Category Archives: Department of Political Science

Federal Judge Upholds Abortion Waiting Period in Virginia (Courthouse News)

Stephen Farnsworth, director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at University of Mary Washington, said Monday’s ruling will put abortion access back in the limelight for the upcoming statewide elections. “When you’re trying to get people to turn out [to vote], talking about a policy issue that would make them angry is one of the best strategies out there,” Farnsworth said in a phone interview. “And now both sides have something to work with.”

Link to report

Trump Trails Leading Democratic Candidates, UMW Survey Shows

Four prominent Democratic presidential candidates hold double-digit leads over President Donald Trump in hypothetical 2020 election contests in Virginia, according to a new University of Mary Washington statewide survey.

The survey, conducted Sept. 3-15 for UMW by Research America Inc., found former Vice President Joe Biden had a 55 percent to 37 percent margin over Trump among all respondents. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren had a 53 to 38 percent margin over Trump, as did Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. California Sen. Kamala Harris, the fourth Democratic candidate considered in the Virginia survey, had a 50 percent to 38 percent margin over the president.

Link to news release

NRA drops an unusual high dollar donation on Virginia Republican leader’s PAC (Virginia Mercury)

“(The donation) means the Republicans are worried about losing their majorities and are bringing out the financial big guns, so to speak,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington.

Link to report

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.”

Link to report