David Wasserman

Senior Election Analyst, The Cook Political Report and NBC Contributor
  • Election analyst trusted by Republicans and Democrats as accurate and impartial
  • His expert political commentary regularly appears on major TV outlets and in top publications
  • Delivers lively and entertaining presentations tailored to each audience, and uses analogies that are as smart as they are memorable

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David Wasserman is the U.S. House editor and senior election analyst for the non-partisan newsletter, The Cook Political Report, and a contributor to NBC News. Founded in 1984, The Cook Political Report provides analyses of U.S. presidential, Senate, House, and gubernatorial races. The New York Times called The Cook Political Report “a newsletter that both parties regard as authoritative.”

Wasserman analyzes the current political environment in lively and entertaining presentations that he can tailor to his audiences’ specific interests or locales. His data-driven forecasting looks at both national and local trends (if requested, he can even do a district-by-district outlook), the relationship between consumer brand loyalty and voting, and what the future holds for American elections. He is exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau.

Highly-Praised Expertise. Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com has written: “Wasserman’s knowledge of the nooks and crannies of political geography can make him seem like a local,” and the Los Angeles Times called Wasserman “whip smart” and a “scrupulously nonpartisan” analyst whose “numbers nerd-dom was foretold at a young age.” Chuck Todd, host of NBC's Meet the Press, recently called David "pretty much the only person you need to follow on Election Night."

In 2016, Wasserman drew wide praise for his accurate pre-election analysis, including his uncanny September piece entitled, “How Trump Could Win the White House While Losing the Popular Vote.” Leading Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson concluded, “Nobody of my generation knows American politics as well as Dave Wasserman.”

Political Intelligence. Wasserman served as an analyst for the NBC News Election Night Decision Desk in 2016, 2012, and 2008 and has appeared on NBC Nightly NewsABC World NewsC-SPAN Washington Journal, CNN, and NPR. He is a frequent contributor to FiveThirtyEight.com and his commentary has been cited in numerous outlets including POLITICO, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, and RealClearPolitics. In 2018, his groundbreaking interactive collaboration with FiveThirtyEight, the "Atlas of Redistricting," took top prize for News Data App of the Year at the Global Editors Network's Data Journalism Awards.

An enthusiast for data and maps, Wasserman served as a contributing writer to the 2014 and 2016 editions of the Almanac of American Politics. A frequent speaker and guest lecturer, he has shared insights into the latest political trends with audiences at Harvard's Institute of Politics, the Dole Institute of Politics, and the University of Chicago Institute of Politics – where he taught a seminar on redistricting and electoral geography and was named a Pritzker Fellow in 2019. Wasserman was also awarded “Best of Twitter” honors by Twitter in 2014 for his real-time election coverage.

Prior to joining the The Cook Political Report in 2007, Wasserman served for three years as House editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a widely respected political analysis newsletter and website founded by renowned University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato. In that role, Wasserman led the publication to correctly predict Democrats would score a gain of 29 House seats in November 2006. 

A native of New Jersey, Wasserman holds a BA in government with distinction from the University of Virginia and was awarded the 2006 Emmerich-Wright Outstanding Thesis prize for his study of congressional redistricting standards.

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Speaker Video

David Wasserman Explains His Retail Theory of American Politics

David Wasserman: Navigating the 2020 Election Amid COVID-19

David Wasserman: The Current Political Climate & 2018 Midterm Elections

David Wasserman: Border Districts For 2018 Elections

David Wasserman: GOP Incumbents Running In This Climate

What Just Happened? Explaining the 2020 Election. As one of the most turbulent, unprecedented, and historic presidential elections comes to an end, Wasserman draws on his extensive research on demographic and cultural trends to make sense of the record turnout and what went wrong with the polls. Among his seven key takeaways, David highlights ticket-splitting, changing Hispanic attitudes and the two retail chains that could predict both parties' future. He also explores the results of 2020's top House and Senate races – all in a strictly non-partisan and 100% virtual presentation.

An Insider's Guide to DC: Navigating 2021 & Beyond. The 2020 Congressional races ushered in a few surprises and lots of new faces. Does your audience need to know what makes these new members tick? In a lively, timely and strictly non-partisan presentation, David takes audiences on a tour of the new DC landscape and what lies ahead for the new key players and the President. Drawing on his extensive research on voting patterns and interviews with the candidates, David explores how the aftershock of the 2020 election could shape Washington's top policy debates.

The Cook Political Report's Political Outlook. After two turbulent "change" elections in 2016 and 2018, what does 2020's split verdict mean? Wasserman cuts through the spin and uses fascinating facts, figures, and maps to take audiences on an entertaining and strictly non-partisan tour of how 2020 could impact the future political landscape. Drawing on his extensive research on cultural, demographic, and voting patterns, Wasserman handicaps the 2022 midterms and beyond. David drew praise for accurately forecasting Trump's path to winning the Electoral College in 2016, as well as Biden's path in 2020.

Where Are We Headed? The Future of Gerrymandering & Politics. The 2020 election turned polling on its head. But where is American politics headed in the long run? David Wasserman lays out the long-term forces that have led to this polarized political moment in an engaging and entertaining presentation that he can tailor to his audience’s interests or locales. Do retail habits predict voting behavior? What's the outlook for redistricting in 2021 and is there a cure for gerrymandering? Using fascinating data, maps and facts, Wasserman is sure to leave audiences of business leaders, grassroots advocates and non-political junkies alike buzzing.

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