Date of Award

Fall 12-8-2023

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Julia Marin Hellwege

Second Advisor

Dr. Matthew Fairholm

Third Advisor

Dr. Molly Rozum


Bipartisanship, Supermajority, Veto-Proof, Minority Party, State Legislatures

Subject Categories

American Politics


We ask how partisan (im)balance affects the prevalence of bipartisan legislation in U.S. state legislative bodies. We conducted a quantitative analysis of all fifty state legislative bodies over five years, 2017 to 2022, examining both institutional and individual action. We analyze minority member behavior differences between supermajority and veto-proof legislative bodies as compared to simple majority legislatures. Our work shows that minority party legislators in Democrat supermajority state legislative bodies are more likely to sponsor bipartisan legislation, and the amount of bipartisan legislation sponsored overall in a state legislature is likely to decrease in Republican supermajority state legislative bodies. This has implications for the broader legislative sphere in terms of visibility, partisan platforms, constituency visibility, and personal agenda-setting and goals. It also points to the question of bipartisanship, the benefits and downfalls of this legislative strategy, as well as the conditions in which it exists in a supermajority state legislative body.



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