Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Political Science

First Advisor

Charles E. Smith, Jr.

Relational Format



This thesis is a reflection of my general interests in intra-partisan electoral conflict. Empirically, my study is motivated by Aaron King's (2017) theory about the relationship between announcement timing in U.S. Senate primary contests and experience in the arena of federal elections. I develop a measure that credits candidates with the highest score if they are an incumbent Senator, then three lower scores ranging from higher office to no experience. I then examine how this measure relates to the timing of candidacy announcements inside nine upcoming Republican primary contests for U.S. Senate nominations. I test two, tentative hypotheses about how these measures fit together across all of the data I have gathered, and find some support for one of them. However, my thesis is largely inductive, embracing the aim of explaining the contexts of both recent trends in Republican party primary politics -- the present (2018) election's Bannon insurgency and the pre-Trump era's Tea Party activity.

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