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2006 News Archives

James Carville Highlights Center's 9th Annual ADC

CFP Partners with The Hotline for American Democracy Conference

11/28/06 | Party insiders, leading journalists and political pundits will gather on Thursday to examine the impact of the 2006 midterm election results and their impact on the national political environment, as well as to look ahead to the 2008 Presidential election and how current trends may affect their outcome. The ninth annual American Democracy Conference, titled The 2006 Midterm Elections and the 2008 Presidential Election, will take place on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2006, in the Amphitheater of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC from 9:00 a.m. until 1:15 p.m.

In addition to panel discussions focusing on potential 2008 Republican and Democratic presidential contenders, the American Democracy Conference will feature keynote remarks by well-known political consultant James Carville. The University of Virginia Center for Politics hosts this year's conference in coordination with National Journal's The Hotline.

The American Democracy Conference brings together America's top political insiders, pollsters, journalists, party representatives, and behind-the-scenes strategists to discuss the most recent election and to look forward to the upcoming political season.

Corporate underwriting for the American Democracy Conference is being provided by Wrinkle in Time Foundation. The Center for Politics is grateful to all of its sponsors for their support.

Elections are the seminal event in the life of our democracy. Not only do they set the direction of our republic, campaigns and elections help to shed light on America's state of political health. It is altogether fitting then, that an examination of our democracy and its current state take place in conjunction with those elections. Each year, shortly after the November elections, the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, in partnership with the National Journal's The Hotline, presents the American Democracy Conference. Growing from the first National Post Election Conference in 1998, these gatherings now not only examine the last election cycle, but also attempt to discuss the state of American democracy and its prospects for the future.

More information about the American Democracy Conference


News Networks Recognize Success of "Sabato's Crystal Ball"

Election Prediction Website Accurately Forecasts Exact Gains in House and Senate

11/10/06 | In a closely contested midterm election which saw party control of both chambers of Congress up for grabs, Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball, an election analysis and forecasting website produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics (centerforpolitics.org/crystalball), accurately predicted a gain of 6 Senate Seats and 29 House seats for Democrats. Predicting a gain of 7 governorships, the Crystal Ball was within one seat of the actual results.

Crystal Ball Predictions

  • Senate: +6 Dems
  • House: +29 Dems
  • Governor: +7 Dems

Election Results as of Nov. 9

  • Senate: +6 Dems
  • House: +29 Dems
  • Governor: +6 Dems

Several major cable news networks recognized Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball as being the most accurate source of election predictions in 2006:
  • "I'm a big fan of your Crystal Ball predictions... Congratulations on pretty much nailing the election." - Steve Doocy, Fox News Channel's Fox & Friends, Nov. 8
  • "[Sabato's Crystal Ball] predicted Democrats would pick up the six seats needed to take over the Senate. It appears they have done just that...you've got an impressive record and I'm going to call you later; we're going to go over stock picks." - Lester Holt, MSNBC's MSNBC Live, Nov. 8
  • "Larry Sabato got it right." - Fred Barnes, Fox News Channel's Special Report, Nov. 7
  • "Larry Sabato...you nailed it first of all. In your latest missive, which I read, you looked for a two house sweep, and you were convincing." - Larry Kudlow, CNBC's Kudlow & Company, Nov. 8

"While there is a significant amount of luck involved in predicting election outcomes, the truth is the success of the Crystal Ball's predictions rests with a talented staff at the Center for Politics who, over the last year, have diligently followed all these races across the nation," said Sabato. "Each race was evaluated not just on polling information, but on real interaction with the campaigns and people on the ground who are always the best gauge of the likely voter sentiments on Election Day."

In an era of extremely close races and a highly polarized electorate on Election Day, the Crystal Ball's predictions have been mirrored by the election results. In the 2002 midterm elections, Sabato's Crystal Ball consistently predicted winners in an overwhelming majority of election outcomes: 99.6 percent of House races, 94 percent of Senate races, and 88 percent of gubernatorial races. In the 2004 elections, the Crystal Ball correctly picked winners in over 98 percent of Electoral College Senate, House, and gubernatorial races. Within the context of past successes, Election 2006 has bolstered the success of the Crystal Ball and its relative value as a tool for anticipating the outcome of elections for academics, media and political junkies alike.

Sabato's Crystal Ball followed up on its strong performance in 2002 and 2004 by correctly predicting the outcome of 100 percent of 2006 Senate races, 96 percent of 2006 House races, and 97 percent of the 2006 gubernatorial races. Final pre-election predictions published for races in all categories on November 6, 2006 are still available here online.

Created by Professor Larry J. Sabato and the staff at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, the Crystal Ball website began as a pre-election seminar that evolved into a website in 2002 to provide complete election coverage and analysis. The Crystal Ball is a free public service designed to increase the awareness of national politics and issues, consistent with the Center's motto that "Politics is a good thing!"

More information about Sabato's Crystal Ball


U.Va., PVCC Student Poll Workers Prepare for Election

Center for Politics Partners with Charlottesville and Albemarle

11/06/06 | When voters in the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County go to the polls on November 7, 2006, they will be greeted by quite a few fresh new faces. Thanks to a federal grant from the Election Assistance Commission, the Center for Politics has been able to create a new program to get local college students involved in the electoral process. The annual Student Poll Worker Program, first piloted for the May 2006 city elections, will provide University of Virginia and Piedmont Virginia Community College students with the opportunity to serve as poll workers at various precincts during this Tuesday's elections.

