Parties serve as one of several channels for communities and organized interest groups to communicate their wishes to elected representatives and appointed officials. The executive committees and conventions on every level (precinct, county, district, state, and nation), for example, are important mechanisms by which constituents may be heard. The caucuses within the parties also work to shape the party platform, yet another way party members communicate preferences to their office holders.
Since candidates raise most of their funds and form campaign organizations directly, independently of the party organization, they are more likely to listen to their own constituents than those of the general party if elected to office. But the parties remain important vehicles for influencing these officials.