interest groups and social movement organizations in the American political system over the past few decades, only recently has some attention been given to understanding how their activities affect political parties. To investigate the relationship between parties and groups, I examine the interactions between the Christian Coalition and the Republican Party. Relying on 17 interviews with national Republican and Christian Coalition officials, and a mail survey of 423 Republican county chairs, I argue that the Christian Coalition has used electoral mobilization and policy expertise more than financial clout to influence the party. These results have important ramifications for the relationship between groups and political parties.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Christian Coalition influence models
Table 2. Christian Coalition strategy models

Last Paragraph:
Finally, researchers need to investigate why some groups are successful on some but not other issues. For example, why has the Christian Right been successful at influencing the GOP on abortion and tax cuts but not trade policy with China? Studying the strategies used by business interests to influence the party might help shed some light on this matter. More research is needed in this area before we can completely understand how social movement organizations and interest groups secure influence with political parties, and then determine what effect that influence has on the ability of parties to represent citizen interests.