Lynn Vavreck, UCLA

L Vavrek
Lynn Vavrek.

Identity Crisis & the 2020 Presidential Election

Lynn Vavreck is the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics and Public Policy at UCLA and a contributing columnist to The Upshot at the New York Times. She is the author of five books, including Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America, and The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election. 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, Vavrek teaches courses on campaigns, elections, public opinion, and the 1960s. Vavreck holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Rochester.

Abstract: While the country is liberalizing in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, the movement is largely due to Democrats shifting left and Republicans staying in place, making the distance between parties greater. Even so, there are things on which everyone agrees, suggesting that the 2020 election could be one that unifies more than it divides. As the incumbent president campaigns for re-election amid a growing economy, what role will identity-inflected issues play in the 2020 presidential contest? What role will other issues play?