February 9, 2023

Farnsworth Lectures on Virginia Politics

Stephen Farnsworth, Professor of Political Science and director of the University’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, recently presented a lecture, “Reviewing the 2022 Midterm Elections and Previewing the 2023 Legislative Session,” at the Virginia Business Journal Forum in Richmond.

Farnsworth also has received several recent media mentions, including:

Virginia Special Election Could Change Future of Abortion Rights (WRC TV DC)
“If the Republicans retain this seat and it is a 21-19 Senate, then any deal that Republicans might make with Senator Morrissey on the abortion restrictions but could get to a 20-20 tie and that tie be broken by the Republican pro-life Lieutenant Governor,” said Stephen Farnsworth.
General Assembly to reconvene in Richmond (Cardinal News)
“A lot of lawmakers have new districts, some of them are running against each other, and as a result the top priority is going to be a session that ends promptly,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth, a political scientist at the University of Mary Washington. “That means a lot more of the contentious issues will be stalled, killed in committee perhaps or maybe kept off the agenda until next year. “
Five Senate Democrats who could retire ahead of 2024 (The Hill; World Journal; Enough Grassley)
Plus, a survey from the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at the University of Mary Washington released last September suggested Kaine and Youngkin would be tied in a hypothetical match-up in 2024, with the governor receiving 39 percent and Kaine receiving 41 percent. The margin of error for the survey was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Abortion, taxes, politics ahead for Virginia’s General Assembly (The Washington Post)
The end result — on abortion and maybe other issues, too — could wind up being gridlock, said Stephen Farnsworth, a political analyst at the University of Mary Washington.
McCarthy Elected House Speaker (CTV News)
“You are looking at an environment in which there was a tiny Republican majority to start with and that required, therefore, to get the full majority of Congress, the acquiesce of those Republican extremists, those more mega Republicans who really wanted to see a very very weak speaker,” said Stephen Farnsworth.
Trump’s “free speech” reform of government, universities, media and tech corporations if elected in 2024 (News US)
Stephen Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington, dismissed Trump’s proposals as “something to build power among his supporters” after a soaked start to the crusade.
Virginia 7th Senate Election (WMAL)
“It wouldn’t all that much because if even there were some deal the Republicans could reach with Senator Morrissey, there would still be twenty-one other Democrats in the Senate,” said Stephen Farnsworth.
Virginia Legislation Session 1 (WMAL)
“That means Republicans and Democrats will have to agree to get anything accomplished and the prospects for that are not particularly good,” said Stephen Farnsworth.
Virginia Legislation Session 2 (WMAL)
“There is going to be some effort to try to ramp up funding for mental health in the schools,” said Stephen Farnsworth.
Abortion, taxes, politics ahead for Virginia’s General Assembly (Blacksburg Dispatch)
That outcome could extend to other difficult topics as well, said University of Mary Washington political analyst Stephen Farnsworth. “I think the main goal for most lawmakers in this session will be to get back to the district and run for reelection as soon as possible,” Farnsworth said. “Anything that can be delayed likely will be delayed.”
Legislative season likely to bring controversy (Fluvanna Review)
Stephen Farnsworth, a political analyst at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, told The Washington Post that he thinks the main goal for lawmakers this session “will be to get back to the district and run for reelection as soon as possible. Anything that can be delayed likely will be delayed.”
Gov. Youngkin calls on lawmakers to ‘come together’ on abortion while pushing 15-week ban (DC News Now)
But Stephen Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington, said any abortion efforts are unlikely to see success in this divided government during an election year. “With 100 House of Delegates seats and 40 Senate seats up for election in November, these lawmakers are going to put off whatever they possibly can,” he said.
Biden Documents (CTV News)
“In terms of how it looks, it looks bad. For the last several months you had the Biden administration criticizing the Trump handling of documents and now it looks like the shoe is on the other foot,” said Stephen Farnsworth.