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 [email protected].

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.

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 is teaching as the Thomas W. Smith Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Arizona State University for the Winter/Spring 2023 semester.

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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A Longtime Advantage Has Vanished for the Democrats

Henry Olsen

Republicans hold a partisan lead because more independents lean toward them rather than feeling any enthusiasm for the brand.

Articles

National Review / February 1, 2024

Trump can’t stop repeating his election fraud lies. That’s a problem for November

Henry Olsen

When Donald lies, the GOP dies: a failure to grapple with the fallout of 2020 might hand Biden a second term.

Articles

The Telegraph / January 31, 2024

2024 could be the year the European consensus is finally shattered by a continent-wide populist…

Henry Olsen

National elections pose an even brighter picture of populists.

Articles

Brussels Signal / January 8, 2024

Nikki Haley’s first mistake may prove fatal

Henry Olsen

The Republican presidential candidate’s uncharacteristic misstep has turned the media tides against her Nikki Haley committed a huge unforced error…

Articles

The Telegraph / December 28, 2023

The meaning of Javier Milei

Henry Olsen

Libertarian economist Javier Milei’s smashing landslide victory is the most radical thing to happen to Argentina in decades. But his win portends more than just a free-market revolution on the pampas.

Articles

The Spectator World / December 20, 2023

DeSantis has a month to save his campaign – or cave to Trump

Henry Olsen

The question now is whether DeSantis really has been hamstrung by a consultant and strategy that didn’t fit him.

Articles

The Telegraph / December 19, 2023

Vivek Ramaswamy is a certified conspiracy theorist

Henry Olsen

Vivek Ramaswamy lobs attacks on everyone with a nearly crazed, conspiratorial energy and went so far at one point to hold up his note pad for the camera with words “Nikki = Corrupt”.

Articles

The Telegraph / December 7, 2023

There aren’t enough moderate conservatives to beat Trump

Henry Olsen

Haley would need to get the lion’s share of the voters who back other candidates to switch to her to have a shot.

Articles

The Telegraph / November 29, 2023

Geert Wilders’s win shouldn’t surprise us

Henry Olsen

Wilders’s win is much less of an endorsement of his views than it is yet another rejection of the elites’ business as usual.

Articles

The Spectator World / November 23, 2023

The GOP is a Coalition. Republicans Had Better Start Acting Like It.

Henry Olsen

Republican elites and many officeholders remain starkly out of touch with their own voters.

FUSION / November 15, 2023

What a DeSantis Rebound Looks Like

Henry Olsen

Why Iowa governor Reynolds’s endorsement could be the first step in a recovery for the struggling presidential candidate.

National Review Online / November 10, 2023

The GOP’s silver linings after Virginia election losses

Henry Olsen

Tuesday’s off-year elections were clearly disappointing for Republicans.

Washington Post / November 9, 2023

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