These days you have to run against the party.
" Republicans run against their opponents, rather than against the left and the Democratic Party. That’s what Mitt Romney did. And that’s why he lost an election he should have won. Romney never defined his presidential campaign as being opposed to the left or to the Democratic Party. It was solely against Barack Obama, a popular president at the time and the first black ever to serve as president, something that continued to mean... a lot to many Americans who hoped that this fact would reduce black animosity toward white America.
Had Mitt Romney constantly repeated that he was not merely running against Barack Obama, the man, but against Barack Obama, the most left-wing president in American history, and continually explained what that meant, he might well have won."
It may sound lofty and moral to say you vote for the candidate and not the party, but unfortunately the parties not the individuals control the government.