Analysis of the data suggests much of this erosion is fueled by developments in the Democratic Party, which historically designated larger groups of rebutters. In the most recent responses, both parties designate no more than two representatives to deliver rebuttals.
Democrats increasingly overlook senators in designating rebutters to the annual message.
Analysis of my data reveals both parties' rebutters have become growingly ideologically polarized over time.
I begin my analysis to examine this question by comparing the average change in presidential approval by isolating groups of rebutters comprised exclusively of senators, governors, or members of the U.S.
I examine the impact of the following variables on changes in presidential approval levels: total number of rebutters, the proportion of senators, governors (House members are the excluded category), and women selected to rebut, rebutter ideology and rebutters' ideological distance from the incumbent president.
The results of the model suggest the size of the group of rebutters does influence the effectiveness of the president's message.
senators in the group of out-party rebutters increases, relative to the proportion of U.S.
My empirical model also investigates the impact of the ideological composition of the group of out-party rebutters (see Table 7).
I investigate these claims by examining the rebutter selections of out-party between 1966 and 2006.
One female rebutter was designated to respond in 10 of the 35 rebuttals, and, in 1972, Democrats selected 2 women to be part of the 11-member group that delivered the rebuttal.