Abstract

Presidential approval ratings are a political resource that presidents and their advisors hope to influence through strategic action in order to achieve their policy goals (McAvoy 2008, 284). Through 1999, scholarly literature had largely ignored the president's use of unilateral powers. Since Moe and Howell (1999a, 1999b), however, the literature on the unilateral presidency has expanded rapidly. Despite the rapid growth of literature examining the unilateral presidency, and 45 years of presidential approval ratings literature, literature examining the link between the president's use of unilateral powers and subsequent presidential approval ratings is virtually nonexistent. Existing research has not statistically examined what effect, if any, the president's issuing executive orders has on subsequent job approval ratings. This thesis seeks to address that research gap. By modeling aggregate and individual-level presidential approval ratings, using fixed-effect models, OLS regression, and binary logistic regression, this thesis finds evidence indicating the president's issuing of executive orders has a negative impact on the subsequent presidential job approval ratings that individuals report. If an executive order is salient to the public, presidents receive lower presidential approval ratings from persons of all political parties; however, if the executive order is non-salient then presidents only receive lower presidential approval ratings from members of their own political party. Members of the opposition party report higher presidential approval ratings when the president issued non-salient executive orders. Thus, this thesis concludes that the president's issuing of executive orders has significant effects on subsequent presidential job approval ratings, and future research should be conducted to explore this relationship further.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2016

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Lanier, Drew

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Political Science

Degree Program

Political Science; American & Comparative Politics

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0006123

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0006123

Language

English

Release Date

May 2016

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

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