University of Denver
Department of Political Science

Seth Masket

Seth Masket is a professor of political science and director of the Center on American Politics at the University of Denver. He researches and teaches about political parties, state legislatures, and campaigns and elections. Masket regularly contributes to Mischiefs of Faction and FiveThirtyEight.


Sie Complex, Room 2031

2201 S. Gaylord St.

Denver, CO 80208

(303) 900-8621



The Democrats, 2016-2020

A real-time examination of how the Democratic Party interpreted its 2016 defeat and why a focus on electability led to Joe Biden’s nomination in 2020.

Other Books

Political Parties

A modern book for a modern parties course (2021)

Seth Masket and Hans Noel bring a contemporary perspective and engaging writing to the political parties course. Using key material from contemporary and foundational research, Masket and Noel focus on how parties solve important problems in the American political system. This perspective reveals the importance of political parties, their inner workings, and their failures and successes.

The Inevitable Party

Why Attempts to Kill the Party System Fail and how They Weaken Democracy (2016)

This book examines five state-level anti-party reforms and looks at why they failed. These reforms range from from open primaries to campaign finance restrictions to nonpartisan legislatures, and the research utilizes legislative roll call votes, campaign donations patterns, and extensive interviews with local political elites.

No Middle Ground

How Informal Party Organizations Control Nominations and Polarize Legislatures (2009)

In recent years political parties have gained strength in state governments as well as in Washington. In many cases these parties function as machines. Unlike machines of the past that manipulated votes, however, today’s machines determine which candidates can credibly compete in a primary. Focusing on the history and politics of California, this book reveals how these machines evolved and how they stay in power by directing money, endorsements, and expertise to favored candidates, who often tend toward the ideological extreme.

Contact Author

Ricketson Law Building, 480C
2255 E. Evans Ave.
Denver, CO 80208

(303) 900-8621


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