Political parties play a wide variety of roles in mobilizing and organizing individuals, despite never being "officially constituted" as political organizations. Throughout the modern history of the Lone Star State, Texans in large numbers have identified with one of the two major parties. The trend in party identification has weakened somewhat in recent years, with the number of self-identified Democrats experiencing the greater part of that decline . However, even with the weakening of party identification, thousands of individuals still use the major political parties as a means of participating in politics.
Through their involvement active participants shape the organization and leadership of the political parties. Acting as individuals or members of interest groups, Texans participate in selecting the officers of what we've referred to as "the party-as-organization." Additionally, active citizens are directly involved in selecting party nominees for public office through political volunteering and voting. We even help shape the party in the electorate through our every day interactions and conversations with friends and neighbors.
The functions that parties perform in a political system are the results of millions of individual political acts. There are a number of ways in which you, like other citizens and organized groups, can participate in parties and use parties to participate in politics. These include: