Interest groups can impact election outcomes in many ways, for their interest is to affect political change per the agenda of their organization. These groups achieve their political objectives through funding and participating in campaigns, these groups lobby the government, and they educate the public. Through these three avenues, interest groups are able to affect change in election outcomes.
When interest groups support a campaign, they do so in exchange for candidate’s support of their cause. In this way, interest groups who have a large amount of money, can also purchase a large amount of political support. Campaigns are funded primarily by the interest groups that use the candidate as their megaphone for their cause. In many ways, the relationship between a candidate and the interest groups that support that candidate is one of doing mutual favors.
The second way that interest groups can affect change in the election outcomes is to lobby the government for the change. The way that interest groups lobby the government is by hiring representatives who are skilled advocates, or who have connections in higher up levels of government. These groups contact members of Congress and the President in order to present information about the positive legislation of the interest group. Interest groups are able to levy change at the higher levels of government by utilizing these connections with influential members of Congress and the executive branch.
The third way in which these interest groups can sway election results is to actively go out and educate the public about the causes and concerns of the interest group. The more that the public is educated by these interest groups, the more likely that the public will adopt the political views of the group. After the public accepts the views of the interest group, they will vote in line with what the interest group has promoted.