Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis and Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Politics and Government: Political Science

First Advisor

T.Y. Wang


The recent political atmosphere in America has reflected a perceived lack of constituent representation in the political process leading to a volatile 2016 Presidential race. This paper examines voter preferences and their effect on senator voting behavior and finds that depending on the party, voter preferences have different levels of effect on Senators. Republicans struggle between meeting the demands of their more numerous moderate statewide constituency and their smaller yet more extreme core supporters which reflect contemporary attitudes expressed by conservative constituents and Republican candidates. Democrats do not suffer this problem, being mindful of their statewide constituency while being able to vote their own preferences. These findings help explain the temperament and approaches behind Republican candidates in the 2016 election cycle.


Imported from ProQuest Richardson_ilstu_0092N_10752.pdf

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