Candidate reliance on national party organizational support has been waning for a couple of decades now. Candidates have started to abandon what was once their most needed support system and biggest cash cow. Reduction in party cohesion, the surge in the power of Political Action Committees, and the new found necessity of gaining the Independent vote are 3 factors that have all led Presidential candidates to sever the political umbilical cord that has tied them to their parties for almost 2 centuries. The simple formulas of political success found in the warm apple pie days of the 20's, late 40's, and 50's are gone. This new age of informational warfare and electronic combat has rendered the major party powerhouses almost obsolete.
Party unity seems to now be a thing of the past. The splintering of the party message into liberal, moderate, or conservative has essentially divided parties so much that there is almost more opposition within a party than there is with the rest of the party community. The Democratic Party being the best example, Democrats seem united in title and not much else. A majority of the citizens in this country easily overwhelm Republicans and third party members but can never seem to get the vote out or encourage much party loyalty which, besides the issue of Civil Rights, seems to have lost Democrats the Deep South. A mixed bag of opinions and ideas on where the party should be headed with its political ideology has stunted most party growth except among third parties such as the Reform and Green Parties who march out charismatic candidates who claim they can, " clean up the mess in Washington" and have not been corrupted by the swamp of political favors and fractionalized thinking of the average Washington insider.
The ultimate goal of most Presidential candidates these days no longer seems to be whether they actually out perform their opponent; but whether they can out promote.