Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Shaffer, Stephen D.

Committee Member

Mellen, Robbin B., Jr.

Committee Member

Shoup, Brian

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Political Science

Degree Name

Master of Arts


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Political Science and Public Administration


Political climates are undoubtedly changing across the nation and creating volatile fluctuations of attitudes, beliefs, and behavior. In a more entertaining season of presidential primaries, both parties – Democratic and Republican – have nominees that will once again be scrutinized by many across the country. I argue the levels of scrutiny will more likely than not be enhanced to new proportions. Since a consistent reliance on media involvement and attack ads have grown immensely amongst presidential candidates, this will translate into a wider gap in party polarization and subsequently tie into the trust of American citizens. Previous scholars have shown consistent data that political trust has no bearing on the actual turnout of presidential elections (Citrin 1974). But, historic distrustful ratings between major-party candidates may prove to alter political cultures for subsequent years. In this study, I thoroughly examine the growing significance of political trust on presidential voting in the United States.



media in politics||political climates||2016 presidential election||demographics in voting||party polarization||political behavior||presidential voting||politics||political trust