Why read Tusk?

Who will the Republicans nominate for president in 2024? This question is far more interesting and more difficult to answer than it was a few years or even a few months ago. Are Republicans turning away from Trump? Will the anti-Trump forces within the party unite behind an alternative candidate or will they be scattered like they were in 2016? What events, signals, omens, tea leaves, etc. should we be watching?

This Substack will seek to answer these questions and more, with (roughly) weekly posts from early 2023 until (at least) the Republican National Convention in the summer of 2024. I will be writing occasional companion pieces at Politico. And eventually, this material will end up informing a book I’m writing on the Republican Party between 2020 and 2024.

If you’ve read my book Learning From Loss: The Democrats 2016-2020 or any of the related FiveThirtyEight articles, Mischiefs of Faction posts, or tweets I did along the way, you’ll find this approach somewhat familiar. This is political science in real time. And I’ll be drawing from interviews I’m conducting in Iowa, New Hampshire, and elsewhere, ongoing surveys of county party chairs, and other sources in the process.

I hope you’ll find this helpful and informative. And I hope you can help support this site with a donation, but you’re more than welcome to this content if you can’t.

About me

I am a professor in the Political Science Department and director of the Center on American Politics at the University of Denver. I’ve been at the university since 2004. I also do a lot of public facing work at places like Politico, the Los Angeles Times, the Denver Post, Mischiefs of Faction, and more. I also tweet a lot. You can read more about my work on my website.

My preferred style of political science research involves a number of different approaches, including interviews, historical readings, attending political events, as well as more quantitative studies of campaign finance patterns and voting behavior. I mainly focus on political parties, which are both everywhere and also tricky to study, since a lot of their most important functions are off the books.

I grew up in Southern California, lived and worked for several years in Washington, DC, and now live in Denver, Colorado. I enjoy skiing, baking, and decorating cakes.

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Inside the Republican invisible primary of 2024, from the perspective of a political scientist


Political scientist and director of the Center on American Politics at the University of Denver. Author of multiple books on political parties and contributor to blogs, newspapers, etc. Writing book on the Republican Party between 2020 and 2024.