Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Zoe Oxley




electoral college, political party system


The topic of political polarization in America is one that has increasingly become of interest to scholars and political pundits alike, particularly as the American political system has begun to feel the effects of higher levels of polarization in government. These affects include, but are not limited to, a state of gridlock in Congress, increased hostility between the two parties both in and out of government, and an erosion of bipartisanship. The focus of my research was to evaluate some of the main proposed reforms that aim to address political polarization to determine which single reform was most worthwhile of pursuit. The reforms I focused on fell into four distinct categories, the first of which were governmental reforms. These reforms propose altering or eliminating certain governmental procedures or rules that exacerbate the consequences of political polarization. The second area of reform I focused on relates to the political parties in America. The reforms discussed in that section look at how strengthening political parties, primarily their role in elections, can affect political polarization. The third area that I discussed was reforms that target the American electorate. The reforms in this section specifically focus on creating a more informed electorate as a means of addressing political polarization. The final area of reforms I analyze deal with the American electoral system. These reforms look at altering various aspects of the system including primary elections and redistricting procedures.