Political parties in the United States

Popular votes to political parties during presidential elections.
Political parties derivation. Dotted line means unofficially.

American electoral politics have been dominated by two major political parties since shortly after the founding of the republic.

- Political parties in the United States
Popular votes to political parties during presidential elections.

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Libertarian Party (United States)

David Nolan, founder of the Libertarian Party, with the Nolan Chart
Original TANSTAAFL logo
A recent logo of the Libertarian Party
Former Governor Gary Johnson during the 2012 election
The presidential election results for all Libertarian Party candidates from 1972.
Wyoming State Representative Marshall Burt (L–Green River)
Gary Johnson's performance in the 2016 election shown by county, with darker shades indicating stronger support
Representative Justin Amash, the first Libertarian member of Congress
Libertarian Party Porcupine
Libertarian protester at the 2010 Tea Party tax day, St. Paul, Minnesota
A Libertarian banner at an abortion rights rally

The Libertarian Party (LP) is a political party in the United States that promotes civil liberties, non-interventionism, laissez-faire capitalism, and limiting the size and scope of government.

Green Party of the United States

Membership in the Green Party of the United States by year
Musician Jello Biafra ran for the Green Party's presidential nomination in 2000, and has run for other offices with the Green Party
Malik Rahim, former Black Panther Party activist, ran for Congress in 2008 with the Green Party
2012 and 2016 Green presidential nominee, Jill Stein, served from 2005 to 2010 as a member of Lexington's Town Meeting

The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) is a federation of Green state political parties in the United States.

Federalist Party

A portrait of Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull, 1806
The Apotheosis of Washington as seen looking up from the Capitol rotunda in Washington, D.C.
Gilbert Stuart, John Adams, c. 1800-1815
President Thomas Jefferson
President James Madison

The Federalist Party was a traditionalist conservative party that was the first political party in the United States.

Democratic-Republican Party

Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams in the 1800 presidential election, thereby becoming the first Democratic-Republican president.
The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 totaled 827,987 sqmi, doubling the size of the United States.
Albert Gallatin served as Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Jefferson and Madison.
James Monroe, the third Democratic-Republican president
Four Democratic-Republicans sought the presidency in 1824: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, William H. Crawford, and Henry Clay.
John Quincy Adams won the 1824 presidential election as a Democratic-Republican after leaving the Federalist Party earlier in his career.
Presidential election results from 1796 to 1824. Darker shades of green indicate that the state generally supported the Democratic-Republicans, and darker shades of brown indicate that the state generally supported the Federalists.
John Randolph of Roanoke was a prominent member of a group of Southern plantation owners known as the Old Republicans.
Andrew Jackson led a faction of Democratic-Republicans that ultimately coalesced into the Democratic Party.

The Democratic-Republican Party, also referred to as the Jeffersonian Republican Party and known at the time as the Republican Party and occasional other names, was an American political party founded by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in the early 1790s that championed republicanism, agrarianism, political equality, and expansionism.

History of the Republican Party (United States)

One of the two major political parties in the United States.

One of the two major political parties in the United States.

Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President (1861–1865)
This Democratic editorial cartoon links John C. Frémont to other radical movements including temperance, feminism, Fourierism, free love, Catholicism and abolition
National Union ticket in 1864 as party men gave these to voters to deposit in the ballot box
African-American members of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives: Sen. Hiram Revels (R-MS) and Reps. Benjamin Turner (R-AL), Robert DeLarge (R-SC), Josiah Walls (R-FL), Jefferson Long (R-GA), Joseph Rainey and Robert B. Elliott (R-SC), 1872
Ulysses S. Grant was the first Republican president to serve for two full terms (1869–1877)
An 1896 Republican poster warns against free silver
Theodore Roosevelt leads party to landslide win in 1904
Theodore Roosevelt's 1908 Farewell speeches sought progressive laws that did not pass Congress
President Theodore Roosevelt watches the party team pull apart on tariff issue
Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, 1953: the first Republican presidential inauguration in 24 years
Arizona Senator and 1964 Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater was a key figure of the American conservative movement in the 1950s and 1960s
Richard Nixon currently holds the record for most states won in a presidential election, 49 excluding Massachusetts and D.C. in 1972
Ronald Reagan launched the "Reagan Revolution" with his election to the presidency in 1980, providing conservative influence that continues to the present day
George H. W. Bush, the first former vice president to become president by vote rather than by the death or resignation of the sitting president since 1836, ended the Cold War during his term
Newt Gingrich, House Speaker (1995–1999), was the most visible adversary for President Bill Clinton
The presidency of George W. Bush was greatly impacted by the events of the September 11th terrorist attacks
John Boehner, House Speaker (2011–2015), was the most visible adversary for President Barack Obama
2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was the first Mormon nominated for president by either major party
Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States

