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Farnsworth Publishes Book on Presidential Communication

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University of Mary Washington’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, is author of a new book, Presidential Communication and Character: White House News Management from Clinton and Cable to Twitter and Trump, published by Routledge Press.

From the Publisher: This book traces the evolution of White House news management during America’s changing media environment over the past two decades. Comparing and contrasting the communication strategies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, it demonstrates the difficulty that all presidents have in controlling their messages despite a seemingly endless array of new media outlets and the great advantages of the office. That difficulty is compounded by new media’s amplification of presidential character traits for good or ill. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube notwithstanding, presidential power still resides in the “power to persuade,” and that task remains a steep challenge.

The book also looks at the media strategies of candidates during the 2016 presidential campaign and covers the early phase of the Trump administration, the first true Twitter presidency.

More information

C-Span interview on "Presidential Communication and Character"

Virginia Democrats vying for the U.S. House outraise Republicans for the quarter (Washington Post)

Stephen J. Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington, said Democrats’ strong showing in 2017 — winning the governor’s race by nine points and flipping 15 state delegate seats — convinced donors Virginia is a good political investment.

“The unpopularity of Trump that you saw last year is present this year as well,” Farnsworth said, “and these financial numbers suggest that a lot of donors think 2018 is going to look like 2017 in Virginia.”

Link to report

Fifth District race uncharacteristically close (Fauquier Now)

Professor Stephen Farnsworth, director of the University of Mary Washington’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, last week called the race “50-50.”

“The biggest challenge for Riggleman is to be heard in the windstorm that is the Trump presidency,” Dr. Farnsworth said in a phone interview. “It’s very hard for any candidate to get all that much public or media attention when the president seems to dominate every minute of every news cycle.”

Ms. Cockburn, he said, needs “to convince the generally conservative district to support more progressive policies than the district usually does.”

Dr. Farnsworth described the 5th as “really a bunch of districts — a slice of the Washington suburbs, the Charlottesville area, the Lynchburg area, and a solid core of Southside Virginia, all rolled into one.”

Link to report

Down Big in Polls, Libertarian Joe Walton Forges On (WCVE public radio)

But University of Mary Washington politics professor Stephen Farnsworth says that’s not Walton’s biggest obstacle. “Money is not the problem haunting Libertarians, the first-past-the-post system is,” Farnsworth wrote in an email.

Farnsworth says a run-off system would allow voters to choose a third party candidate without the risk of playing spoiler for their main party pick. “Libertarians may be able to take advantage of high levels of frustration with the major parties, but a very good election year for a Libertarian involves mid-to-high single digits,” he said.

Link to report

Farnsworth to Talk about Presidential Communication on “With Good Reason”

Farnsworth to Talk about Presidential  Communication on “With Good Reason”Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington, will be speaking about the state of the Trump presidency and his new book, “Presidential Communication and Character” on “With Good Reason.” The public  radio program airs in 99 cities around the nation starting this weekend.

The segment with Professor Farnsworth, who was named Outstanding Faculty of 2017 by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, will air at 2 p.m. on Sunday October 14 on 94.9 FM in Fredericksburg, 88.5 FM in Charlottesville and 92.5 FM in Richmond.

The post Farnsworth to Talk about Presidential Communication on “With Good Reason” appeared first on EagleEye.

Countdown to Midterm Election (CTV News Canada)

Professor Stephen Farnsworth of the University of Mary Washington in Virginia said that President Trump's unpopularity has energized Democratic activists and candidates in the upcoming midterm election.

Midterm elections are often a tough time for candidates who share the president's political party, and so Republicans may be repudiated in November like Democratic members of Congress were in 2010 and 2014, the two midterm elections during the Obama presidency, Farnsworth said.

Link to report