Of the 64 students participating, 53 will work at polling places in the City of Charlottesville and 11 will be on hand at precincts in Albemarle County. The Center for Politics is pleased to be able to partner with the respective registrars to allow a program like this to get started and continue to grow in the coming years. By the Charlottesville registrar's records, the pilot program in May featured the highest percentage of new election officials in recent City history, and with twice as many new poll workers this election, that growth is guaranteed to continue this fall.

According to Michelle Jamrisko, a University of Virginia student and participant, "the Student Poll Worker program is so important because it gets students involved in hands-on politics at an early age, instilling in them a civic responsibility that will stay with them all their lives."

On Election Day, these volunteer poll workers are responsible for showing up at their assigned precinct at 5:00 a.m. and preparing the polling place for voting by setting up voting machines, sample ballots and other signage. During the course of the day they interact with voters and demonstrate voting procedures, and following the closing of the polls in the evening they will help certify work done at the precinct.

Center for Politics Director Larry Sabato notes that, "this is a remarkable opportunity for students to participate directly in the American electoral process and become more knowledgeable, engaged citizens. Polling places are the Roman Forums of American politics--they are invaluable opportunities for citizens to come together to support representative democracy, and these students will truly appreciate the uniqueness of our system once they have seen it for themselves."

The City of Charlottesville is made up of 8 voting precincts, which will be open from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Albemarle County is comprised of 28 precincts, spread out among 6 districts. All Election Officials must be registered voters, and complete a brief training class prior to Election Day.

The Center for Politics has joined together with the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County to fight the alarming trend of civic apathy among the younger demographics. As a group, students and young adults are the least likely to turn out to the polls and vote. While this poses a challenge to programs aiming to increase youth participation, the program seeks to overcome this problem by offering students a unique perspective on democracy.

For more information, contact Center for Politics staffers Reed Saul, (434-924-7629, 540-521-2538) or Matt Smyth, (434-243-8466, 434-825-6280).

More information about the student Poll Worker Program


Center for Politics Hosts Swearing-In Ceremony for Student Poll Workers from U.Va., PVCC

Center for Politics and Offices of Voter Registration Partner to Help Staff Midterm Elections

10/17/06 | In a new effort to expand civic activity among young citizens, as well as to provide additional staffing at local polling places, the University of Virginia Center for Politics has partnered with the City of Charlottesville Office of Voter Registration and the Albemarle Country Department of Voter Registration & Elections to announce this fall's Student Poll Worker Swearing-In Ceremony, to take place at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, October 23, at The Rotunda Dome Room on the grounds of the University of Virginia.

This event is hosted by University Professor Larry J. Sabato and the Center for Politics, with City of Charlottesville General Registrar Sherry Iachetta and Albemarle County Elections Manager Clarice Schermerhorn presiding over the ceremony. Several additional special guests will be on hand for the swearing-in ceremony. Members of the media are encouraged to attend.

Currently over 80 students from the University of Virginia and Piedmont Virginia Community College have registered to participate, with training to be completed in time for them to serve as poll workers in the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County during the November 7 elections for U.S. Senate, House and the three statewide ballot issues.

In attendance at the Student Poll Worker Swearing-In Ceremony will be Federal Election Assistance Commissioner Gracia Hillman, Virginia State Board of Elections Secretary Jean Jensen and Charlottesville Mayor David Brown, along with Iachetta, Schermerhorn and Sabato.

  • Event: Student Poll Worker Swearing-In Ceremony
  • Location: The Rotunda Doom Room, University of Virginia
  • Date: Monday, October 23, 2006
  • Time: 11:00 a.m.

The Center for Politics and these Offices of Voter Registration have joined together to fight the alarming trend of civic apathy among the younger demographics. As a group, students and young adults are the least likely to turn out to the polls and vote. While this poses a challenge to programs aiming to increase youth participation, the program seeks to overcome this problem by offering students a unique perspective on democracy.

In August 2006, the Center for Politics was awarded a federal grant from the United States Election Assistance Commission (EAC), to develop programs to recruit and train college students as non-partisan poll workers on Election Day. The awards are part of the Help America Vote College Program which was established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) to promote college student involvement. The fund will be used to encourage students enrolled at institutions of higher education (including community colleges) to assist in the administration of elections.

"Elections continue to require many more trained poll workers, and these grants will train the next generation," said EAC Chairman Paul DeGregorio. "We encourage America's college students to answer the call and provide the critical human resources needed to make democracy happen."

This funding will allow for the continuation and expansion of the Student Poll Worker Program, begun in early 2006 as a partnership between the Center for Politics and the City of Charlottesville Office of Voter Registration. During the city elections on May 2, 2006, twenty-six University of Virginia students served as poll workers at voting precincts throughout the city, lowering the average age of poll workers in Charlottesville from 55 to 47 years.

According to Center for Politics Director Larry Sabato, "This is a remarkable opportunity for students to participate directly in the American electoral process and become more knowledgeable, engaged citizens. Polling places are the Roman Forums of American politics--they are invaluable opportunities for citizens to come together to support representative democracy, and these students will truly appreciate the uniqueness of our system once they have seen it for themselves."

For more information, contact Center for Politics Assistant Director of Programs Holly Hatcher (434-243-3539) or Director of Communications Matt Smyth (434-243-8466).

