Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Bradley Hays


Congress, Elections, Representation, Midterms


The disconnect between members of Congress and the American public is no secret. Of the three branches of government, the legislative branch is intended to be the most representative of the people. However, it consistently faces the lowest approval ratings among the American public. Although the public largely disapproves of Congress as a legislative body, most Americans support their own representative. This phenomenon is reflected in high reelection rates for congressional incumbents. My thesis examines the relationship between congressional representation and elections through an evaluation of the representational style of Congressman John Faso. Faso, who represented New York’s 19th District in the 115th Congress, lost reelection after a single term. I assess the role of political communication in representational style through a qualitative interpretation of Faso’s press releases. I utilize press releases as a method for understanding representational style because Faso used this tool to explain positions and votes. Through an analysis of two politically-polarizing case studies, healthcare and tax reform, I determine that Congressman Faso lacked a cohesive representational style during the 115th Congress. Additionally, I conclude that Congressman Faso’s inconsistent representational style had electoral implications in a toss-up district.