Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Government Dept.


Professor Nicholas F. Jacobs

Second Advisor

Professor Emeritus L. Sandy Maisel


Executive-centered partisanship is a new scholarly idea that focuses on the growing centrality of the president in party and governmental affairs. Scholars have looked at the president’s growing electoral, administrative, and organizational responsibilities to support the theory. While the evidence is compelling, there is a key aspect of our Federal government that is omitted in their theory - the president’s role in Congress. In this thesis, I look at the effect that the president has on legislative voting behavior between the 107th and 116th Congresses. To analyze the data, I examine the effect of the president on Senator voting behavior in four distinct groups broken down by partisanship and electoral security. My results demonstrate that Senators are increasingly positioning themselves in relation to the president with co-partisans closely associating themselves with the president’s position while out-partisans readily reject bills with presidential support. The findings highlight Congress’ increased reliance on the president and suggest that to understand Senator voting behavior, we must look to the president as a critical factor.


President, Executive-Centered Partisanship, Inter-Branch Relations, Voting Behavior, Congress, 21st Century