Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Arts in Political Science


Political Science

Major Advisor

Justin S. Vaughn, Ph.D.


Jaclyn J. Kettler, Ph.D.


Brian Wampler, Ph.D.


Scholarship on the impact of visits by the president of the United States on midterm gubernatorial elections is limited. This paper will examine the effects of such visits by the president of the United States on midterm gubernatorial elections. Cohen, Kreassa, and Hamman (1991) analyzed the impact of presidential visits on senate races and discovered these visits are strategic; also, when the president gets involved in an election, the president has a positive impact. I also believe that when different visits are split out different types of visits will have different effects. This is based on the time commitment of the president as the more time spent on a visit the greater the impact the visit should be. Using an original dataset, I evaluate how visits by the president effect vote share; this is as I seek to adapt some of the findings of the strategic calculations of the president to determine the impact of those visits by the president. My analysis shows that presidential visits have a positive effect on the vote share of the midterm gubernatorial candidates. In addition, I find that rally visits have the most consistent positive impact on candidates over the other types of visits analyzed in this study. Finally, when analyzing the interaction between visits and partisanship, the impact of a visit has variation dependent on the partisan composition of a state.