No Deal: Donald Trump's Leadership of Congress

31 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2017

See all articles by George C. Edwards III

George C. Edwards III

Texas A&M University; University of Oxford

Date Written: August 20, 2017


Donald Trump entered office with aspirations for transformational policy change, much of which would have to be approved by Congress. So far, he and his supporters have been disappointed. Despite the president’s many unique characteristics, we can employ the framework of the president’s strategic position to explain the president’s lack of success. The president’s opportunity structure was mixed. Lacking a mandate but fortunate to serve in a unified government, Trump overestimated his public support, which was low, and Republican cohesion, which was imperfect. He also underestimated the impact of partisan polarization and Democratic opposition, which was strong. Moreover, the president lacked a strategic plan of his own, had few substantive proposals, and demonstrated little skill in garnering support.

Keywords: President, Congress, Trump, Leadership

Suggested Citation

Edwards III, George C., No Deal: Donald Trump's Leadership of Congress (August 20, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

George C. Edwards III (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University ( email )

Langford Building A
798 Ross St.
College Station, TX 77843-3137
United States

University of Oxford ( email )

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