Political Science Faculty

David Hopkins

Associate Professor


David A. Hopkins joined the Boston College political science department in 2010. His research and teaching interests include American political parties and elections, the U.S. Congress, voting behavior, public opinion, media and culture, and research methods.

His book Red Fighting Blue: How Geography and Electoral Rules Polarize American Politics (Cambridge University Press) explains how the rise of the culture war, in combination with winner-take-all elections, has produced a regionally divided electorate and an ideologically polarized party system in the United States. Paul Pierson of the University of California, Berkeley described Red Fighting Blue as “path-breaking” and “brilliant,” while Alan Abramowitz of Emory University wrote that “anyone interested in understanding American politics in the 21st century will find David Hopkins’ analysis of the geographic underpinnings of our polarized politics to be extremely helpful." Red Fighting Blue was rated "essential” and named an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine.

His previous book, Asymmetric Politics: Ideological Republicans and Group Interest Democrats (Oxford University Press), co-authored with Matt Grossmann, demonstrates how the distinct character of each major party—the Republican Party’s functioning as the agent of an ideological movement and the Democratic Party’s organization as a coalition of social groups—influences the behavior of voters, the conduct of campaigns, the role and influence of the news media, and the governing styles of politicians. The Economist called Asymmetric Politics “the best recent book about how the two major parties became what they are,” while Ezra Klein of Vox commented that “Not many books change how you think about American politics. This one will." Asymmetric Politics received the 2018 Leon Epstein Outstanding Book Award from the Political Organizations and Parties section of the American Political Science Association. 

Professor Hopkins is also the co-author of Presidential Elections: Strategies and Structures of American Politics (with Nelson W. Polsby, Aaron Wildavsky, and Steven E. Schier, Rowman & Littlefield) and his research has appeared in Perspectives on Politics, Polity, and American Politics Research. He serves as the co-editor of The Forum: A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics.

Professor Hopkins has written about contemporary political issues for news organizations such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Vox, and he frequently serves as an expert commentator on American politics for international, national, and Boston-area newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and television programs, and podcasts. He blogs regularly about current events at honestgraft.com and can be found on Twitter at @DaveAHopkins.