David Brady

Davies Family Senior Fellow
Research Team: 
Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences

David Brady is the Davies Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Bowen H. and Janice Arthur McCoy Professor of Political Science in the Stanford Graduate School of Business.  He has published seven books and more than a hundred papers in journals and books.  Among his most recent books are Leadership and Growth (World Bank Publications, 2010) with Michael Spence, Revolving Gridlock: Politics and Policy from Carter to Bush II (Westview Press, 2006), and Red and Blue Nation? Characteristics and Causes of America’s Polarized Politics with Pietro Nivola (Brookings Institution Press, 2007).  His recent articles include “Why Is Health Care Reform So Difficult?” with Daniel Kessler, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, April 2010; “Putting the Public’s Money Where Its Mouth Is”  with Daniel Kessler, Health Affairs: The Policy Journal of the Health Sphere, August 2009, pages 917–25; “Leadership and Politics: A Perspective from the Growth Commission,” with Michael Spence, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 25, no. 2 (2009): 205–18; “The 2010 Elections: Why Did Political Science Forecasts Go Awry?” with Morris P. Fiorina and Arjun Wilkins, 2011.

Brady has been on continual appointment at Stanford University since 1986, where he has served as associate dean for Academic Affairs in the Graduate School of Business (GSB) and as vice provost for Distance Learning.  He has twice been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1987.  He presently holds the Bowen H. and Janice Arthur McCoy Professorship in Ethics at the Business School and was deputy director of the Hoover Institution from 2004-2014.

During his teaching career, he won the Dinkelspiel Award for service to undergraduates, the Richard Lyman Prize for service to alumni, the Bob Davies Award and the Jaedicke Silver Cup from the GSB, and the first Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award given at Stanford.  He also won the George Brown Teaching Award at Rice University.

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Recent Commentary

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Area 45: And The Winner Is . . .

interview with David Brady, Douglas Rivers, Bill Whalenvia Area 45
Wednesday, October 28, 2020

What do the polls suggest about the health of the two candidacies? 


9 Things To Know About Election Polling Data, According To Stanford Pollster David Brady

interview with David Bradyvia Stanford News
Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow David Brady discusses the lessons pollsters learned in the 2016 election and what to know about tracking election forecasts in 2020.

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Area 45: “Your Lights Are Getting Dimmer”

interview with David Bradyvia Area 45
Thursday, October 8, 2020

David Brady reviews polling data showing how the 2020 race compares, at this point, to 2016’s contest nationally and in battleground states. 

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In the News

Continetti: It’s Not Over Yet, Despite What Press May Think

cited David Bradyvia The Washington Free Beacon
Thursday, October 8, 2020

Washington Free Beacon founding editor Matthew Continetti on Thursday cautioned against assuming that Joe Biden's polling lead is insurmountable.

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Biden Vs. Trump: A Snapshot From 2016

by David Bradyvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, October 6, 2020

As the campaign enters the homestretch, the Democrat’s lead remains narrower in the battleground states.

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Area 45: State Of The Presidential Race: Convention Bump?

interview with David Brady, Douglas Riversvia Area 45
Friday, September 4, 2020

The dynamics of the presidential race and “hidden” voters. 


Biden/Clinton Vs. Trump: Comparing 2020/2016 Polling 'Gaps'

by David Brady, Brett Parkervia Real Clear Politics
Thursday, August 20, 2020

In mid-August of 2016, YouGov polling placed Hillary Clinton six percentage points ahead of Donald Trump among registered voters (41%-35%). Four years later, Joe Biden also leads Trump in mid-August YouGov polling -- only this time, the lead is about 10 points. Everyone knows what happened to Clinton’s late-summer advantage. Biden supporters naturally wonder whether their lead is any more secure.

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COVID-19 Is Beating Trump

by Michael Spence, David Bradyvia Project Syndicate
Monday, August 3, 2020

US President Donald Trump's mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis has depleted his support among independents and moderates – the groups that will decide the November election. And with the virus raging out of control, he has no good options.

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Area 45: State Of The Race: Rope-A-Dope With Dave Brady And Doug Rivers

interview with David Brady, Douglas Riversvia Area 45
Thursday, July 23, 2020

The health of the two presidential candidates.


YouGov Polling: Biden Skeptics Are Moderate Democrats

by David Brady, Brett Parkervia Real Clear Politics
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

At the end of March, President Trump was on a roll: Having been acquitted by the Senate in February, he was taking credit for a coronavirus lockdown that “saved 2 million lives,” in his estimate, and was an odds-on favorite to win the 2020 election (a plus-seven-point margin in the RealClearPolitics betting average). RCP’s polling average placed his job approval rating at 47.4%, with over 50% approved of his handling of the COVID-19 crisis.