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Stephen Farnsworth - University of Mary Washington. Fredericksburg, VA, US

Stephen Farnsworth Stephen Farnsworth

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs | University of Mary Washington

Fredericksburg, VA, UNITED STATES

Dr. Farnsworth has spent decades researching how media and politics intersect. Check out his website at stephenfarnsworth.net.

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Stephen Farnsworth Discusses 'The Global President' - Virginia Festival of the Book 2014 UMW's Stephen Farnsworth: Current Research Virginia politics, explained How President Obama Wins Virginia

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Biography

Dr. Farnsworth is a sought-after political commentator on subjects ranging from presidential politics to the local Virginia congressional races. He has been widely featured in national media, including The Washington Post, Reuters, The Chicago Tribune and MSNBC.

He is author or co-author of six books on presidential communication. His latest work, "Presidential Communication and Character: White House News Management from Clinton and Cable to Twitter and Trump," examines how the last four U.S. presidents sell themselves and their policies in an ever-expanding and sometimes precarious media environment.

Among his other books are "The Global President;" "Spinner in Chief: How Presidents Sell Their Policies and Themselves;" "The Nightly News Nightmare: Media Coverage of U.S. Presidential Elections, 1988-2008;" "The Mediated Presidency: Television News and Presidential Governance;" and "Political Support in a Frustrated America."

A professor at University of Mary Washington for nearly two decades, he established the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies. He is recipient of the 2017 Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award by the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV), and was recognized for his service to the national political science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha. The University has bestowed four teaching honors, including the Alumni Association Outstanding Young Faculty Member Award, the Mary W. Pinschmidt Teaching Award, the Richard Palmieri Outstanding Professor Award and the Waple Research Professorship Award.

Areas of Expertise (7)

American Elections American Government The American Presidency Internet Politics Mass Media and Politics Virginia Government and Politics Journalism

Accomplishments (10)

Waple Research Professorship (professional)

2018-03-31

Awarded for outstanding research in political science.

Farnsworth Receives Outstanding Faculty Award (professional)

2017-01-04

Stephen J. Farnsworth, University of Mary Washington professor of political science and director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies, has received the prestigious 2017 Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award by the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV).

Farnsworth Receives National Political Science Association Award (professional)

2016-09-13

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the UMW Center for Leadership and Media Studies, was recognized for his dedication and service to Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, at the American Political Science Association Conference in September 2016.

Recipient, Distinguished Communicator Award (professional)

2016-04-10

Awarded by the Virginia Association of Communication Arts and Sciences.

Best Conference Paper Award in Political Communication (professional)

2011-04-01

Eastern Communication Association

Best Conference Paper Award in Political Communication (professional)

2009-04-01

Southern States Communication Association

J. William Fulbright Research Chair in Public Policy (professional)

2006-01-01

McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Outstanding Young Faculty Member Award (professional)

2001-01-01

Awarded by the Alumni Association of Mary Washington College.

Mary W. Pinschmidt Teaching Award (professional)

1999-01-01

Presented by the graduating class to the faculty member "who had the greatest impact on their lives" at Mary Washington College.

Richard Palmieri Outstanding Professor Award (professional)

1999-01-01

Presented by Mortar Board honor and service society in recognition of exceptional teaching and service to Mary Washington College.

Education (4)

Georgetown University: Ph.D., American Government

Georgetown University: M.A., American Government

University of Missouri: B.A. (Honors), History

Dartmouth College: B.A. (Honors), American Government

Affiliations (3)

  • Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society
  • Fredericksburg Regional Board of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia : Member
  • Former Chair, Political Communication Section of American Political Science Association. 2012-2014

Media Appearances (11)

Post-election, Virginia dodges Medicaid work requirements

WHSV  online

2019-12-10

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University of Mary Washington’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, said that moving forward, Republicans have “little ability” to retain the previous agreement from a couple years ago…“This is an example of how elections have consequences,” Farnsworth said. “The new Democratic majorities taking office next month have little interest in the work requirement as a condition for Medicaid expansion and seem very likely to abandon that provision in the next session.”

