Lee Drutman

Senior Fellow, New America

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About Lee

Drutman is a senior fellow in the Political Reform program at New America, the author of The Business of America is Lobbying, and winner of the 2016 American Political Science Association's Robert A. Dahl Award. He also teaches in the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies at the Johns Hopkins University. Drutman's research interests include lobbying, influence, money in politics, electoral systems, and polarization.


America Needs a Federal Elections Agency

  • Charlotte Hill

No Jargon Podcast

In the News

"Why Bipartisanship In The Senate Is Dying," Lee Drutman, Five Thirty Eight, October 27, 2021.
"America Votes by 50 Sets of Rules. We Need a Federal Elections Agency.," Charlotte Hill (with Lee Drutman), Opinion, The New York Times, November 5, 2020.
"Ranked-choice Voting Faces its Biggest Test Yet in New York City," Lee Drutman, Vox Media, November 5, 2019.
Lee Drutman's research on changing Democratic electorate discussed by Thomas Edsall, "How Radical Is Too Radical for 2020 Democrats?," The New York Times, April 10, 2019.
Lee Drutman's research on lobbying power discussed by Thomas B. Edsall, "The Lobbyists Blocking Nancy Pelosi and Her New Majority," The New York Times, January 10, 2019.
"Why Filling the Vacant Supreme Court Seat is Bad for the Country," Lee Drutman, The Washington Post, July 10, 2018.
Lee Drutman quoted by Eric Levitz, "New Study: Trump’s Immigration Agenda May Have Hurt Him in 2016" NY Magazine, July 2, 2018.
"It's Time for Time Limits for Supreme Court Justices," Lee Drutman, Vox, June 27, 2018.
Lee Drutman quoted on the Democratic party, "Democrats Have Plenty of Anger, but Few Good Ideas" The Economist, May 17, 2018.
Lee Drutman quoted by Todd Shields and Bill Alison, "AT&T’s Top Washington Official out over Hiring of Trump’s Lawyer" Bloomberg View, May 11, 2018.
Lee Drutman quoted on lobbying by Henry Grabar, "Is It Normal for the President’s Lawyer to Run a Political Consulting Firm?" Slate, May 9, 2018.
Lee Drutman quoted on lobbying in D.C. by Derek Kravitz & Alex Mierjeski, "How Former Members of the Trump Administration are Working Around a Non-Lobbying Pledge" Pacific Standard, May 4, 2018.
Lee Drutman quoted on Trump nominees by Clio Chang, "Was It Worth It for Democrats to Vote for Mike Pompeo?" Splinter News, April 26, 2018.
"Is There a Case for Political Optimism?," Lee Drutman (with Hollie Russon Gilman, Chayenne Polimedio, Heather Hurlburt, Mark Schmitt, Elena Souris, and Christian Hosam), Vox, April 23, 2018.
Lee Drutman quoted on lobbying the Trump administration by Lindsey Rupp and Mark Niquette, "Rare Coalition Bands Together to Fight Trump Tariffs" Bloomberg Politics, April 11, 2018.
Lee Drutman quoted on lobbyists and Silicon Valley by Peter Overby, "Lobbyists, Campaign Cash and Think Tanks: How Silicon Valley Tackled Politics" NPR, April 9, 2018.
Lee Drutman quoted on congressional hearings by Kate Irby, "Why Twitter and Google aren’t Supporting the Honest Ads Act as Facebook Endorses It" The News & Observer, April 9, 2018.
"Will Trump Break American Democracy?," Lee Drutman, Vox, March 20, 2018.
Lee Drutman quoted by Matthew Rozsa, "More Than 1 in 4 Americans Show Some Support for Authoritarianism" Salon, March 16, 2018.
"The Looming Legitimacy Crisis of the 2018 Midterms," Lee Drutman, Vox, March 9, 2018.
Lee Drutman quoted by Justin Talbot-Zorn, "How to Reverse the Trump-Era Brain Drain" The American Prospect, March 7, 2018.
"‘The NRA Has Basically Become Part of the Republican Party’," Lee Drutman, Interview with Janine Jackson, FAIR's CounterSpin, March 1, 2018.
"Why Parkland Could be a Turning Point for Gun Control," Lee Drutman, Vox, February 21, 2018.
Lee Drutman quoted by Yamily Habib, "The NRA and the Republican Party, A Limitless Romance" AL DÍA News Media, February 19, 2018.
Lee Drutman quoted by Jake Novak, "Stop Blaming the NRA for Failed Gun Control Efforts" CNBC, February 16, 2018.
Lee Drutman quoted by Monica Hunter-Hart, "Trump’s Speeches to the NRA Promised He’d Never Let Gun Owners Down" Bustle , February 15, 2018.
Lee Drutman quoted by Ed Kilgore, "Joe Manchin is Right: Washington Sucks" New York Magazine, February 2, 2018.
"Why so Many Members of Congress are Retiring," Lee Drutman, Vox, February 1, 2018.
"Dear Jeff Flake: Time to Start a Third Party," Lee Drutman, January 16, 2018.
Lee Drutman's research on John Harwoood, "Trump's Racial Provocations, So Shocking in the White House, Helped Get Him There," CNBC, January 12, 2018.
"How Democrats Can Extend the Winning Streak into 2018," Lee Drutman, New York Times, November 13, 2017.
Regular contributions by Lee Drutman to Vox.
Regular contributions by Lee Drutman to The Atlantic.
Lee Drutman quoted on lobbyists, "Lobbyists Go Underground" The Economist, August 31, 2017.
"The Real Civil War in the Democratic Party," Lee Drutman, New York Times, July 26, 2017.
Lee Drutman quoted on the future of the Democratic Party by Isaac Chotiner, "Can This Donkey be Saved?" Slate, June 27, 2017.
"What We Get Wrong about Lobbying and Corruption," Lee Drutman, The Washington Post, April 16, 2015.


"The Inside View: Using the Enron Email Archive to Understand Business Lobbying" (with Daniel J. Hopkins). Legislative Studies Quarterly 38, no. 1 (2013): 5-30.

Presents new methods and data that enable us to consider the internal processes of corporate political attention. 

The Business of America is Lobbying: How Corporations Became Politicized and Politics Became More Corporate (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Provides a fascinating and detailed picture of what corporations do in Washington, why they do it, and why it matters. Argues that proactive and aggressive engagement could help companies' bottom lines. Discusses reforms in lobbying.

"The Complexities of Lobbying: Toward a Deeper Understanding of the Profession" Political Science & Politics 43, no. 4 (2010): 834-837.

Argues that it is not easy to define lobbying. Focuses on demystifying the theories and application of lobbying.

"Congressional Staff and the Revolving Door: The Impact of Regulatory Change" (with Bruce E. Cain). Election Law Journal 13, no. 1 (2014): 27-44.

Discusses the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLGOA) which attempted to slow the revolving door between Congress and the Washington lobbying industry with one year bans on contacts between ex-staffers and their former colleagues in Congress. Explains the effects of HLGOA on various offices in the House and Senate.