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David Barker Professor Department of Government

PhD (Political Science) University of Houston

BA (Professional Writing) Baylor University

Favorite Spot on Campus
David C. Barker is Professor of Government and Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies (CCPS). He was previously Director of the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at California State University, Sacramento (2012-2017), and Associate/Assistant Professor of Political Science and Religious Studies at University of Pittsburgh (1999-2012). He studies political psychology, voting behavior, political communication, legislative behavior and social welfare policy. He has served as principal investigator on over 60 externally funded research projects (totaling more than $16 million). He has authored/coauthored over 80 publications, including three books (Rushed to Judgment [2002; Columbia University Press], Representing Red and Blue [2012; Oxford University Press] and One Nation, Two Realities (2019; Oxford University Press]), and dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles (in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, and many others). His current research program seeks to identify the sources of productive political negotiation and compromise. While directing the ISR, he founded CALSPEAKS Opinion Research, the first set of state/local survey panels online to use random probability sampling in California, and co-founded the Public Health Survey Research Program, which collects the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for the state of California and the US Centers for Disease Control. He has served on 25 doctoral dissertation committees, chairing 10 of them, and has received multiple teaching awards. He has held visiting appointments at Science Po, University of Strathclyde (Glasgow), and University of Sydney.
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


Spring 2020

  • GOVT-023 The Art and Craft of Lobbying: European Pub Affairs/Adv Inst

  • GOVT-310 Intro to Political Research

  • GOVT-315 Elections and Voting Behavior

  • GOVT-523 The Art and Craft of Lobbying: European Pub Affairs/Adv Inst

  • GOVT-899 Doctoral Dissertation

Fall 2020

  • GOVT-899 Doctoral Dissertation

Partnerships & Affiliations

AU Experts

Area of Expertise

American politics, campaigns, elections, public opinion, political parties/ideology, political information/misinformation, religious and political polarization, political communication, presidential and legislative behavior

Additional Information

David Barker is an expert on a broad range of topics, including American political parties, campaigns/elections, representation, culture/polarization, ideology/attitudes, information/communication, political institutions (Congress and the Presidency), and a wide variety of public policy issues. He is the author of three books and several dozens of research articles. His research has been nominated for several national awards, and he has been a frequent commentator in the national and international media outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, National Public Radio, The Atlantic, Vox, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Globe and Mail, among others. His latest book, One Nation, Two Realities: Dueling Facts in American Democracy, which will hit shelves in March, 2019, analyzes the causes and. consequences of politically polarized fact perceptions in the United States, and the potential for America’s political tribes to move toward greater factual consensus.

For the Media

To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

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