Michael Nelson

Nonresident Faculty Senior Fellow

Fast Facts

  • Editor of American Presidential Elections book series
  • Expertise on political science, Richard Nixon

Areas Of Expertise

  • Governance
  • Elections
  • Federalism
  • Political Parties and Movements
  • Politics
  • The Presidency

Michael Nelson is the Fulmer Professor of Political Science at Rhodes College. He has published multiple books, including Resilient America: Electing Nixon, Channeling Dissent, and Dividing Government (2014); The American Presidency: Origins and Development, 1776–2014, with Sidney Milkis (2015); The Presidency and the Political System, 10th ed. (2014); and The Elections of 2016 (2017). He has published numerous articles in scholarly journals such as the Journal of Politics and Political Science Quarterly and in periodicals such as Virginia Quarterly Review, the Claremont Review of Books, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Although most of his articles have been about American politics and government, he also has written about C. S. Lewis, Frank Sinatra, Charles Dickens, Garrison Keillor, football, and baseball. More than 50 of these articles have been reprinted in anthologies of political science, history, and English composition. He is editor of the American Presidential Elections book series for the University Press of Kansas and is currently writing a book about the 1992 election.

Michael Nelson News Feed

Based on their new edited volume, "The Presidency: Facing Constitutional Crossroads," Miller Center presidential scholars discuss the deep historical and constitutional context needed to understand the Trump era. Identifying key points at which the constitutional presidency could have evolved in different ways from the nation’s founding to today, these scholars will examine presidential decisions that determined the direction of the country.
Michael Nelson Miller Center Presents
The 2020 presidential election has provided Americans with one of the wildest political roller-coaster rides in 20 years. Predicted to be a blowout, a winner wasn’t announced until four days after Election Day as Americans waited for the votes to be counted. Even now, contestants on both sides anticipate a court battle before the results are finalized. At this year's annual conference, the Baker Institute’s Presidential Elections Program hosted political experts from around the country to examine the lead-up to the elections and the ramifications of the aftermath during a three-day program.
Michael Nelson Baker Institute
Not many presidential elections usher in periods of dramatic change in public policy, significantly altering the role of the federal government in American society. Could the 2020 contest between President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden be one of the exceptions, an empowering election in every sense of the word? If history is any guide, the answer hinges on whether the winning candidate’s victory satisfies three conditions.
Michael Nelson History News Network
Political scientist Michael Nelson discusses his new book, Clinton's Elections: 1992, 1996, and the Birth of a New Era of Governance, with Russell Riley, co-chair of the Miller Center’s Presidential Oral History Program.
Michael Nelson Miller Center Presents
Professor Michael Nelson, an expert on the American presidency, joins Transition Lab to discuss the political dynamics that define a president’s first and second term. Nelson explains how new presidents can maximize their impact during their first year in office and outlines the challenges two-term presidents face during their fifth year.
Michael Nelson Transition Lab Podcast
Brilliant. Brave. Charismatic. That was Nathan Bedford Forrest. Cruel. Racist. Treasonous. That was Nathan Bedford Forrest, too. It’s just a few days until the Tennessee Capitol Commission meets on February 20 to decide whether to begin the process of moving Forrest’s bust out of the state capitol building in Nashville. If it votes to recommend removal, the matter will end up in the hands of the Tennessee Historical Commission, where a two-thirds vote to take out the bust would be required.
Michael Nelson History News Network