Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Political Science


Political Science

First Advisor

Jonathan Winburn

Second Advisor

Conor Dowling

Third Advisor

Heather Ondercin

Relational Format



There has been much debate as to whether partisanship matters on the local level in the United States. This thesis specifically seeks to test whether partisanship plays a role in an individuals’ selection of their ideal communities. Using data from the Kinder Houston Area Survey from 1982–2013, this thesis tests the effect of partisan differences in willingness to pay for: maintaining current levels of local services, public schools, and access to healthcare. As well as, partisan differences in selecting policy areas of concern for the City of Houston, and partisan differences in feelings towards ethnic diversity. I examine whether residents are choosing their ideal communities based on a sense of self-interest or whether this determination is shaped by their partisanship.



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