Henry Olsen

Senior Fellow

Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.

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For media inquiries or to book Mr. Olsen for an interview, contact Josh Britton at jbritton@eppc.org or 202-715-3493.

Click here to view the full archive of Mr. Olsen’s writings at The Washington Post.

Click here to view the full archive of Mr. Olsen’s writings at National Review Online.

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Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.

Mr. Olsen is an opinion columnist for The Washington Post, where he writes daily pieces focusing on politics, populism, foreign affairs and American conservative thought. He is also the author of The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism and The Four Faces of the Republican Party, co-authored with Dante Scala.

Mr. Olsen was previously an editor at UnHerd.com and a regular contributor to American GreatnessCity Journal, and World Magazine. Mr. Olsen’s work has been featured in many prominent publications, including The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalNational ReviewThe Guardian, and The Weekly Standard.

His predictions of the 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 elections were particularly praised for their remarkable accuracy. In the 2016 campaign, he accurately identified the factors fueling the rise of Donald Trump early in the race, and his election-eve predictions were among the most accurate of any major analyst or commentator.

Mr. Olsen has worked in senior executive positions at many center-right think tanks. He most recently served from 2006 to 2013 as Vice President and Director, National Research Initiative, at the American Enterprise Institute. He previously worked as Vice President of Programs at the Manhattan Institute and President of the Commonwealth Foundation.

Mr. Olsen started his career as a political consultant at the California firm of Hoffenblum-Mollrich. He then worked with the California State Assembly Republican Caucus before attending law school. He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Danny J. Boggs on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and as an associate at Dechert, Price & Rhoads. He has a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, where he served as Comment Editor for the University of Chicago Law Review.

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What Republicans Should Learn from Glenn Youngkin

Henry Olsen

Republicans are salivating over the chance that businessman Glenn Youngkin can win the Virginia’s governor race. They should also be salivating over the campaign platform and messaging that’s making his potential upset possible.

Articles

The Washington Post / October 20, 2021

Why Have Biden’s Approval Ratings Plummeted? Look to His Spending Agenda.

Henry Olsen

A recent Gallup poll shows how hard it’s going to be for Democrats to make progress on their huge domestic spending bill—and why going small best serves their political interests.

Articles

The Washington Post / October 18, 2021

Too Many Republicans Misunderstand Reagan’s Legacy

Henry Olsen

Republicans debating what they should stand for often invoke Ronald Reagan as the ideal standard-bearer for the party. It’s a shame, then, that so many of them misunderstand the man.

Articles

The Washington Post / October 12, 2021

Biden’s Polling Numbers Are Even Worse Than They Appear

Henry Olsen

Democrats are rightly worried about President Biden’s poor job approval ratings. A closer look at his ratings among independents shows Democrats should be even more worried than they are.

Articles

The Washington Post / October 4, 2021

Our Republic Is Gravely Sick. A New Poll Confirms It.

Henry Olsen

Democrats and Republicans harbor hatred for members of the opposing party in nearly equal measures, and both view anti-democratic practices with nearly equal regard.

Articles

The Washington Post / October 1, 2021

What’s to Blame for the Murder Spike? Certainly Anti-Police Fervor Didn’t Help.

Henry Olsen

There are likely many factors that contributed to the sharp increase in murders across the country, but there’s one thing that clearly did not help: the blanket anti-police mantra adopted by many urban and national leaders after the killing of George Floyd.

Articles

The Washington Post / September 28, 2021

The Democrats’ Abortion Bill Is Radical. Good Thing It’s Dead on Arrival in the Senate.

Henry Olsen

House Democrats have passed an abortion rights bill, the Women’s Health Protection Act, that would effectively do away with all state-level restrictions on abortions. This goes far beyond what most of the world permits and what most Americans want.

Articles

The Washington Post / September 24, 2021

Don’t Lose Sight of the Inflation Monster

Henry Olsen

August’s inflation report was heralded as a sign that rising prices are slowing down. If only that were true. People so want to believe that inflation is temporary that they will seize on any good news as a silver lining.

Archives

The Washington Post / September 23, 2021

Democrats’ Immigration Policies are a Gift to Republicans

Henry Olsen

The image of thousands of Haitian refugees huddling under a bridge in Del Rio, Tex., is forcing illegal immigration back into the national consciousness. That’s bad news for President Biden and his fellow Democrats, as this is a major political vulnerability for them.

Articles

The Washington Post / September 21, 2021

The World’s Populists Are Ascendant

Henry Olsen

Norway’s election on Monday begins a two-month collection of votes around the globe that will tell us a lot about public opinion a year-and-a-half into the pandemic. Though each country is different, the patterns are already clear: The traditional right is down, while the far left and populism are on the rise.

Articles

The Washington Post / September 15, 2021

Biden’s Covid Vaccine Mandates are Unconstitutional — and Unnecessary

Henry Olsen

President Biden’s speech Thursday announcing the imposition of national vaccine requirements was more than a brazen flip-flop. It was a breathtaking disregard for the Constitution and an arrogant display of overreaching federal power.

Articles

The Washington Post / September 10, 2021

The Virginia Governor’s Race Might Not Be a Slam Dunk for Democrat Terry McAuliffe

Henry Olsen

Virginia has become a Democratic-leaning state over the past decade, which gives former governor Terry McAuliffe a leg up in his effort to get his old job back. The polls, however, suggest that it might not be a slam dunk.

Articles

The Washington Post / September 7, 2021

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