More information about the student Poll Worker Program


A Political Opportunity for Women

Advocates Predict Gains in Congress and Push for More Participation

By Anushka Asthana
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 7, 2006; Page A09

Geraldine A. Ferraro made history in 1984 as the first woman to run for vice president on a major-party ticket. Twenty-two years later, she wishes she was no longer in a club of one.

"I thought it would have happened by now," Ferraro said with a sad note in her voice as she looked down at a room packed with more than 600 people, young and old, at the University of Virginia last month.

The glass ceiling in presidential politics will not be broken in her lifetime, she predicted to reporters before taking the stage. But she was there to persuade a new generation of women to continue the fight.

"We have to keep reminding them what it was like before, so they recognize that the only way they are going to make it better for the future -- for their future and their children's future -- is by becoming involved politically," she said.

The Democrat's appearance that night was part of a drive by U-Va.'s Center for Politics to inspire young women to get involved in politics. Its director, Larry J. Sabato, described Ferraro as a "trailblazer for the United States of America" and said she would be introduced by a "trailblazer in Virginia."

Mary Sue Terry, who in 1985 was elected Virginia's first female attorney general before losing the governor's race to now-Sen. George Allen (R) in 1993, said that there are many obstacles to women's advancement in politics but that she has hope. "It is not going to be easy, but it is not impossible," she said.

In fact, this year may prove to be a major breakthrough for women in Congress, according to experts at the university. Sabato's Crystal Ball, a Web page that provides analysis of House and Senate races around the country, is predicting that 2006 could be the best year for women in 14 years.

In a conservative scenario, according to the Crystal Ball, female candidates would gain nine seats in the House -- the largest rise since the Year of the Woman in 1992, when the number of women in Congress jumped from 32 to 54.

"There is going to be a net gain in the House for women," agreed Dennis Simon, a professor at Southern Methodist University and co-author of "Breaking the Political Glass Ceiling." But there is still a "gender gap in running for office," he said.

With co-author Barbara Palmer, of the Women & Politics Institute at American University, Simon looked at which jurisdictions tend to be most and least friendly to women. Topping the list of those most likely to vote for female candidates are New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. At the other end are Gadsden, Ala., and Paducah and Bowling Green, Ky.

Districts that elect women, according to Simon, tend to be "upscale -- more degrees, more professionals, urban." Those less likely, he added, are "more rural, lower-income and more traditional."

Simon said female candidates are often seen as more liberal than they actually are -- as in the case of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). But her possible presidential candidacy, and the speculation that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice might be a presidential candidate in 2008 or later, has shifted perceptions about the plausibility of a female president.

Having Rice and former secretary of state Madeleine Albright in top national security jobs "made it normal to see women as leaders," said Marie Wilson, president and founder of the White House Project, which aims to advance female leadership and is training hundreds of women to run for office. "It we have three or four women in '08, it would have to be agenda," rather than sex, that separates them, she added.

Wilson said the United States has fallen through the rankings in women's political representation -- to 68th -- as other countries such as South Africa and Great Britain and Scandinavian nations climbed the list. Some countries used quotas to address the imbalance.

The recent U.Va. conference used persuasion. "New blood is needed," Ferraro told the audience. "If ever there was a time when the world and our nation needed new voices, new values, new approaches and sensitivities, this is it. Politics gives us the power to make a difference."

Women, she argued, would ensure that the concerns of half the population were listened to. In the same way that John McCain, as a former prisoner of war, pushed hard for legislation to ban torture, so women would shout loudest on behalf of day care, flexible work hours, prenatal health care, immunization, the aging population and more, she argued.

The challenge, she added, is to get enough women into the candidate pool. "The American electorate is accustomed to expect certain types of experience from candidates for national office," she said. "It doesn't hurt to be a governor of a large state, to be vice president or a senator of long experience."

© 2006 The Washington Post Company

More information about the National Symposium Series


Statement from Professor Larry J. Sabato

9/27/06 | Professor Larry J. Sabato, director of the U.Va. Center for Politics, released the following statement regarding an appearance on MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews."

Download the statement in PDF format


Center for Politics Awarded Federal Election Assistance Grant

Funds to support Student Poll Worker Program at UVA and PVCC

9/3/06 | The University of Virginia Center for Politics has recently been awarded a federal grant from the United States Election Assistance Commission (EAC), to develop programs to recruit and train college students as non-partisan poll workers on Election Day (see federal release excerpt below). This funding will allow for the continuation and expansion of the Student Poll Worker Program, begun in early 2006 as a partnership between the Center for Politics and the City of Charlottesville Office of Voter Registration. During the city elections on May 2, 2006, twenty-six University of Virginia students served as poll workers at voting precincts throughout the city, lowering the average age of poll workers in Charlottesville from 55 to 47 years.

The EAC grant will allow the Center for Politics to build on the success of the current Student Poll Worker Program for the 2006 midterm elections in November. Not only will the Center continue to work with the City of Charlottesville, but it will also extend the program to Albemarle County and identify the specific needs of the locality and its respective voters on Election Day. The Center will host a series of outreach events to recruit University of Virginia students to complete training and serve as poll workers on Election Day, and will also expand this outreach effort to include Piedmont Virginia Community College students in the program.

The Center for Politics is committed to combating the alarming trend of civic apathy among the younger demographics. As a group, students and young adults are the least likely to turn out to the polls and vote. While this poses a challenge to programs aiming to increase youth participation, the Student Poll Worker Program seeks to overcome this problem by offering students a unique perspective on democracy.

