Category Archives: Current UMW in the News

Debates set in four Fredericksburg-area General Assembly races (Free Lance-Star)

Elections such as this one, in a year with no major national or statewide offices on the ballot, typically draw less interest and a lower turnout. But there is plenty at stake Nov. 5 as Democrats hope to swing control of the legislature away from the GOP, which holds a narrow edge in both the House and Senate.

UMW Professor Stephen Farnsworth noted that while most of the news “focuses on what is happening in Washington, it’s important for us to remember that what happens in Richmond plays an important role in the way we live.”

“Either party can win,” he added, pointing out that the state has a narrow divide between party lines and a lot can happen between now and November.

Farnsworth also said there are many “contentious issues” tied to the campaigns and politics in general, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline; gun laws; controversy surrounding the governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general; and President Trump and his policies. All this adds up to what he called “a particularly interesting election.”

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Joe Walsh Launches Campaign Against Trump (CTV News Canada)

Professor Stephen Farnsworth of the University of Mary Washington in Virginia said that the former Republican congressman’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination will likely be little threat to President Trump, who has had the support of at least 80 percent of Republicans in recent polls. But Walsh’s campaign does likely mean that the anti-Trump Republicans will be able to get some attention in primary debates — debates that Trump is unlikely to attend, Farnsworth said.

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Trump: Trump Criticizes US Jewish Democrats (CTV News Canada)

“It’s very clear from the American Jewish groups that Donald Trump is once again trying to divide the country using religion as a vehicle to advance his own interests …,” said University of Mary Washington Professor of Political Science Stephen Farnsworth. “I don’t know that a lot of Jewish Americans are going to take Donald Trump’s advice all that seriously. They certainly didn’t support him in 2016. About four-to-one, Jewish Americans voted for Hillary Clinton.”

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Virginia Republican in close race now backs ‘red flag’ gun bill (Washington Post)

Stephen J. Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, said suburban Republicans like Hugo and Miyares are walking a fine line on volatile issues like gun control as Democrats make inroads in those communities.

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Trump steps up attack on Congresswoman (CTV News Canada)

Professor Stephen Farnsworth of the University of Mary Washington said: “There are two winners in this story. The congresswoman who wants to demonstrate that Israel is less of a democracy than it purports to be and the president who wants to make sure that people on the Democratic side come to the defense of the Democratic congresswomen who are so controversial. Donald Trump has a very, very good sense of how to build up outrage and anger in America and how to convert that to his political advantage. This is another example of that.”

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In Virginia, redrawn districts test Republicans — including House Speaker Kirk Cox (Washington Post)

“Chesterfield has changed a lot irrespective of the new lines,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth, a University of Mary Washington political scientist. “Generally speaking, the second wave of suburban residential settlement isn’t as conservative as the people who moved out of the city a generation or two ago. People are moving to Chesterfield to be closer to work. They’re moving into apartments in greater numbers rather than single-family homes. . . . So these are people who aren’t reflexively Republican.”

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