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The Growing Cost of Virginia Elections

WVTF  online

2019-12-10

"Now, of course, the bill comes due in January," says Stephen Farnsworth at the University of Mary Washington. “People who invest in politicians want a return on their investment, and so expect aggressive lobbying as the new legislature debates the new policies of 2020.”

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Suburban voters were key to Democratic takeover in Virginia — and both parties will need to keep wooing them

The Virginia-Pilot  online

2019-11-12

Suburban voters were key to Democratic takeover in Virginia — and both parties will need to keep wooing them (The Virginian-Pilot)
“One of the political realities if you’ve been out of power for two decades is having a huge amount of pent-up demand on policies. As a result, there’s a great risk of over-reaching,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a political scientist at the University of Mary Washington.

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The Score: Virginia Elections, Candidates Speak, Assessing Politics, Business Ethics, Gerald Baliles

Bearing Drift  online

2019-11-11

On the day after the election in Virginia, I spoke by telephone with Dr. Stephen Farnsworth, a political scientist at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg and a long-time observer of politics in the Old Dominion.

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How Much is Too Much for Virginia's New Democratic Majority?

WVTF  online

2019-11-11

Stephen Farnsworth at the University of Mary Washington says one pitfall they’ll face is criticism of tax-and-spend liberals, and he says they can avoid that by emphasizing reforms that won’t cost taxpayers a dime.
“If you were to ratify the ERA, for example, that wouldn’t cost much. If you were to tighten restrictions on guns, that wouldn’t cost much," explains Farnsworth. "If you were to tighten environmental regulations, once again, it wouldn't break the budget.”

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Cole's win helps flip House of Delegates for Democrats

The Free Lance-Star  print

2019-11-06

Democrats’ takeover of both the House and the Senate for the first time in years shows that Republicans will need to retool if they want to be more competitive with suburban voters, said Stephen Farnsworth, a professor of political science and international affairs at the University of Mary Washington. “The messaging that Republicans used 10 years ago doesn’t work nearly as effectively in the more diverse Virginia of today,” he said. “Think about gun control. Republicans were out of step and they paid a price for it.”

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Trump Urges Support for GOP Ahead of Virginia Elections

Courthouse News Service  online

2019-11-05

“The last-minute intervention by top Republicans will be welcomed by both Republicans and Democrats,” Stephen Farnsworth, political science professor at the University of Mary Washington, said in an interview.

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Fight over energy policy fuels Virginia election spending

The Washington Post; apnews.com; WHSV; CBS19  online

2019-11-04

It highlights both the growing political strength of wealthy liberal donors like Bills and the increasingly rocky relationship between Dominion and Democrats, said Stephen J. Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg.

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‘The party needs to have a tough conversation’: Republicans play catch-up when it comes to diversity

The Virginia Mercury  online

2019-11-01

‘The party needs to have a tough conversation’: Republicans play catch-up when it comes to diversity (The Virginia Mercury)
“The last several years have really been marked by rapidly increasing diversity in terms of people being elected to office,” said Stephen Farnsworth, political scientist at the University of Mary Washington. “The Democratic candidates who prevailed in 2017 House of Delegates races, specifically in the suburbs, made the House much more diverse. The Republican Party is trying to catch up to provide candidates who aren’t just white males.”

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Gun policy gets its biggest political test in the Virginia Beach district that suffered mass shooting

The Washington Post  online

2019-10-21

Gun policy gets its biggest political test in the Virginia Beach district that suffered mass shooting (The Washington Post; Beaumont Enterprise; CT Post)
“What happened in Virginia Beach reordered the priorities of a number of voters in a way that has not been helpful to Republicans,” University of Mary Washington political scientist Stephen Farnsworth said.