According to Center for Politics Director Larry Sabato, "This is a remarkable opportunity for students to participate directly in the American electoral process and become more knowledgeable, engaged citizens. Polling places are the Roman Forums of American politics--they are invaluable opportunities for citizens to come together to support representative democracy, and these students will truly appreciate the uniqueness of our system once they have seen it for themselves."

From the Federal Election Assistance Commission:

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has provided a total of $300,000 in grants to develop programs to recruit and train college students to serve as nonpartisan poll workers and poll assistants. The awards are part of the Help America Vote College Program which was established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) to promote college student involvement. The fund will be used to encourage students enrolled at institutions of higher education (including community colleges) to assist in the administration of elections.

"Elections continue to require many more trained poll workers, and these grants will train the next generation," said EAC Chairman Paul DeGregorio. "We encourage America’s college students to answer the call and provide the critical human resources needed to make democracy happen."

Out of fifty-five applicants, nineteen grantees were selected by six panels of independent reviewers from a variety of backgrounds and experience related to elections and higher education. The grantees were chosen based on their innovative approaches to engaging college students and their ability to ensure that these students will improve the process of election administration, including serving as poll workers on Election Day.

Specific grantees include: American University, Washington, DC; California State University, Long Beach; Citizens Union Foundation of the City of New York; Elgin Community College, Kane County, Illinois; Hattiesburg Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta, Mississippi ; Illinois Central College, East Peoria; Indiana University, Indianapolis; Lander University, Greenwood, South Carolina; Maricopa County Community College, Mesa District, Arizona; Northern Kentucky University Research Foundation, Highland Heights; Project Vote, New Castle County, Delaware; Project Vote, Saginaw City, Michigan; Research Foundation of the State University of New York, Cortland County; United Tribes Technical College, Bismarck, North Dakota; University of Baltimore, Maryland; University of Central Florida, Orlando; University of Texas, El Paso; University of Virginia, Center for Politics, Charlottesville; Western Connecticut State University, Danbury.

More information about the Election Assistance Commission


Geraldine Ferraro to Keynote Women in Politics Symposium

First Major Party Vice-Presidential Nominee to be introduced by Former Virginia Attorney General Mary Sue Terry

Click here to listen to podcast audio of Geraldine Ferraro's keynote speech.

8/31/06 | The University of Virginia Center for Politics welcomes former vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro to headline the 2006 National Symposium on Women in Politics on Wednesday, September 13, at 7:00 p.m., in the Newcomb Hall Ballroom on the grounds of the University of Virginia. This event is rescheduled from the original March 15, 2006 date.

This event is free and open to the public with no registration required. Members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Matt Smyth at 434-243-8466 or smyth@virginia.edu to reserve space/seating. Ms. Ferraro will be available to meet with members of the press from 6:30 until 6:50 p.m. in the Newcomb Hall Board Room (3rd floor, adjacent to the Ballroom).

Geraldine Ferraro earned a place in history in 1984 as the first woman vice-presidential candidate on a major party ticket. Based on this unique experience, she is able to discuss campaign politics at the highest level--a run for the presidency--from a woman's perspective, including the challenges and obstacles that she faced along the way and the impact that her participation in the 1984 race has had on future campaigns and elections.

Ms. Ferraro's keynote address will be preceded by introductory remarks from The Honorable Mary Sue Terry, former Attorney General of Virginia. Much like Ms. Ferraro, Mary Sue Terry holds an historical achievement for women in politics, having been the first woman elected to statewide office in the Commonwealth of Virginia--and the first elected official in the state to receive over one million votes in a single election. Coming in 1985, just a year after Ms. Ferraro's vice-presidential run, this significant accomplishment is a strong link between these two figures.

Following her campaign for national office, Geraldine Ferraro has remained an active participant in the American political process. She was appointed to lead the United States delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, and she also serves as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations Board, and is a member of the National Democratic Institute of International Affairs.

In 1978, Ms. Ferraro was first elected to Congress from the 9th Congressional District of New York. Ferraro spearheaded efforts to achieve passage of the Equal Rights Amendment during her time in Congress, and in 1984 she sponsored the Women's Economic Equity Act. A graduate of Marymount College and Fordham University School of Law, Ms. Ferraro has written two books: Ferraro: My Story, which recounts the 1984 campaign, and Geraldine Ferraro: Changing History, in addition to numerous articles.

In addition to Ms. Ferraro's appearance, the Center for Politics and co-sponsoring organizations will tap leading female political leaders, professional insiders, and renowned scholars to speak about various issues concerning women and politics. The 2006 National Symposium on Women and Politics seeks to understand how women are changing politics both as politicians and as political insiders. In addition, the series seeks to inspire young women to become involved in politics. More information about the 2006 National Symposium on Women and Politics is available at the Center for Politics website: www.centerforpolitics.org. Updates to the schedule of events, speakers and additional details can be found here throughout the year. For more information on this series contact Holly Hatcher, Assistant Director Programs (434.243.3539 or hhatcher@virginia.edu).

More information about the National Symposium Series


Center Hosts Virginia Women and Politics Conference

Event to examine women in Commonwealth government, politics

7/18/06 | The University of Virginia Center for Politics will host the Commonwealth's top political analysts, historians and former members of Virginia state government to discuss the women who have had a significant impact on the politics and governance of the Commonwealth of Virginia during the Virginia Women and Politics Conference. The conference will be held on Friday, July 21, 2006 at the Jefferson Hotel on West Franklin Street in Richmond, Virginia.

