1.What is the structure of the state parties? How big is the permanent staff of each? How centralized or decentralized are they (i.e., power focused at the state or county/precinct level)? Who are the party leaders and how are they chosen? How are rank and file (usually local) party officials chosen (i.e., how open/accessible vs. closed/complicated is the process by which local members attain their positions)?
2. To what extent is each party dominant in office-holding positions? Who (and what party) are the Governor and U.S. Senators? What are the party breakdowns in the state’s U.S. House delegation and in the state legislature? Are there especially prominent, nationally recognized party elected officials?
3. Describe the procedures by which the state parties choose their presidential nominees. When do these take place, and have those dates remained relatively constant since 2004? Is it a caucus or a primary? How many delegates to the national convention does each state party have? Describe the process by which the state’s delegates for each party are chosen. Do the parties differ on any of these factors? Are there reasons for those differences (or similarities)?
4. Do these elected officials seem to be strongly identified with the parties themselves, or are they “mavericks” who seem to be somewhat independent of their party and its core ideas?