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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, and Co-Founder of the Program on Legislative Negotiation at American University. He studies American political behavior and governance, political psychology, and electoral politics. He has served as principal investigator on over 50 externally funded research projects, totaling more than $16 million, and he has authored/coauthored over 80 publications--including four books (Rushed to Judgment [2002; Columbia University Press], Representing Red and Blue [2012; Oxford University Press], One Nation, Two Realities [2019; Oxford University Press], and The Politics of Truth in Polarized America [2021; Oxford University Press). From 2012-2017, he was Professor and Director of the Institute for Social Research at California State University-Sacramento, where he founded CALSPEAKS Opinion Research and co-founded the Public Health Survey Research Program. From 2005-2012, he was Associate Professor of Political Science and Religious Studies at University of Pittsburgh, where he also served as the Director of Graduate Studies. He has held visiting appointments at Science Po in Paris, the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, and the 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 2021

  • GOVT-110 Politics in the U.S.

  • GOVT-629 Capstone in Political Comm

  • GOVT-899 Doctoral Dissertation

Fall 2021

  • GOVT-315 Elections and Voting Behavior

  • GOVT-898 Doctoral Continuing Enrollment

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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