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.

Read full bio.

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.

Click here to download a hi-res photo for media and promotional use.

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.

Close bio

The Midterms Swing Voter: People who Disapprove of Biden Only a Little

Henry Olsen

Democrats would need to massively outperform historical trends with Biden’s weak approvers and weak opponents to have a prayer of running close to Republicans.

Articles

The Washington Post / August 23, 2022

Candidate Quality Won’t be Enough to Save the Senate for Democrats

Henry Olsen

There’s a growing belief, based on state polling and a perception that Republicans have nominated an unusually poor slate of…

Articles

The Washington Post / August 22, 2022

Lisa Murkowski is Showing the Limits of Political Extremism

Henry Olsen

The forced choice between extremes in other states is the only reason Trump-backed Republicans such as Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake have a prayer in the general election.

Articles

The Washington Post / August 18, 2022

Biden’s Failed Immigration Policy Should be a Scandal

Henry Olsen

Imagine how Democrats will respond if Hispanics representing the border call for stricter immigration policies.

Articles

The Washington Post / August 16, 2022

Democrats are Focusing the Midterms on the GOP. Republicans Should Welcome it.

Henry Olsen

Party-focused campaigns have helped deliver some of the GOP’s largest election wins.

Articles

The Washington Post / August 15, 2022

Trump’s Primary Winning Streak shows he’s still King of the GOP

Henry Olsen

Uneasy the head that wears the crown.

Articles

The Washington Post / August 10, 2022

Conservatives Need to get over their Allergy to Government Action

Henry Olsen

Today’s conservatives need to act prudently, but above all, they need to change.

Articles

The Washington Post / August 10, 2022

The GOP is blowing its chance to make the midterms a referendum on Democrats

Henry Olsen

The Kansas vote presents a further challenge for the entire Republican campaign.

Articles

The Washington Post / August 4, 2022

Please, Tories. Don’t fall for the supply-side snake oil.

Henry Olsen

The idea that tax cuts pay for themselves has long animated conservative politics in the United States.

Articles

The Washington Post / August 2, 2022

The Manchin Deal Should Fail, but Republicans can Learn Something from it.

Henry Olsen

Republicans are right to oppose the new tax hike and climate spending deal from Sen. Joe Manchin III. That doesn’t…

Articles

The Washington Post / July 28, 2022

Ignore the Naysayers, Nancy Pelosi. Go to Taiwan.

Henry Olsen

The Democratic House speaker should ignore them and go anyway.

Articles

The Washington Post / July 25, 2022

Beware of ‘national conservatives’ who dispense with American ideals

Henry Olsen

The national conservative effort to effectively write the Declaration out of American nationhood is manifest.

Articles

The Washington Post / July 20, 2022

Sign up here to receive updates from Henry Olsen.