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: Dave Brady: The State Of The Democratic Presidential Race . . .

interview with David Bradyvia Area 45
Friday, March 6, 2020

The State of the Democratic presidential race . . . why the ground suddenly shifted in Biden’s favor.  

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

interview with David Brady, Douglas Riversvia Area 45
Thursday, February 27, 2020

What their tracking survey reveals as the Democratic presidential candidates scramble for support.


Assessing The Prospects For A Brokered Convention

by Brett Parker, David Bradyvia Real Clear Politics
Thursday, February 13, 2020

When Ted Cruz and John Kasich finally suspended their campaigns for the Republican nomination in May of 2016, Donald Trump had collected 40.2% of primary votes. This total fell well short of a majority and represented the fourth-lowest total of any nominee in the modern era at the time they clinched the nomination. Yet, Trump managed to play his plurality of the votes into nearly 70% of delegates at the Republican convention in Cleveland that summer.

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Area 45: Dave Brady And Doug Rivers: The State Of The Presidential Race

interview with David Brady, Douglas Riversvia Area 45
Monday, January 27, 2020

What surveys reveal about the presidential race pre-Iowa, as well as what impact Washington’s impeachment drama has had on the Democratic presidential race.


Examining Elizabeth Warren's Slide

by David Brady, Brett Parkervia Real Clear Politics
Thursday, December 19, 2019

In early May of 2019, Elizabeth Warren found herself trailing Joe Biden in the RealClearPolitics polling average by over 33 percentage points (41.4% to 8%). Over the next three months she began a rapid rise. By Sept. 9, she had overtaken Biden in the weekly YouGov poll to become the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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Is The Base Enough For Democrats In 2020?

by David Brady, Brett Parkervia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Does the ideology of the Democratic nominee matter when in comes to the 2020 general election? As the first Democratic nominating contests draw closer, the debate over that crucial tactical question has begun to take form in journalistic and scholarly quarters. 

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Area 45: The State Of The Presidential Race

interview with David Brady, Douglas Riversvia Area 45
Friday, November 15, 2019

Dave Brady and Doug Rivers review their latest poll data on the 2020 election.


The Impact Of Voter Second Choices As 2020 Dems Drop Out

by David Brady, Brett Parkervia Real Clear Politics
Thursday, November 14, 2019

As the Democratic field for president thins out, most supporters of the dropouts will pick another candidate. That prospect raises the question of whether these newly available voters will flock to the front-runners or boost the chances of one of the also-rans. To gain insight into this question, the latest YouGov polls asked respondents likely to vote in Democratic primaries to name both their first and second choices for the nomination. In the most recent survey, Joe Biden leads on first-choice ballots, followed by Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris. So what happens to the horse race when we add in the second choices of potential voters? 

Policy InsightsFeaturedPolitics

Political And Electoral Instability

featuring David Brady, Morris P. Fiorina, Russ Roberts, Bill Whalen, Tom Churchvia PolicyEd
Thursday, October 17, 2019

American politics feels more divided than ever. Are we at an unprecedented point in history? Are there lessons to be learned from prior periods in American politics?

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Area 45: Brady And Rivers: Impeachment . . . By The Numbers

interview with David Brady, Douglas Riversvia Area 45
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The talk of impeachment and its impact on the popularity of President Trump.