Abramowitz graduated with a B.A. with high honors in political science from the University of Rochester in 1969. He attended graduate school at Stanford University, completing an M.A. in 1972 and a PhD degree in 1976. Abramowitz' dissertation was entitled An Assessment of Party and Incumbent Accountability in Midterm Congressional Elections.
Abramowitz taught at the College of William and Mary from 1976 to 1982, at Stony Brook University from 1982 to 1987, when he joined the faculty at Emory University as a professor of political science. Abramowitz was awarded the Alben W. Barkley Distinguished Chair in Political Science at Emory University in 1993.
Abramowitz has authored or co-authored five books. Probably his best known book, co-authored with Jeff Segal of Stony Brook University, Senate Elections, written in 1992, received two awards from political science associations and remains one of the seminal works in the study of senatorial elections to this day.
Abramowitz has written extensively on many disparate topics in American politics, including presidential, senate and house elections, activism, polarization, ideology, partisanship, ideological realignment, incumbency, and redistricting. Abramowitz often publishes a predictive model of elections based on his "time for change" model, which has been very accurate in predicting election outcomes since the 1980s.
- Abramowitz, Alan I. 2012. The Polarized Public? Why American Government Is So Dysfunctional.New York: Pearson.
- Abramowitz, Alan I. 2010. The Disappearing Center. Yale University Press.
- Abramowitz, Alan I. 2004. Voice of the People: Elections and Voting in the United States. New York: McGraw Hill.
- Abramowitz, Alan I., and Jeffrey A. Segal. 1992. Senate Elections. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
- Rapoport, Ronald B., Alan I. Abramowitz, and John McGlennon., eds. 1986. The Life of the Parties: Activists in Presidential Politics. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press.
- Abramowitz, Alan I., and Walter J. Stone. 1984. Nomination Politics: Candidate Choice Before the Convention. New York: Praeger.
- Abramowitz, Alan I., John McGlennon and Ronald B. Rapoport. 1981. Party Activists in Virginia. Charlottesville, Virginia: Institute of Government.