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Virginia in the Crosshairs

U.S. News & World Report  online

2019-10-18

That decision reinvigorated the efforts of gun control advocates, says Steve Farnsworth, a professor of political science and international affairs at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. "Among gun control advocates, there's a significant pent-up demand for change that, in many ways, was exacerbated by the Republican legislative majority's decision not to even talk about gun control possibilities," Farnsworth says.

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Event Appearances (22)

Partisan Trends in Late Night Humor

Virginia Association of Communication Arts and Sciences  Fairfax, VA

2018-04-06

The New Virginia: Politics and the Economy after the 2017 Elections

Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance  Lynchburg, VA

2017-12-14

Reviewing the 2017 Elections in Virginia

Virginia Civics Summit  Chesterfield, VA

2017-11-29

The Trump Presidency, the Mass Media and Public Opinion

The Norwegian Washington Seminar  Washington, DC

2017-10-28

The Identity Crises of the Democratic and Republican Parties

White House Fellows Foundation Leadership Conference  Washington, DC

2017-10-27

Donald Trump and the Late-Night Political Humor of Campaign 2016: All the Donald, All the Time

American Political Science Association  San Francisco, CA

2017-08-31

Virginia’s Candidate Selection Process: Examining Recent Primaries and Conventions

American Legion Boys’ State of Virginia  Radford, VA

2017-06-21

President Obama’s Use of New Media: Enacting the Affordable Care Act and Defining Presidential Character

Western Political Science Association  Vancouver, Canada

2017-04-04

Politics, Media and the American Political System.

Institute for International Education Visitor Leadership Program for International Journalism, U.S. Department of State  Washington, DC

2017-03-02

Media Bias is a Threat to American Democracy

Podius Debates. University of Mary Washington  Fredericksburg, VA

2016-10-26

Digital Media, Public Opinion and the US Presidential Race

BI University  Oslo, Norway

2016-10-12

The Presidential Candidates, the Mass Media and the Angry Voters of 2016

Mary Talks, University of Mary Washington  Fredericksburg, VA

2016-10-03

News Coverage of the 2013 Virginia Governor’s Race Versus Presidential Election News

American Political Science Association  Philadelphia, PA

2016-09-21

A Comparative Analysis of the Partisan Targets of Media Fact-checking

American Political Science Association  Philadelphia, PA

2016-09-14

U.S. Journalism, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy Development

Institute for International Education Visitor Leadership Program for International Journalism, U.S. Department of State  Washington, DC

2016-09-07

Late Night Comics Examine Campaign 2016: Donald Trump Dominates the Jokes

American Political Science Association Pre-Conference in Political Communication  Philadelphia, PA

2016-08-03

Barack Obama and the Rise of the Diffident Presidential Style

Midwest Political Science Association  Chicago, IL

2016-04-07

Studying the Presidency after 9/11: Re-considering Presidential Character in Domestic and International Contexts

9/11 and the Academy Conference at Emory & Henry College  Emory, Va

2015-11-12

Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers

American Political Science Association  San Francisco, CA

2015-09-10

News Coverage of U.S. Presidential Campaigns: Reporting on Primaries and General Elections, 1988-2012

American Political Science Association,  Washington, D.C.

2014-08-01

The Automated Coding of Sentiment in Political News Coverage: Examining Newspaper Coverage of the 2013 Race for Governor of Virginia

American Political Science Association Pre-Conference in Political Communication,  Washington, D.C.

2014-08-01

Virginia Voters and Decentralized Governmental Power: Federal Frustration and State Satisfaction?

Virginia Social Science Association,  Richmond, Va.

2014-04-01

Articles (14)

Donald Trump and the Late-Night Political Humor of Campaign 2016: All the Donald, All the Time. Routledge

Stephen J. Farnsworth, S. Robert Lichter, and Deanne Canieso

2018-02-14

The Presidency and Social Media: Discourse, Disruption and Digital Democracy in the 2016 Presidential Election, (Dan Schill and John Allen Hendricks, ed.) New York: Routledge, 2018: 330-45.