For the past nine years, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service have examined the lives, administrations, and legacies of Virginia's recent former governors and legislative leaders. In a continuing effort to preserve an oral history of modern Virginia politics, this conference will feature remarks and panel discussions by women who have served the Commonwealth in a variety of elective and appointive offices. These women will not only share their experiences in politics, they will provide insight and encouragement for future generations of female leaders in Virginia. This program is held in conjunction with the Center for Politics' National Symposium on Women and Politics, a year-long series of national events evaluating how women are impacting politics, both as elected officials and political insiders.

Conference topics include the role of Women as political pioneers in Virginia history, the role of women in leading Virginia's political future, and a keynote address by The Honorable Mary Sue Terry, former Attorney General of Virginia, with an introduction by Ms. Anne Holton, First Lady of Virginia. Participants include former Congresswoman Leslie Byrne, Secretary of Administration Viola Baskerville, The Honorable Roxane Gilmore, Senator Yvonne Miller, former Senator Eddy Dalton Phillips, former Senator Eva Scott, Secretary of Finance Jody Wagner and Delegate Vivian Watts.

More information about the Center's programs


Larry Sabato Calls for Radical Election Reform in New Essay

Center director outlines new methods for presidential nominations

6/28/06 | On the heels of winning two National Magazine Awards, the new issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review features a bold new essay by University of Virginia professor and Center for Politics director Larry J. Sabato. In anticipation of the 2008 presidential contest, Sabato offers a fresh approach to reforming the party nomination process. As a remedy to the caucus and primary stranglehold enjoyed by Iowa and New Hampshire, Sabato proposes that the country should be divided into four geographical regions and that a "regional lottery" should subsequently determine which states would hold primaries or caucuses first.

"Since none of the candidates would know in advance where the political season would begin," Sabato writes, "part of the permanent presidential campaign would be dismantled. Even a very wealthy candidate wouldn't waste the money necessary to organize all fifty states in advance, and the four-year-long homesteading in Iowa and New Hampshire would be gone forever. Much more importantly, the law of averages would give every state and each region, over time, the precious opportunity of going first."

With speculation about the calendar for the 2008 White House race mounting, Sabato's essay is certain to spark debate. In a unique twist, he blames the Founding Fathers for lack of foresight in creating our electoral system and takes our current elected officials to task for lacking the courage and political will to correct this troubling aspect of presidential election campaigns.

Sabato freely acknowledges that full implementation of his system would require a Constitutional amendment. "The absence of modern politics in the Constitution… has caused no end of difficulties, which can only be corrected by the inclusion of thoughtful provisions in a new twenty-first-century Constitution. It is long past time to do so." Sabato's essay represents an energetic, no-holds-barred proposal and promises to reinvigorate the national discussion on full-scale election reform.

The summer issue of VQR will be available on newsstands July 5. Sabato's essay is available here online

VQR stunned the magazine industry this spring by receiving two awards and six nominations for the prestigious National Magazine Awards. VQR joined Esquire, Harper's, New York magazine, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and Time in winning two awards at the ceremony in May.

VQR, published continuously since 1925 at the University of Virginia, is one of the country's oldest and most prestigious quarterly magazines. VQR is available for sale nationwide at select independent, Barnes & Noble, and Borders bookstores.

More information about the Virginia Quarterly Review


Center Co-hosts National "Women in Politics" Conference

Partners with UC Berkeley's Institute for Governmental Studies

6/7/06 | The Center for Politics is pleased to announce the next event in the ongoing 2006 National Symposium on Women and Politics. "Women in Politics: Seeking Office and Making Policy," a two-day conference co-hosted by the University of California, Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies and the University of Virginia Center for Politics brings elected officials, political consultants and researchers from across the country together to discuss the changing roles of women in politics.

The "Women in Politics" conference will take place in Berkeley, California on June 9 and 10, beginning at 9:00 a.m. each day. All conference events will be held on the UC Berkeley campus, in the Faculty Club's Heyns Room. The "Women in Politics" conference is free and open to the public, and members of the media are invited to attend.

Friday's panel discussions will focus on the latest research on women in politics. Professors from colleges and universities including Brown University, Bryn Mawr College, Emory University, Florida State University, Iowa State University, the University of Minnesota, the Ohio State University, the University of Oklahoma, Rutgers University and the University of Southern California will discuss such issues as gender and campaign communications, candidate recruitment, the impact of candidate gender on American elections, and how women can get in and stay in leadership positions.

Saturday's panels will be comprised of practitioners--political consultants and women who have held appointed or elected office--who will share their experiences and discuss policy and governance issues.

Scheduled political and governmental leaders include U.S. Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-California); former U.S. Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R-Washington); Margita Thompson, press secretary for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; Loretta Lynch, former chairwoman of the California Public Utilities Commission; California Assemblywoman Carol Liu (D-La Canada Flintridge); Delaine Eastin, former California superintendent of public instruction; California Assemblywoman Wilma Chan (D-Oakland); California Assemblywoman Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley); and Lynne Leach, former California Assemblywoman (R-Walnut Creek).