It is the second-oldest extant political party in the United States after its rival, the Democratic Party.

A 2016 general election ballot, listing the presidential and vice presidential candidates

United States presidential election

Indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the fifty U.S. states or in Washington, D.C., cast ballots not directly for those offices, but instead for members of the Electoral College.

Indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the fifty U.S. states or in Washington, D.C., cast ballots not directly for those offices, but instead for members of the Electoral College.

A 2016 general election ballot, listing the presidential and vice presidential candidates
Comparison of the popular vote totals since 1900.
The hand-written copy of the natural-born-citizen clause as it appeared in 1787
A 2008 Democratic caucus meeting in Iowa City, Iowa. The Iowa caucuses are traditionally the first major electoral event of presidential primaries and caucuses.
Madison Square Garden in New York City, the site of the 1976, 1980, and 1992 Democratic National Conventions; and the 2004 Republican National Convention.
The floor of the 2008 Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
A Texas voter about to mark a selection for president on a ballot, 2008 Election Day
2020 Election
John Adams was the first of 26 presidents who have been lawyers.
Popular vote percentage
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The nomination process, consisting of the primary elections and caucuses and the nominating conventions, was not specified in the Constitution, but was developed over time by the states and political parties.

Popular votes to political parties during presidential elections.

National Republican Party

Popular votes to political parties during presidential elections.

The National Republican Party, also known as the Anti-Jacksonian Party or simply Republicans, was a political party in the United States that evolved from a faction of the Democratic-Republican Party that supported John Quincy Adams in the 1824 presidential election.

John Quincy Adams, the 6th president, became a Whig congressman later in his career.

Whig Party (United States)

Political party that espoused traditionalist conservatism in the United States during the middle of the 19th century.

Political party that espoused traditionalist conservatism in the United States during the middle of the 19th century.

John Quincy Adams, the 6th president, became a Whig congressman later in his career.
Henry Clay, a founder of the Whig Party in the 1830s and its 1844 presidential nominee
Daniel Webster, a leading Whig from New England
William Henry Harrison, a two-time presidential candidate who became the first Whig president in 1841 but died just one month into office
William Henry Harrison defeated Martin Van Buren in the 1840 presidential election, thereby becoming the first Whig president
President John Tyler clashed with congressional Whigs and was expelled from the party.
Zachary Taylor served in the Mexican-American War and later won the 1848 presidential election as the Whig nominee.
The United States settled the Texas-Mexico border and acquired portions of seven current states in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Portions of present-day Arizona and New Mexico were later acquired in the 1853 Gadsden Purchase.
A political cartoon satirizing the candidacy of either Zachary Taylor or Winfield Scott in the 1848 presidential election
Millard Fillmore, the last Whig president
Gen. Winfield Scott, the unsuccessful Whig candidate in the 1852 presidential election
Whig journalist Horace Greeley
John J. Crittenden, an influential Whig leader who later established the short-lived Constitutional Union Party to contest the election of 1860
U.S. presidential election results from 1828 to 1852. Darker shades of blue indicate states that generally voted for the Democratic Party, while darker shades of yellow/brown indicate states that generally voted for the Whig or National Republican Party.
Charles Sumner, an anti-slavery "Conscience Whig" who later joined the Republican Party
Edward Everett, a pro-South "Cotton Whig"
Abraham Lincoln, a former Whig congressman, won the 1860 presidential election on the Republican ticket.
John Marshall Harlan, who began his career as a Whig officeholder, served on the Supreme Court from 1877 to 1911.

