Anna Newmyer

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Berstein

Second Advisor

Dr. Elias

Third Advisor

Dr. Moreland


Every four years, United States citizens are given an opportunity to vote for a candidate they believe should become the President of the United States. Each individual voter has different factors that push them to vote for a particular candidate. As parties and voters grow more polarized, moving further apart on both the political party identification and ideological spectrums, there remains a group in the middle: independents with a moderate ideology. This research study investigates how the people who fall in the middle of the spectrum choose between highly polarized alternatives, while also looking particularly at the impact that the economy has on their voting decisions in presidential elections.