On Being a Republican in Massachusetts: Notes of a Party Chairman

In the 1970s the Democratic and Republican national and state parties initiated efforts at party renewal in order to reverse their declining institutional power. Between 1980 and 1987 the Massachusetts Republican Party undertook a renewal effort modeled after that of the Republican National Committee under William Brock. This model emphasized the provision to candidates and to the grassroots party organization of campaign services such as literature design, polling, direct mail fund-raising, telephone banks, and campaign schools. The Massachusetts Republican Party concentrated these services to candidates for the state legislature, achieving the largest net gain in seats since 1962. Campaign technology as a party renewal strategy has inherent limits, which may now have been reached; further progress may require changes in the ideology and image of the state party.