In addition to this event, the Center for Politics and co-sponsoring organizations will tap other leading female political leaders, professional insiders, and renowned scholars to speak about various issues concerning women and politics. The 2006 National Symposium on Women and Politics seeks to understand how women are changing politics both as politicians and as political insiders. In addition, the series seeks to inspire young women to become involved in politics. For more information on this series contact Holly Hatcher, Assistant Director Programs (434.243.3539 or hhatcher@virginia.edu).

More information about the National Symposium Series


USA TODAY Selects the Jamestown - Journey of Democracy Web Site as a "Best Bet" Resource for Educators

Site to be featured on USA TODAY Education site May 26 - June 1

5/25/06 | USA TODAY Education has selected the Jamestown - Journey of Democracy website (JamestownJourney.org) as a "Best Bet" for the week of May 26 - June 1, 2006. Each week the USA TODAY Education online staff selects three "Best Bets" sites it feels would be of educational value to its audience of subscribers and guests. Links to these sites are listed on the USA TODAY Education home page for a one-week period and are then archived with a brief description for search purposes.

In October 2004, the Center for Politics was contracted by the federal Jamestown 400th Commemoration Commission to create the official curriculum website of the commemoration consisting of twelve civics lesson plans written by the Center for Politics and to locate preexisting Jamestown related educational materials. The civics lesson plans created by the Center compose the official curriculum of America's 400th Anniversary. Jamestown - Journey of Democracy went live in November 2005 bringing over 85 lesson plans, activities, and other resources to K-12 teachers across America and around the world. All materials are provided free to teachers registered at the site.

A curriculum advisory committee consisting of Jamestown related organizations, Virginia Indian representatives and African American representatives was assembled to review the lesson plans as well as the content and design of JamestownJourney.org. It is through this cooperation that Jamestown - Journey of Democracy has received such extremely positive reviews. After less than two months, JamestownJourney.org registered teachers in almost every state in the nation.


Students Favor Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton among Potential Female Candidates in Nationwide Online Poll

4/27/06 | In a national poll conducted this spring by the University of Virginia Center for Politics' Youth Leadership Initiative, over 13,000 students representing schools in 45 states cast their ballot in the 8 for '08 Youth Poll. Designed in partnership with The White House Project and intended to promote the viability of female politicians as presidential candidates, the poll presented students with eight potential female candidates from which to choose.

In the nationwide results, students gave the greatest support to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (39 percent), followed by New York Senator Hillary Clinton (31 percent). Other results included Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin (8 percent), Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (6 percent), Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (5 percent), Maine Senator Olympia Snowe (5 percent), Maine Senator Susan Collins (4 percent) and Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano (3 percent). In total, 13,176 kindergarten through twelfth-grade students from 618 schools across the United States and the District of Columbia participated in the poll. A breakdown of results by state is available at www.youthleadership.net.

These eight women-four Republicans and four Democrats-were identified by the White House Project as strong, capable politicians with the qualifications and credentials to run for president. Through the Center for Politics' Youth Leadership initiative website, students and teachers could download lesson plans focusing on gender and the presidency, photographs and biographies of the 8 for '08 candidates, as well as online and paper ballots for use in casting their votes. Polls were open in the 8 for '08 Youth Poll from February 20 through March 10, 2006. "The 8 for '08 Youth Poll was a unique opportunity for students to learn about some of the top female leaders in American politics today," noted the Youth Leadership Initiative's Director of Instruction, Lea Brown. "But beyond that, modern research has demonstrated that when students take part in political simulations-researching candidates, discussing issues, casting ballots-they are then more likely to participate in the actual process when they become eligible."

The strong support for Rice and Clinton, as well as the distributed support for the other six potential candidates indicates that students across the country are familiar with a wide variety of women in office, and are open to the prospect of a woman as president in the near future. "Young women need to see role models in order to recognize that they too can grow up to be president of the United States," said Holly Hatcher, Assistant Director of Programs at the UVA Center for Politics. "The 8 for '08 student poll highlights women as leaders, and we hope it will lead to a new generation of women in politics."

The April 30 issue Parade Magazine will include an article about the White House project's 8 for '08 campaign that featured an online adult poll, as well as the youth poll hosted by the Youth Leadership Initiative. Candace McAdams, Director of Marketing and Communications for the White House Project noted that this vote can provide some valuable clues as to the pulse of the nation regarding women leaders over the next several years.

Full 8 for '08 Youth Poll Results

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (R): 38.77%, 4,958 votes
Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY): 30.71%, 3,927 votes
Mayor Shirley Franklin (D-Atlanta, GA): 7.73%, 988 votes
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX): 5.97%, 763 votes
Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS): 4.98%, 637 votes
Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME): 4.53%, 579 votes
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME): 4.21%, 539 votes
Governor Janet Napolitano (D-AZ): 3.10%, 397 votes

The 8 for '08 Youth Poll is an academic exercise designed to educate students about the American political process. It is not a true random sample of public opinion among America's K-12 student population and is therefore not designed to be predictive of their behavior in an actual election.

