David Brady

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

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

Analysis and Commentary

Here’s A Voting System That Would Have Counted All Of California’s Super Tuesday Votes

by L. Sandy Maisel, David Bradyvia CALmatters
Tuesday, May 5, 2020

If California voters had been allowed to rank multiple candidates on their ballot in order of their preference, as one state does, the real winner of the Super Tuesday primary held nearly two months would have been announced much sooner. And the preference of a majority of voters might surprise you.

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COVID-19 And The Trust Deficit

by Michael Spence, David Bradyvia Project Syndicate
Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Years of polling in the United States and Europe show that public confidence in institutions has been falling, fueling partisan polarization and political paralysis. But now that the COVID-19 pandemic has left us with no choice but to rely on our institutions, the question of whether trust can be restored has become paramount.

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Doug Rivers And David Brady: COVID-19 And Politics

interview with David Brady, Douglas Riversvia Hoover Podcasts
Thursday, April 16, 2020

AUDIO ONLY

Recorded April 16, 2020, 11AM PST
Hoover Institution fellows David Brady and Douglas Rivers provide a briefing on COVID-19 and Politics.

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The 'Trump Bump' And Its Likely Demise

by David Brady, Brett Parkervia Real Clear Politics
Thursday, April 16, 2020

President Trump’s recent four-to-five percentage point bump in job approval can be viewed as a “rally round the flag” phenomenon. Surges in a president’s job approval rating have often been seen during times of national crisis or external attack, including the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, Iranian hostage taking in1979, the Persian Gulf War during George H.W. Bush’s presidency and the 9/11 attacks while his son was in the White House.

Doug Rivers And David Brady: COVID-19 And Politics

interview with Douglas Rivers, David Bradyvia Hoover Virtual Policy Briefings
Thursday, April 16, 2020

A Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing with Doug Rivers and David Brady: COVID-19 and Politics
Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 11AM PT/ 2PM ET.

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Partisan Economic Biases In A Time Of COVID

by David Brady, John Ferejohn, Brett Parkervia Defining Ideas
Monday, April 13, 2020

The outcome of the 2020 elections will hang on present events.

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Within Parties, Trump's Crisis Ratings Vary Widely: Week 2

by David Brady, L. Sandy Maisel, Brett Parkervia Real Clear Politics
Tuesday, March 31, 2020

On March 25 we wrote that both partisan affiliation and intra-party ideology affected the public’s reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. We were not surprised by the partisan differences, given polarization, but we were surprised by the extent of intra-party differences. In the YouGov survey taken March 15-17, we found that the president had near-universal support from very conservative Republicans, but support lessened among those who say they are conservative or more moderate. 

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Area 45: Brady And Rivers: The State Of The Race

interview with David Brady, Douglas Riversvia Area 45
Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The effect of COVID-19 on the presidential race.

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Within Parties, Trump's Pandemic Ratings Vary Widely

by David Brady, L. Sandy Maisel, Brett Parkervia Real Clear Politics
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Everyone knows that Democrats and Republicans have polarized views about politics and policy; but in a national crisis like coronavirus, you might expect the differences to diminish. Not in this age of polarization. The latest YouGov poll, conducted March 15 -17, showed that 61% of Republicans strongly approved of the President Trump’s handling of the virus, while only 3% of Democrats strongly approved of his performance.

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Dems' Roller Coaster Steadies As Center & Center-Left Take Over

by David Brady, L. Sandy Maisel, Brett Parkervia Real Clear Politics
Tuesday, March 17, 2020

For nearly a year, the Democratic Party’s primary season featured unexpected surges and declines. To pundits, and many rank-and-file Democrats, it seemed like a wild ride, with capricious rises and falls. We find, however, that the change in fortunes of the Democratic field can be explained by two factors. 

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