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 McKnight Presidential Chair in Public Affairs, the Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies, and director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance in the Hubert H. Humphrey School and the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota. The Center is a preeminent hub for political and policy analysis in the Midwest.

    Jacobs has published 16 books and edited volumes and dozens of articles on elections, legislative and presidential politics, elections and public opinion, and a range of public policies. His most recent books include Democracy under Fire (Oxford University Press, 2022), Fed Power: How Finance Wins (with Desmond King, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016), Health Care Reform and American Politics, 3rd edition (with Theda Skocpol, Oxford University Press, 2015), Who Governs? Presidents, Public Opinion, and Manipulation (with James Druckman, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015).

    Politicians Don’t Pander: Political Manipulation and the Loss of Democratic Responsiveness (with Robert Y. Shapiro, University of Chicago Press, 2000) won three awards. Dr. Jacobs co-edits the “Chicago Series in American Politics” for the University of Chicago Press.

    His research has been recognized by a number of prizes. His book, Politicians Don’t Pander received the Goldsmith Book Prize from Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center for Press and Politics, the Neustadt Book Prize from the American Political Science Association, and the Distinguished Book Prize in political sociology from the American Sociological Association.

    In addition, his articles received awards from the American Political Science Association and International Communications Association. Dr. Jacobs also received a prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. He chaired the Task Force on Inequality and American Democracy, which was convened by the American Political Science Association.

    Jacobs has received grants from the McKnight Foundation, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, National Science Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Phillips foundation, and others.

    Jacobs' research has been published and discussed in a number of mass media outlets including the BBC, National Public Radio, Minnesota Public Radio as well as ABC, NBC, CBS News, CNN, CSPAN, MSNBC, and The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune, The Economist, The Washington Monthly, The Pioneer Press, The Star Tribune, The New Republic, Congressional Quarterly, Roll Call, the National Journal, and other outlets. He has made regular presentations at the National Press Club and is a regular political commentator in Minnesota and nationwide.

    My wiki page:


    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: