Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

J. Andrew Sinclair

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Samuel M Boorstyn


The phenomenon of voters splitting their ballots between candidates for both the Democratic and Republican parties has long been a point of study and analysis for political scholars. Beginning with the seminal 1957 study by Angus Campbell and Warren C. Campbell, scholars have put forth studies of ticket splitting that classify it as either a motivated or unmotivated process. This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the two major schools of thought regarding the causes of ticket splitting. It analyzes the motivated ticket splitting explanations of cognitive Madisonianism, policy-balancing, comparative midpoints, and partisan ambivalence; as well as the unmotivated explanations of indifference and candidate factors. Given the ever-changing landscape of American politics, the causes of ticket splitting continue to evolve, but the theories analyzed in this paper provide crucial insights into split-ticket voting.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.