Alongside the slightly larger Democratic Party, it was one of the two major parties in the United States between the late 1830s and the early 1850s as part of the Second Party System.

Democratic Party (United States)

Andrew Jackson was the seventh president of the United States (1829–1837) and the first Democratic president.
Martin Van Buren was the eighth president of the United States (1837–1841) and the second Democratic president.
Senator Stephen A. Douglas
The 1885 inauguration of Grover Cleveland, the only president with non-consecutive terms
Leaders of the Democratic Party during the first half of the 20th century on 14 June 1913: Secretary of State William J. Bryan, Josephus Daniels, President Woodrow Wilson, Breckinridge Long, William Phillips, and Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, 32nd and 33rd presidents of the United States (1933–1945; 1945–1953), featured on a campaign poster for the 1944 presidential election
John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, 35th and 36th presidents of the United States (1961–1963, 1963–1969)
Jimmy Carter, 39th president of the United States (1977–1981), delivering the State of the Union Address in 1979
Bill Clinton, 42nd president of the United States (1993–2001), at The Pentagon in 1998
Barack Obama speaking to College Democrats of America in 2007
President Barack Obama meeting with the Blue Dog Coalition in the State Dining Room of the White House in 2009
Eleanor Roosevelt at the 1956 Democratic National Convention in Chicago
President Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law at the White House on March 23, 2010
Secretary of State John Kerry addressing delegates at the United Nations before signing the Paris Agreement on April 22, 2016
Shirley Chisholm was the first major-party African American candidate to run nationwide primary campaigns.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Immigration Act of 1965 as Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy and others look on
Then-Senator Barack Obama shaking hands with an American soldier in Basra, Iraq in 2008
President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1978
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with President Barack Obama at Ben Gurion Airport in 2013
Self-identified Democrats (blue) versus self-identified Republicans (red) (January–June 2010 data)
Higher percentages of Democrats than Republicans are members of union households.
Elected at age 33, Jon Ossoff is currently the youngest member of the U.S. Senate.
Hillary Clinton was the first woman to be nominated for president by a major party.
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg
Vice President Kamala Harris
Julián Castro served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
U.S. opinion on gun control issues is deeply divided along political lines, as shown in this 2021 survey.

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States.

Republican Party (United States)

Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States (1861–1865) and the first Republican to hold the office
Charles R. Jennison, an anti-slavery militia leader associated with the Jayhawkers from Kansas and an early Republican politician in the region
Ulysses S. Grant, 18th president of the United States (1869–1877)
James G. Blaine, 28th & 31st Secretary of State (1881; 1889–1892)
William McKinley, 25th president of the United States (1897–1901)
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States (1901–1909)
Herbert Hoover, 31st president of the United States (1929–1933)
Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States (1981–1989)
Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States (2017–2021)
Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the United States (1923–1929)
Arnold Schwarzenegger, 38th governor of California (2003–2011)
John McCain, United States senator from Arizona (1987–2018)
Donald Rumsfeld, 21st United States Secretary of Defense (2001–2006)
Colin Powell, 65th United States Secretary of State (2001–2005)
Newt Gingrich, 50th Speaker of the House of Representatives (1995–1999)
Annual population growth in the U.S. by county - 2010s
This map shows the vote in the 2020 presidential election by county.
Political Spectrum Libertarian Left    Centrist   Right  Authoritarian
U.S. opinion on gun control issues is deeply divided along political lines, as shown in this 2021 survey.

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP ("Grand Old Party"), is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its main historic rival, the Democratic Party.