Farnsworth Lectures on Nonvoters


Stephen Farnsworth, professor of Political Science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, recently presented an online lecture, "Examining Nonvoters and their Perspectives," to a pre-election meeting of The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and the Black Women's Roundtable.


Farnsworth also received several recent media mentions, including:

Early Voter Turnout in Virginia is ‘Relatively Strong’ So Far (DCist)

“We can say that early voter turnout is relatively strong,” says Stephen Farnsworth, a professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington and the Director of the university’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies. “What we can’t say, though, is just how much we can attribute the increased early voting to the new laws.” 


Early Voting (WAMU)

“There are a wide range of factors that could impact turnout this year including recent expansions in early voting access and a heated political climate. “We can say it is kind of a high-water mark in terms of issues that bring people to the polls right now,” said Stephen Farnsworth.


Youngkin campaigns for Yesli Vega in Fredericksburg (Virginia Scope)
This was the last possibility for a debate between the two nominees as Vega had already turned down a debate with the University of Mary Washington last month.

Mar-A-Largo Documents Revealed (CTV News)
“It’s a really good question as to why he would want them. He really didn’t even seem to be all that interested in these national security concerns, briefs, or other things he did take as President. The only other thing I could speculate is that it must have been about some sort of leverage in his post presidency,” said Stephen Farnsworth.


Loudoun school board race partisan, tense and a test of GOP appeal (The Washington Post)
Stephen Farnsworth, a political scientist at the University of Mary Washington, said the results of the Loudoun race could be a bellwether for the Republican Party nationally, many of whose members would like to imitate Youngkin’s success last year in Virginia. “Loudoun County has really become ground zero in Republican efforts to win back the suburbs,” he said. “If the renewed Republican efforts translate to gains in Loudoun, you can expect similar efforts elsewhere.”


Opinion/Editorial: Vega sabotaged debate chances with Spanberger (The Daily Progress)
She first snubbed University of Mary Washington professor Stephen Farnsworth. A respected scholar with a long history of holding nonpartisan debates at UMW, Farnsworth extended an offer to host the candidates. https://dailyprogress.com/opinion/opinion-editorial-vega-sabotaged-debate-chances-with-spanberger/article_dd292ad8-530e-11ed-919b-cf6203dcddd8.html

What an “October surprise” looks like in the age of the election season (WVTF)

Stephen Farnsworth at the University of Mary Washington says that’s having a subtle influence over the pacing of campaigns. “An October surprise does no good when you think about all the people who’ve already voted by this point,” Farnsworth explains. “You now need a September surprise really to impact the election in the way that an October surprise used to.”


Not Up for Debate (Columbia Journalism Review)

This was despite the fact that Vega had ducked a separate debate, planned for last month, that was to have been held at the University of Mary Washington (in conjunction with community groups and news outlets) and moderated by Stephen Farnsworth, a political scientist there—rejecting plans for Virginia public media to broadcast the debate as insufficient, and taking a potshot at Spanberger’s “college campus” base.

Virginia’s2021governor race echoes into Spanberger-Vega contest (National Journal)

“This congressional district in the Washington suburbs is about as nationalized a congressional district as any in the country,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a professor and director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at the University of Mary Washington, which is located in the district. “An awful lot of people in the district follow what’s going on in Washington very closely. They may be federal retirees, federal workers, federal contractors.”

Inflation, fears about democracy driving 2022 midterm wave (Courthouse News)

“If this were a conventional election cycle, that would be very bad news for Democrats who have a lot of voter anxiety, polls show, with respect to the economy and inflation,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a professor of political science and international affairs at the University of Mary Washington.


Republican and Democrat parents are further apart than ever in beliefs over what children should learn in school (Courthouse News)

Stephen Farnsworth, a political sciences and international affairs professor & director at the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at University of Mary Washington, pointed out how Republican campaigns have capitalized on these anxieties for political gain.


The role of affordable housing on this year’s election (WVTF)

Stephen Farnsworth at the University of Mary Washington says these elections will have long-lasting consequences.


Elon Musk begins takeover of Twitter. Experts are wary (Courthouse News Service; Tucson Sentinel)

Stephen Farnsworth, a political science professor at University of Mary Washington, believes the financial pressures Musk will take on in buying Twitter will help tame his plans for the platform.

“He’s paid a great deal for this property and will have to provide a great deal of money in debt service, and that’s going to create a great deal of pressure on him not to drive current Twitter users away,” he said. “That may mean Musk is not able to change Twitter as much as he might like, or risk paying a huge financial price if he does follow through on his libertarian vision for the social network.”



Ted Cruz barnstorms to boost conservatives in midterms and himself, maybe, in 2024 (The Eagle;  Finger Lakes Times)

“Sounds like Virginia is the latest stop as Ted Cruz tries to build that campaign bandwagon for another presidential run. … Candidates enjoy having IOUs,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a political scientist at the University of Mary Washington who has been tracking the Vega-Spanberger race.



Trump Endorses Yesli Vega in VA 7th District Race (NBC Washington)

“On balance this is probably going to hurt a little more than it helps. The people who were all in for Donald Trump were going to be all in for Yesli Vega from the start, but this could be a useful tool for Spanberger to use to talk about how she can run against Donald Trump as well as Yesli Vega, ” said Stephen Farnsworth.


Lewis faces Rep. Cline in the 6th District for the second time (Cardinal News)

Stephen J. Farnsworth, a political scientist at the University of Mary Washington, said that the 6th District has been redrawn last year in a way to give Republicans an even greater advantage. “The Interstate 81 corridor has always been the backbone of Virginia conservatism, and this district is red by a margin of about 2 to 1,” Farnsworth said. “The northern edge of the district used to be in the 10th, which was a far more competitive district than this one is.”


Schapiro: Not quite Youngkin’s “macaca” moment, but close (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

“Toddlers and politicians have something in common: their rewarded behavior is repeated behavior,” said Stephen Farnsworth of the University of Mary Washington, author of “Presidential Communication and Character: White House News Management from Clinton and Cable to Twitter and Trump.”


Rep. Morgan Griffith faces challenger Taysha DeVaughan in the 9th District (Cardinal News)

Stephen J. Farnsworth, a political scientist at the University of Mary Washington, said that in the past three decades the 9th District may have seen the biggest political shift of any district in Virginia. “Thirty years ago, when there were still many jobs in mining, there was a much stronger Democratic presence in the 9th, and more competitive elections,” he said. “The current version of the 9th is very hospitable to Republicans, and nobody calls it the ‘Fighting Ninth’ anymore.”