Graduation Year


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

Program or Major

Political Science

Faculty Advisor

Geoffrey Vaughan


The literature on political polarization and bipartisanship is plentiful, but very few have specifically studied how bipartisan cosponsorship has changed in light of the growing partisan divide, or why that particular legislative activity is even important to begin with. Using Senate cosponsorship data from the 93rd to the 115th session of Congress, this paper argues that cosponsorship patterns show an increase in hidden bipartisanship despite an increase in the polarization of roll-call votes. First, I will detail the evolution of party polarization. Having presented that background, I will then provide a brief history of bipartisanship, its advantages, and the obstacles that it has faced and continues to face in the context of the current divisive political climate.