Morris P. Fiorina

Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Political and Social Science
National Academy of Sciences

Morris P. Fiorina is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Wendt Family Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. His current research focuses on elections and public opinion with particular attention to the quality of representation: how well the positions of elected officials reflect the preferences of the public.

During the course of his forty-year career Fiorina has published numerous articles and books on national politics including Congress—Keystone of the Washington Establishment (Yale University Press, 1977), Retrospective Voting in American National Elections (Yale University Press, 1981), and Divided Government (Allyn & Bacon, 1992). The Personal Vote: Constituency Service and Electoral Independence, coauthored with Bruce Cain and John Ferejohn (Harvard University Press, 1987), won the 1988 Richard F. Fenno Prize. He is also coeditor of Continuity and Change in House Elections (Stanford University Press and Hoover Press, 2000). The third edition of his 2004 groundbreaking book Culture War: The Myth of a Polarized America (with Samuel J. Abrams and Jeremy C. Pope) was published in 2011. He coedited Can We Talk? The Rise of Rude, Nasty, Stubborn Politics (Pearson, 2013). Most recently he published Unstable Majorities (Hoover, 2017). 

Fiorina has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. He has served on the editorial boards of more than a dozen journals on political science, law, political economy, and public policy. From 1986 to 1990 he was chairman of the Board of Overseers of the American National Election Studies.

Fiorina received his BA degree from Allegheny College and his MA and PhD from the University of Rochester. He lives in Portola Valley, California.

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Recent Commentary

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The Myth Of Growing Polarization

by Morris P. Fiorinavia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Contrary to public perception, the American people are not segregating themselves into “ideological silos.” 

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Has The American Public Polarized?

by Morris P. Fiorinavia Essays on Contemporary American Politics
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

With the presidential campaigns well under way, talk of polarization once again fills the air. Although Americans think that polarization has increased, that is a misperception. By the standard definition of polarization—the middle loses to the extremes—there is no evidence of increasing polarization among the public at large.

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Making Sense Of The 2016 Election

by Morris P. Fiorina, David Brady, Douglas Rivers, Bill Whalenvia Stanford News
Monday, September 12, 2016

A few Stanford political experts are gathering in cyberspace to help people make sense of the 2016 election.

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An Era Of Tenuous Majorities: Historical Context

by Morris P. Fiorinavia Essays on Contemporary American Politics
Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The United States is currently experiencing an almost unprecedented period of electoral instability. This essay describes this important feature of contemporary politics and sets the stage for later essays that describe and attempt to explain current developments and trace their consequences for American government.

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An Era of Tenuous Majorities

by Morris P. Fiorinavia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The United States is currently experiencing an almost unprecedented period of electoral instability. Why?


We Live In A Two Party Duopoly. Here’s How Bloomberg Or Webb Might Break It.

by Morris P. Fiorinavia The Washington Post
Sunday, January 31, 2016

In a recent op-ed, Norman Ornstein throws cold water on speculation about an independent Michael Bloomberg candidacy, as well as on the more general notion that there is an electoral market unserved by the existing two-party duopoly.

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What Happened in 2014? — Examining the Midterms with David Brady and Morris Fiorina

by David Brady, Morris P. Fiorinavia Fellow Talks
Monday, November 17, 2014

Breaking down the lessons from the 2014 midterm elections.

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The US Electorate: Shifting Majorities, Polarization, and the 2014 Elections

by Morris P. Fiorinavia Fellow Talks
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Morris Fiorina, a senior fellow at Hoover, discusses US politics, polarization, and the 2014 midterm elections.

When a Majority Isn’t a Mandate

by Morris P. Fiorinavia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Odd though it sounds, the winner-take-all electoral system sometimes lets political parties ignore the voters’ views. Gridlock might have a silver lining.

Analysis and Commentary

Americans Have Not Become More Politically Polarized

by Morris P. Fiorinavia The Monkey Cage (Washington Post)
Monday, June 23, 2014

The Pew Research Center recently released a report describing two decades of change in American public opinion. Much of the data—especially the striking graphical presentations—will find their way into college classrooms in the fall, including my own.