Honors Program


Date of this Version

Spring 3-27-2023

Document Type



Zach Wendling, March 2023. Interpersonal Relationships at the State Level: A review of the 107th Nebraska Legislature. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska - Lincoln.


Copyright Zach Wendling 2023.


In a more polarized nation, some have looked to interpersonal relationships as a bridge among the most partisan legislatures in the nation. At the state level, relationships have been studied through cosponsors, influences, policy outcomes, and other determinations, though a state-by-state analysis has become more difficult to manage. Utilizing cosponsorships and voting records in the 107th Nebraska Legislature as parts of a case study, it’s evident that though the chamber is officially nonpartisan, so members are elected without party affiliation next to their names on the ballot, senators are likely to vote with members of their own party, though with a high percentage of unity in the one-house legislature. In addition, cosponsorships increased based on where senators sat on the legislative floor, and cosponsorships gathered throughout the session led to stronger voting unity. While many view politics nationwide as becoming more partisan, this analysis and a joint journalism portfolio represent that relationships make up more to the story than meets the eye, which the senators will say themselves.