Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Political Science (B.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Patrick Novotny


This paper examines the state of political polarization in the U.S. and offers an explanation as to why the United States has turned away from bipartisanship, a founding principle outlined by the U.S. Constitution. The literature points towards a geographical rearranging and accumulation of U.S. citizens by political affiliation originating in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I ask: to what extent does political homogeneity of Congressional districts affect the bipartisanship of their representatives in Congress? I observe a significant relationship between geographical accumulation of politically homogeneous Americans and bipartisanship in Congress. To establish a causal relationship, I perform a time series regression analysis of political homogeneity by Congressional district and the bipartisanship of said district’s representative. I find that as political homogeneity increases, the bipartisanship of the district’s representative decreases.

Thesis Summary

This study examines the relationship between political homogeneity of congressional districts and the bipartisanship of these districts' representatives in Congress. I find that political homogeneity and bipartisanship have a significant negative relationship. This sheds light on why the United States is experiencing a period of such intense political polarization.

Available for download on Wednesday, March 31, 2027