Social Network Analysis of Cosponsorship in the 115th Congress (306427)Emily Daubenspeck, Smith College
*Arielle Dror, Smith College
Kara Van Allen, Smith College
Keywords: social network analysis, ergm, sbm, congress, legislature, politics, public policy
The 115th Congress represents a polarized legislative body, and the Senate represents an excellent case study through which to explore this division. Due to the availability of proxy metrics for inter-senator support (i.e. cosponsorship of bills), it is possible to use social network analysis methods in order to identify the factors related to formation of cooperative ties (i.e., Exponential Random Graph Modeling), as well as to investigate the presence of algorithmically-observable groupings within the senatorial body (i.e., Stochastic Block Modeling). Using an exponential random graph model, we find that being a male senator predicts greater odds of any cosponsorship ties between senators than female senators while greater age differences between senators predicts lower odds of cosponsorship. A stochastic block model shows that conservative-leaning groups are more conservative than the most liberal-leaning groups, but most bipartisan groups show a more liberal median ideology score. In addition to indicating a disadvantage for female senators, our findings also suggest that liberal senators may be more open to compromise due to their status as members of the minority party.