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


Poll: Dem Voters Span Diverse Views, Benefiting Biden

by David Brady, Brett Parkervia Real Clear Politics
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The recent Democratic Party debates have prompted pundits and prognosticators to wonder how far left the nominee can veer and still unseat President Trump in November 2020.

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

interview with David Brady, Douglas Riversvia Area 45
Monday, August 5, 2019

What post-debate polling suggests about the effectiveness of the candidates’ messaging and how the tragedy in El Paso factors into national politics.


Biden Is Still King Of The Moderates -- But Will It Last?

by David Brady, Brett Parkervia Real Clear Politics
Thursday, July 25, 2019

Throughout this primary season, poll after poll has indicated that Democratic voters are overwhelming focused on finding a candidate who can make Donald Trump a one-term president. By a 2-to-1 ratio, likely primary voters place beating Trump above selecting a nominee who shares their policy positions.

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Explaining Political Uncertainty

by David Bradyvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The country is currently facing electoral and political instability due to economic and demographic changes that are breaking apart existing voting blocs. This instability will continue until one party finds a dominant set of issues that attracts a winning coalition of voters. Stabilizing the political landscape will require party coalitions to address critical issues like immigration, inequality, worker insecurity, environmental challenges, and trade in a way that brings together a stable majority of voters.

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Area 45: About Those Debates . . .With David Brady And Doug Rivers

interview with David Brady, Douglas Riversvia Area 45
Monday, July 1, 2019

Who can challenge President Trump in 2020?


Whom The Democrats Nominate In 2020 Matters -- A Lot

by David Brady, Morris P. Fiorina, Douglas Riversvia Real Clear Politics
Thursday, May 2, 2019

Conventional wisdom about presidential campaign strategy changed around the turn of the current century. Traditionally, candidates were advised to move to the center in the general election campaign after catering to the party bases in the primaries. Not anymore. George W. Bush’s two presidential campaigns exemplify the shift.

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Area 45: The Race For The Presidency With Dave Brady

interview with David Bradyvia Area 45
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Is Bernie Sanders a Trumpian disruptor and is Joe Biden destined for Jeb Bush’s fate?


Party Instability: Why American Politics Feels Broken

by David Bradyvia PolicyEd
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

American politics feels broken because existing voting blocs are regrouping and reconsidering which issues motivate them and which political party they support. Ongoing economic and demographic structural changes have led to control of the legislative and executive branches shifting back and forth. While this is not the first time in the history this has occurred, political parties will need to figure out a winning combination of policies that can consistently win them elections in order to stabilize American politics.

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Area 45: The 2020 Presidential Field With David Brady And Doug Rivers

interview with David Brady, Douglas Riversvia Area 45
Monday, March 4, 2019

Off to the races for 2020.


Flipping The House: What '94, '06, '10 Turnout Tells Us

by David Brady, Brett Parkervia Real Clear Politics
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Much of the press coverage of the 2018 House elections has focused on identifying the most competitive House races and attempting to predict their results. Some academic models have also adopted this tactic, basing their conclusions on an analysis of highly contested districts. Still others run regressions using a combination of presidential approval ratings, generic congressional ballot surveys, and other miscellaneous factors such as disposable income.