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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 (17)

Executive Actions on Guns

CTV News Channel  online

2021-04-09

Executive Actions on Guns

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'Election integrity' becomes key buzzword in VA GOP race

The Washington Post  online

2021-04-05

Stephen Farnsworth, political science professor at the University of Mary Washington, said "election integrity" rhetoric provides a way for candidates to show the GOP based that they are "Trump adjacent."

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McClellan Vies for VA Governor Seat After 15 Years in Legislature

Virginia Patch  online

2021-03-26

Stephen Farnsworth, director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, said McClellan has a good chance of winning the governorship, but there are obstacles in her way.

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Still barred from major platforms, Trump weighs launching new social network

KIMA  online

2021-03-23

“It doesn’t seem likely such a venue would reach out to people who weren’t already opting into the former president’s narrative,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a professor at the University of Mary Washington and author of “Presidential Communication and Character: White House News Management from Clinton and Cable to Twitter and Trump.” “It’s also important to note that talking about is something very different than doing it.”

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Andrew Cuomo and the Shifting Standards for Surviving Scandal

U.S. News & World Report  online

2021-03-19

The problem for those lawmakers who just want him out (Cuomo's handling of nursing home cases in the COVID response has brought another set of criticisms) is that it's not so easy to force out someone who won't simply leave in shame or out of fear of a protracted scandal, notes Stephen Farnsworth, a professor at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia.

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American Rescue Plan

CTV News Channel  online

2021-03-15

American Rescue Plan

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U.S. Congress Passes $1.9T Rescue Plan

CTV News Channel  online

2021-03-11

U.S. Congress Passes $1.9T Rescue Plan

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U.S. Accelerates Vaccine Timeline

CTV News Channel  online

2021-03-08

U.S. Accelerates Vaccine Timeline

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Northam Endorses Herring Rival in Attorney General Race

WVTF  online

2021-03-08

Stephen Farnsworth at the University of Mary Washington says Democrats view Mark Herring’s time in office as a success in terms of criminal justice reform, healthcare, gay rights and consumer protections.

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From savior to bully: Is Cuomo’s hardball style falling out of favor?

The Christian Science Monitor  online

2021-02-25

“After four years of presidential bullying and a toxic White House workplace, many Americans – particularly Democratic voters – seem to have had enough of petulant, combative public officials,” says Stephen Farnsworth, director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. “Governor Cuomo, once seen as a reassuring voice of professionalism thanks to his effective handling of COVID, now seems like an out-of-touch Albany Machiavelli, quick to employ tantrums and cover-ups,” he says.

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Biden's $1.9T Rescue Package

CTV News Channel  online

2021-02-25

Biden's $1.9T Rescue Package

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Snyder pushes to fully reopen schools, businesses in GOP bid for Virginia Governor

Potomac Local News  online

2021-02-24

This election will be less about raising money and more about how Republicans distance themselves from Donald Trump, says University of Mary Washington Political Science Professor Stephen J. Farnsworth.

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How blue is Trump’s shadow in Virginia? This year’s governor’s race is already shaping up as a key barometer.

The Washington Post  online

2021-02-23

“What’s clear about 2021 in Virginia is that almost everybody sees an opportunity,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a political scientist at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. “The left, the right and the center are all thinking, ‘This is going to be the year.’ ”

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Trump Eyes a Political Comeback

CTV News Channel  online

2021-02-16

Trump Eyes a Political Comeback

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Census delay could complicate some Fredericksburg-area supervisors, school board elections

The Free Lance-Star  online

2021-02-15

“In the past, when the census has been greatly delayed ... that can create real problems with redistricting, but there’s really no way around it,” said Stephen Farnsworth, director of the University of Mary Washington’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies. “The reality is, you may see a lawmaker get elected this year, who ends up outside the district after the lines are drawn for the election a year later.”

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Analysis: Day 3 of the Trump Impeachment Trial

CP 24 Toronto  online

2021-02-12

Analysis: Day 3 of the Trump Impeachment Trial

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Day 2 of Trump's Impeachment Trial

CTV News Channel  online

2021-02-11

Day 2 of Trump's Impeachment Trial

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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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