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Matt Grossmann

Matt Grossmann

Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research

Matt Grossmann's expertise includes American politics, policymaking, interest groups, public policy, political parties and campaigns.

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Area of Expertise

Political Science Gun Control Public Policy Analysis Politics National Elections State Elections Poltical Science Voting Behavior Presidential and Congressional Elections


As an expert on American politics and government, Matt Grossmann's research spans national and state policymaking, election campaigns, interest groups, and political parties. His current work explores the scope and mechanisms of economic inequalities in policy influence and the missing policy consequences of Republican gains in the American states.

His books include Asymmetric Politics: Ideological Republicans and Group Interest Democrats, published by Oxford University Press in 2016 (and co-authored ... with David A. Hopkins); Artists of the Possible: Governing Networks and American Policy Change Since 1945, published by Oxford University Press in 2014; and The Not-So-Special Interests: Interest Groups, Public Representation, and American Governance, published by Stanford University Press in 2012.

Grossmann is the author of numerous journal articles on such topics as policy change, political party networks, the legislative process and public opinion. His research appears in the Journal of Politics, Policy Studies Journal, Perspectives on Politics, American Politics Research and other outlets. He is also co-author of Campaigns & Elections, a textbook available through W. W. Norton, and he is editor of the volume New Directions in Interest Group Politics, from Routledge. He also writes for blogs and popular media.

His roots are also deep in practical politics, especially in candidate training, policy and survey research. His experience includes work at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government, the Institute of Governmental Studies, the Center for Voting and Democracy and the Center for Democracy and Technology. He served as a fellow for the Sunlight Foundation and co-authored a book for use in campaign leadership institutes.

A member of MSU’s faculty since 2007, he is founder and director of the Michigan Policy Network and served as liaison to MSU’s Washington Semester Program.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Claremont McKenna College, his master’s in political science in 2002 and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2007. He became IPPSR director in January 2016. Grossmann is available by phone (517) 355-6672, by email at, on Twitter at @mattgrossmann and at

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University of California: Ph.D., Political Science

University of California: M.A., Political Science

Selected Press

Biden wins Michigan with closer margins in ‘Trump country,’ slightly less support in Detroit

MLive | 2020-11-10

Biden's ability to gather more votes in “Trump country” proved crucial as both candidates inspired historic turnout. Matt Grossman, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University, said it will be tough to draw conclusions about what's happening in rural counties until precinct-level results are certified and more data is available. Grossman said it's possible that more populated and wealthier pockets of red counties voted for Biden while supporting down-ballot Republicans in other races.

Trump and Biden clash in ‘worst presidential debate in history’

MLive | 2020-09-30

Matt Grossman, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University, said the debate failed to offer undecided voters much opportunity to make up their mind. “Debates tend to have positive effects in that a lot of people tune in who haven't been paying very much attention ... I think we can't completely underestimate that, if people sat through it,” Grossman said. “But it wasn't a pleasant viewing experience, so I don't know if people who don't pay that much attention to politics would have sat through that whole debate.”

Trump looks to Republican convention for campaign reboot

Washington Post | 2020-08-23

Republicans have released relatively little information about their convention programming and officials have sought to preserve the element of surprise. Trump has been so visible lately that there seems little he might say there that he hasn't already said in some public forum. Republican strategists see him as overexposed and therefore in danger of being tuned out by all but the most ardent supporters. “Law and order” has been the overriding theme of Trump's campaign advertising, but the ads have not had the intended impact on Biden's image. “The Republican convention has an opportunity to repaint Biden in negative light,” said Matt Grossmann, a political science professor at Michigan State University. If convention speakers can do that, then the November election becomes a choice between the two candidates rather than a referendum on the president, as it is now.

'Coronavirus is a local issue.' Democrats look to ride anti-Trump wave to capture state legislatures in 2020

USA Today | 2020-08-17

An increased nationalization of elections helped Republicans take over seats Democrats had held onto in the South, said Matt Grossmann, director of Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research. Grossmann said Trump’s unpopularity is both extending the gains Democrats have made in recent elections with college educated and suburban voters while also eroding some of his advantage with white, working class voters. “That's bad news for a lot of legislative districts that Republicans control,” he said