About the University of Virginia Center for Politics' Youth Leadership Initiative

The Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) is the largest program at the University of Virginia center for Politics, a non-profit, non-partisan public service organization dedicated to increasing civic participation and improving civic education. The Youth Leadership Initiative provides free civics curriculum resources to public, private and home schools and all 50 states, the District of Columbia and many U.S. schools abroad. The 2004 YLI Mock Election was the largest secure, internet-based student mock election in the country. www.youthleadership.net

About the White House Project

The White House Project, a national, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) organization, works to advance a richly diverse, critical mass of women into leadership positions, up to and including the U.S. Presidency. www.thewhitehoueproject.org

More information about the 8 for '08 Youth Poll


Center for Politics Hosts Virginia Chief Justice Leroy Hassell

Veteran Justice to Address Larry Sabato's American Politics 101 Class

4/25/06 | Center for Politics Director and Professor Larry J. Sabato welcomes Chief Justice Leroy Rountree Hassell, Sr., to his 350-student Introduction to American Politics lecture class on Wednesday, April 26, at 3:00 p.m., in Wilson Hall Auditorium, on the grounds of the University of Virginia. This event is hosted and sponsored by the Center for Politics.

Chief Justice Hassell, a sixteen-year veteran of the Supreme Court of Virginia and the first African-American chief justice in the history of the Commonwealth, will discuss the role of the judiciary, as well as current legal, social and political topics. Members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Matt Smyth at 434-243-8466 or smyth@virginia.edu to reserve space/seating.

"We are delighted to bring Chief Justice Hassell back to his alma mater, the University of Virginia," said Sabato. "His remarkable experience makes him the ideal person to discuss legal matters facing the Commonwealth and our nation, and put into perspective the evolving responsibilities and character of the judiciary."

Chief Justice Leroy Rountree Hassell, Sr. was appointed to the Supreme Court of Virginia in 1990, and is currently the only African American on the court. In 2003 he was elected Chief Justice by the court. Prior to joining the court, he was a partner at McGuire Woods, jurist in residence at Regent University's School of Law, and former chairman of the Richmond School Board. In addition, Justice Hassell served as director for a variety of civic organizations, including American Red Cross, Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts, St. John's hospital, Massey Cancer Center, and Legal Aid of Central Virginia. A 1977 graduate of the University of Virginia, Hassell received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1980.

More information about the Virginia Supreme Court


WHAT WOMEN REALLY WANT: How American Women Are Quietly Erasing Political, Racial, Class, and Religious Lines to Change the Way We Live

Center welcomes authors to 2006 Symposium on Women and Politics

4/14/06 | The Center for Politics is pleased to announce the next event in the ongoing 2006 National Symposium on Women and Politics. On Wednesday, April 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the University of Virginia Bookstore, Celinda Lake and Kellyanne Conway will present their book, WHAT WOMEN REALLY WANT: How American Women Are Quietly Erasing Political, Racial, Class, and Religious Lines to Change the Way We Live.

To listen to audio from the event, visit the U.Va. Podcast

This event is free and open to the public; members of the media are invited to attend. The event will feature a presentation by the authors, as well as an opportunity for questions from the audience.

"Under the radar, cubicle by cubicle, neighborhood by neighborhood, women are changing the political, economic and cultural landscape, becoming the most powerful force in this country. They comprise a majority of voters, college students, first-time homebuyers, and make more than 80% of all consumer purchases.

"In What Women Really Want: How American Women Are Quietly Erasing Political, Racial, Class, and Religious Lines to Change the Way We Live, two of the hottest-trend spotters in America—Celinda Lake, a leading political strategist for the Democratic Party and one of the nation’s foremost experts on electing women candidates, and Kellyanne Conway, a leading conservative pollster and market research expert who works for conservative causes and corporate America—cross the aisle to reveal how a united power base among women is changing the state of our nation much more than the two-sided politics of left and right.

"The first comprehensive gauge of the opinions and behaviors of women through the voices of those women themselves—What Women Really Want, by Celinda Lake and Kellyanne Conway, offers a premise that will redirect the cultural dialogue for years to come.

In addition to this event, the Center for Politics and co-sponsoring organizations will tap other leading female political leaders, professional insiders, and renowned scholars to speak about various issues concerning women and politics. The 2006 National Symposium on Women and Politics seeks to understand how women are changing politics both as politicians and as political insiders. In addition, the series seeks to inspire young women to become involved in politics.

More information about What Women Really Want


Center for Politics Hosts United States Senator John Warner

Virginia's Senior Senator to Address Larry Sabato's Politics 101 Class

4/06/06 | Center for Politics Director and Professor Larry J. Sabato welcomes Senator John Warner to his 350-student Introduction to American Politics lecture class on Monday, April 10, at 3:00 p.m., in Wilson Hall Auditorium, on the grounds of the University of Virginia. This event is hosted and sponsored by the Center for Politics.

Members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Matt Smyth at 434-243-8466 or smyth@virginia.edu to reserve space/seating.

Senator John Warner is currently serving his fifth consecutive term in the United States Senate, having first been elected in 1978. Sen. Warner has chaired the Armed Services Committee since 1999, and is also a member of the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs and Environment & Public Works Committees. A veteran of the Navy and the Marine Corps, Sen. Warner served in both World War II and the Korean War, and was later appointed Secretary of the Navy.

A graduate of Washington & Lee University and the University of Virginia School of Law, Sen. Warner is currently the second-longest serving U.S. Senator from Virginia in the 218-year history of the Senate.

More information about Senator John Warner


Center for Politics Welcomes Governor Tim Kaine to U.Va.

Larry Sabato's American Politics Class Hosts Virginia's 70th Governor

4/04/06 | Center for Politics Director and Professor Larry J. Sabato welcomes Governor Tim Kaine to his 350-student American Politics lecture class on Wednesday, April 5, at 3:00 p.m., in Wilson Hall Auditorium, on the grounds of the University of Virginia. This event is hosted and sponsored by the Center for Politics.

