Michael A. Bailey is the Colonel William J. Walsh Professor of American Government in the Department of Government and McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

Bailey teaches and conducts research on American politics and political economy.  His work covering trade, Congress, election law and the Supreme Court, methodology and inter-state policy competition has been published in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, World Politics, the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization and elsewhere.

Bailey’s latest book is Polling at a Crossroads: Rethinking Modern Survey Research from Cambridge University Press.

Public opinion polling is in crisis. Response rates of one percent or less are common and polls have missed Donald Trump’s wins – or near wins – in critical states in 2016 and 2020. Pollsters have responded in many ways, including by abandoning the random sampling techniques that built the field. Nonetheless, most pollsters cling to an assumption that respondents are representative once we account for demographics. This was likely never true – and is almost certainly not true for today’s low-response and non-random polls. Polling at a Crossroads presents a new paradigm for polling that confronts the full spectrum of non-response bias that confounds contemporary polling. This new paradigm not only offers a simple and sometimes counterintuitive way to think about polling as practiced, it also points us to new ways to design and analyzing surveys in ways that address the challenges of contemporary polling.

He is the author of two statistics books.  The goal of these books is to get to interesting and useful statistical material as quickly as possible.  To be useful, the books focus on endogeneity (“correlation is not causation”) and to be interesting, the books quickly start using real data sets to answer important questions.  The books are quite similar.  Real Stats focuses on political and policy examples. Real Econometrics focuses on economic and policy examples.


Bailey is also co-author with Forrest Maltzman of The Constrained Court: Law, Politics and the Decisions Justices Make from Princeton University Press.

Bailey received his B.A. in Government and Japanese from the University of Notre Dame and his M.A. in Political Science, M.A. in Economics and Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University.

As a former Monbusho Scholar at the Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (then at Saitama University) in Japan, Bailey is conversational in Japanese and interested in Japanese politics.