During Democratic and Republican Party national convention, they approve a set of policy principles that address specific political issues, and a set of goals and strategies upon which the candidate will campaign. These principles are called platforms.
Platforms give all citizens, but especially those who are registered to vote, an idea of what the candidate believe, what issues are important to the candidates, and if elected, how the candidates will address those issues. Platforms are then broken down into planks, which speak to each specific issue.
Typical party platforms are divided into two policy categories:
Foreign Policy Issues
Domestic Policy Issues