UCLA Professor of Political Science and Communication Studies
HER UNCOMMON POLITICAL INSIGHTS SERVE THE COMMON GOOD.
Journalists focus on the daily details of an election. But even the most nontraditional political race has underlying patterns that may not always tell the same story we see on cable news. Lynn Vavreck, UCLA professor of political science and communication studies, uses these hidden patterns to unlock the secrets of presidential campaigns for American voters. Her technique of using Internet polling to do political science in real time, rather than months or years after an election, has transformed how campaigns are analyzed; her 2013 book, The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election, co-authored with George Washington University political scientist John Sides, was called “path-breaking” and “required reading” for pols and pundits alike. “Every election, people come up with these exceptional points that mean we should throw out all the past data,” she says. “My job is to say, ‘No, the pattern is the pattern. There are always things like this.’”