Hopkins' research concerns American elections and party politics, especially the ways that political institutions intermediate between the preferences of voters and the behavior of elites. He is the author of Red Fighting Blue: How Geography and Electoral Rules Polarize American Politics and the co-author (with Matt Grossmann) of Asymmetric Politics: Ideological Republicans and Group Interest Democrats, winner of the American Political Science Association’s Leon Epstein Outstanding Book Award. His analysis has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Vox, and he serves as co-editor of the research journal The Forum.
In the News
Argues that the two major American parties have distinctive natures and operate in fundamentally different ways: the Republican party is the agent of an ideological movement, prizing doctrinal purity and devotion to abstract values, while the Democratic Party is instead a coalition of social groups demanding government action to address specific practical problems and interests. Emphasizes that this asymmetry is evident across a number of political contexts, including congressional and presidential politics, the formation and influence of interest groups, the news media and think tank universe, electoral campaigns and nominations, and the bases of citizen partisan identification.
Demonstrates that two key features of the American electoral system- geographically-defined constituencies and winner-take-all electoral rules- are driving forces behind the trend of increasing partisan loyalty and ideological polarization among elected officials in the United States.
Provides a comprehensive overview of the presidential election process in the United States, emphasizing the strategic complexity faced by candidates due to the party nomination system, the nature of media coverage, and the challenges, of persuading and mobilizing voters.