Portrait of Lawrence Jacobs
137 Humphrey School
Currently reviewing Ph.D. applicants
Areas of Expertise
American political history; elections and voting behavior; health care policy; Midwestern swing states; presidential and legislative politics; public opinion and polling; Social Security; third party politics


    Lawrence R. Jacobs is an American political scientist and founder and director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance (CSPG) at the University of Minnesota. He was appointed the Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs in 2005 and holds the McKnight Presidential Chair. Jacobs has written or edited, alone or collaboratively, 17 books and over 100 scholarly articles in addition to numerous reports and media essays on American democracy, national and Minnesota elections, political communications, health care reform, and economic inequality. His latest book is Democracy Under Fire: Donald Trump and the Breaking of American History. In 2020, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
    Jacobs was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. His father, Henry Jacobs, served in the U.S. Army and worked in New York City as a stenographer, opening his own firm. His mother, Judy Jacobs, was a registered nurse.

    Jacobs graduated from Oberlin College in 1981 with a B.A. in History and English and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in political science in 1990.

    Recurring topics in Jacobs' research include American democracy, health care reform, political communications, and central banking. Learn more.


    BA in History and English (Oberlin College, 1981)

    Jacobs, L. R. (in press). “What Health Reform Tells Us About American Politics.”, Journal of health policy politics and law,

    Jacobs, L. R. (2019). “Affordable Care Act Moving to New Stage of Public Acceptance.”, Journal of health politics, policy and law, 44(6), 911-917

    Jacobs, L.. “Minnesota's urban-rural divide is no lie.”

    Jacobs, L. R.. Democracy Under Fire: The Rise of Extremists and the Hostile Takeover of the Republican Party. Oxford University Press: New York, NY United States

    Jacobs, L. R. & King, D. (2018). The Political Economy of the Fed, PS: Politics and Political Science,

    Jacobs, L. R. & King, D. (2018). Symposium on the Federal Reserve Bank, PS: Politics and Political Science,

    Jacobs, L. R. & Mettler, S. (2018). When and How New Policy Creates New Politics: Examining the Feedback Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Public Opinion, Perspectives on Politics, 16,

    Jacobs, L. R. (15 January (1st Quarter/Winter) 2018). Thinking of Walter Mondale Near His 90th Birthday: A Great Leader. A Great Teacher. Star Tribune:

    Jacobs, L. R. (14 September 2017). Republicans are Radicalizing Democrats. Just Look at Healthcare. The Guardian:

    Jacobs, L. R. (9 July (3rd Quarter/Summer) 2017). Minnesota Party Politics: The Battles Within.". Star Tribune:

    Callaghan, T. H. & Jacobs, L. R. (2017). The Future of Health Care Reform: What Is Driving Enrollment?, Journal of health politics, policy and law, 42(2), 215-246

    Jacobs, L. R. & Callaghan, T. (22 February 2017). Under Trump, Obamacare's Medicaid Enrollments May Actually Go Up. Washington Post Monkey Cage:

    Jacobs, L. R. (8 January (1st Quarter/Winter) 2017). A Realist's Guide to Trump's First 100 Days. Star Tribune: