State political parties broke, fundraising less important
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri's Republican and Democratic parties were in debt with just about a year left before the 2016 primary elections and must essentially start from scratch in terms of fundraising.
But political scientists said the parties need less money after the Missouri Legislature in 2008 repealed limits on campaign contributions, which has changed the political dynamic in the state and shrunk the role of parties in elections.
Political leaders and experts said parties still matter in terms of candidate recruitment, on-the-ground campaigning and data-driven voter analysis.
But unlimited direct donations meant individual candidates were bringing in more money and had increasing influence.