Congress, the presidency, congressional presidential relations, party polarization, presidential success
This thesis examines the determinants of presidential success with Congress. Seven essential sources of presidential power in the current era of party polarization were derived from the extant literature, and these factors were delineated into the institutional (formal) and non-institutional (informal) policymaking tools of the presidency. Variables that explain presidential legislative success include: intraparty support in Congress, the use of veto bargaining, executive orders and signing statements (institutional factors); as well as public approval, ‘going public,’ and strategic lobbying of Congress (non-institutional factors). Case studies of the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush analyze the role of these policymaking tools in four key legislative battles of each presidency. Regression models were constructed to test the effect of these variables on presidential legislative success. The case studies elucidate the relationship between noninstitutional factors and their subsequent impact on key presidential policy priorities, particularly the interaction between public approval and going public. Findings indicate a positive relationship between a president’s strategic bargaining ability with Congress and subsequent legislative success. Findings also show no significant relationship between intraparty support and presidential success when focusing on only key legislative battles between the executive and legislative branches, contrary to the findings of prior research. Future research might examine the various relationships between these policymaking tools and how they affect the nature of presidential power in the current era of heightened party polarization and ideological homogeneity.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Political Science; American and Comparative Politics
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Culp, Derek, "Institutional Vs. Non-institutional Sources Of Presidential Influence: Explaining Congressional-presidential Relations In The Age Of Polarization" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2617.