This One Map Shows the Republicans’ Problem in Virginia Washington Post

Stephen J. Farnsworth and Stephen Hanna

2017-11-09

[Opinion column] “This One Map Shows the Republicans’ Problem in Virginia.” (Stephen J. Farnsworth and Stephen Hanna). Washington Post. (“The Monkey Cage” blog). November 9, 2017.

Support for Medicaid in Virginia Keeps Growing Washington Post

Stephen Farnsworth

2017-10-08

[Opinion column] “Support for Medicaid in Virginia Keeps Growing.” Washington Post. October 8, 2017.

Party Affiliation and Political Class Greenwood

Benjamin Hermerding and Stephen J. Farnsworth

The American Middle Class: An Economic Encyclopedia of Progress and Poverty (R.S. Rycroft, ed.).
Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2017: 476-9.

Virginia’s 2013 Gubernatorial Race and Presidential Elections: A Comparison of News Coverage. The Virginia News Letter

Stephen J. Farnsworth and S. Robert Lichter

2017-08-01

The Virginia News Letter. Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.
92(3): 1-8 (August 2016).

News coverage of Trump is really, really negative. Even on Fox News Washington Post

Stephen J. Farnsworth, S. Robert Lichter, and Roland Schatz

2017-02-28

[ Opinion column] “News coverage of Trump is really, really negative. Even on Fox News.” (Stephen J. Farnsworth, S. Robert Lichter, and Roland Schatz.)Washington Post. (“The Monkey Cage” blog). February 28, 2017.

Donald Trump will probably be the most ridiculed president ever Washington Post

Stephen J. Farnsworth, S. Robert Lichter, and Deanne Canieso

2017-01-21

[Opinion column] “Donald Trump will probably be the most ridiculed president ever.” Stephen J. Farnsworth, S. Robert Lichter, and Deanne Canieso.Washington Post. (“The Monkey Cage” blog). January 21, 2017.

Farnsworth Published by "The Fix" Blog, Washington Post The Washington Post

2016-03-08

Stephen Farnsworth is co-author of an opinion column, “Late Night Tells Three Times as Many Jokes about 2016 Republicans as Democrats,” published by "The Fix" blog of the Washington Post.

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“The 2015 Election in Virginia: A Tribute to Gerrymandering.” The Washington Post

2015-11-05

A map by Stephen Hanna, professor of geography, and a column by Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, which both discussed the recent state legislative elections were published in "The Fix" blog of The Washington Post. The column was titled “The 2015 Election in Virginia: A Tribute to Gerrymandering.”

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With Overwhelming Support for Nonpartisan Redistricting, Virginians are Studying Ways to Make That Happen The Virginia News Letter

2015-06-27

Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia

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An Extended Presidential Honeymoon: Coverage of Barack Obama in The New York Times during 2009 and 2010 Politics and Policy

2015-06-01

(Stephen J. Farnsworth and S. Robert Lichter).
Politics and Policy 41 (3): 447-463 (June 2013).

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Virginia Voters and Decentralized Governmental Power: Federal Frustration and State Satisfaction? Virginia Social Science Journal

2015-05-01

Virginia Voters and Decentralized Governmental Power: Federal Frustration and State Satisfaction?

Event-Driven Environmental News in the U.S. and Canada Electronic Media and Politics

2012-11-01

(Stuart Soroka, Stephen J. Farnsworth, Lori Young and Andrea Lawlor).
Electronic Media and Politics 1(10): 143-57 (November 2012).

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Authors’ Response: Improving News Coverage in the 2012 Presidential Campaign and Beyond Politics & Policy

2012-08-01

(Stephen J. Farnsworth and S. Robert Lichter).
Politics & Policy 40(4): 547-556 (August 2012).

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