Skip to main content

Lynn Vavreck, UCLA

Lynn Vavreck

Making Sense of the 2020 Election: The Pandemic and Politics

Lynn Vavreck is the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics and Public Policy at UCLA, a contributing columnist to The Upshot at The New York Times, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  She is a recipient of the Andrew F. Carnegie Prize in the Humanities and Social Sciences and the author of five books, including Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America, named the “most ominous” book of 2018 by the Washington Post Book Review. Nate Silver dubbed her 2012 election book the “definitive account” of that election, and her book on messaging has been seen in the hands of more than a few presidential candidates and consultants. Her 2020 election project, NATIONSCAPE, is the largest study of presidential elections ever fielded in the United States. Interviewing more than 6,000 people a week, NATIONSCAPE will complete 500,000 interviews before the inauguration in 2021. At UCLA she teaches courses on campaigns, elections, public opinion, and the 1960s.

Abstract: No one will ever forget 2020. Unexpected turns in public health and the economy changed everyone’s lives in an instant — and re​​​shaped a presidential election that was already the focus of heightened attention. How has the pandemic changed the race? Who will voters hold accountable? And will any of this lead to changes in the way America provides health care to citizens? These questions and of course, the latest from the campaign, will fill this lecture.