Members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Matt Smyth at 434-243-8466 or smyth@virginia.edu to reserve space/seating.

Governor Tim Kaine, Virginia's 70th Governor, was elected to office in 2005. Gov. Kaine was inaugurated on January 14, 2006--the first governor since Thomas Jefferson to be sworn-in in Virginia's colonial capital. On January 31, 2006 Gov. Kaine gave the Democratic response to President George W. Bush's 2006 State of the Union address.

Prior to election as governor, he served for 4 years as the state's lieutenant governor and spent a total of 7 years as a City Councilman and Mayor of Richmond. Gov. Kaine has also served on the Secure Virginia Panel, chaired Virginia's Disability Commission and was a member of Virginia's Military Advisory Council.

A graduate of the University of Missouri and Harvard Law School, Kaine also taught legal ethics for six years at the University of Richmond Law School.

More information about Governor Tim Kaine


Charlottesville to Swear In Student Poll Workers from U.Va.

Center for Politics and Registrar's Office partner for new program

3/29/06 | In a brand new effort to expand civic activity among young citizens, as well as to provide additional staffing at local polling places, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the City of Charlottesville Office of Voter Registration are excited to announce the inaugural Student Poll Worker Swearing-In Ceremony, to take place at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, March 31, at Pavilion IV on the U.Va. Lawn. This event is hosted by University Professor Larry J. Sabato and the Center for Politics, and City of Charlottesville General Registrar Sherry Iachetta will preside over the ceremony. Members of the media are encouraged to attend.

Currently 28 students have registered to participate, with training to be completed in time for them to serve as poll workers in the May 2 city elections for School Board and City Council.

The Center for Politics and the Office of Voter Registration have joined together to fight the alarming trend of civic apathy among the younger demographics. As a group, students and young adults are the least likely to turn out to the polls and vote. While this poses a challenge to programs aiming to increase youth participation, the program seeks to overcome this problem by offering students a unique perspective on democracy. According to statistics from the United States Election Assistance Commission, the average age of poll workers in the United States is 72 years; in Charlottesville, the average age is 55.

According to Center for Politics Director Larry Sabato, "This is a remarkable opportunity for students to participate directly in the American electoral process and become more knowledgeable, engaged citizens. Polling places are the Roman Forums of American politics--they are invaluable opportunities for citizens to come together to support representative democracy, and these students will truly appreciate the uniqueness of our system once they have seen it for themselves."

For more information, contact Center for Politics Assistant Director of Programs Holly Hatcher (434-243-3539) or City of Charlottesville Deputy Registrar Evan Smith (434-970-3250).

More information about the Charlottesville Registrar's Office


Former NH Gov. Jeanne Shaheen to Address U.Va. Students

Part of ongoing 2006 National Symposium on Women in Politics

3/20/06 | The University of Virginia Center for Politics welcomes former New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen to Professor Larry J. Sabato's Introduction to American Politics course on Wednesday, March 22, at 3:00 p.m., in the Wilson Hall auditorium on the grounds of the University of Virginia. Gov. Shaheen, currently the director of Harvard University's Institute of Politics, will discuss the theme of women in politics, as well as her own personal experience as a successful candidate and governor. This event is not open to the public, but members of the media are invited to attend.

To listen to Gov. Shaheen's remarks, visit the U.Va. Podcast

The Center for Politics is excited to have Gov. Shaheen participate in the 2006 National Symposium on Women in Politics. Elected governor of New Hampshire in 1996, she was the state's first woman governor. Winning reelection in 1998 and 2000, she served three terms and from 2000-2001, Gov. Shaheen chaired the Education Commission of the States. Since leaving office, she has been the 2002 Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, and served as a Senior Fellow at both the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and the College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University.

In addition to Gov. Shaheen's appearance, the Center for Politics and co-sponsoring organizations will tap other leading female political leaders, professional insiders, and renowned scholars to speak about various issues concerning women and politics. The 2006 National Symposium on Women and Politics seeks to understand how women are changing politics both as politicians and as political insiders. In addition, the series seeks to inspire young women to become involved in politics.

More information about the 2006 National Symposium on Women and Politics is available at the Center for Politics website: www.centerforpolitics.org. Updates to the schedule of events, speakers and additional details can be found here throughout the year. For more information on this series contact Holly Hatcher, Assistant Director Programs (434.243.3539 or hhatcher@virginia.edu).

Additional information about the Center for Politics Programs


Geraldine Ferraro Headlines Women in Politics Symposium

First major party Vice-Presidential nominee speaks at U.Va.

3/13/06 | The University of Virginia Center for Politics welcomes former vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferarro to headline the 2006 National Symposium on Women in Politics on Wednesday, March 15, at 7:00 p.m., in the Newcomb Hall Ballroom on the grounds of the University of Virginia. This event is free and open to the public, and members of the media are invited to attend. Ms. Ferraro will be available to meet with members of the press from 6:30 until 6:50 p.m. in the Newcomb Hall Board Room (3rd floor, adjacent to the Ballroom).

Geraldine Ferraro earned a place in history in 1984 as the first woman vice-presidential candidate on a major party ticket. Based on this unique experience, she is able to discuss campaign politics at the highest level-a run for the presidency-from a woman's perspective, including the challenges and obstacles that she faced along the way and the impact that her participation in the 1984 race has had on future campaigns and elections.

Following her campaign for national office, Ms. Ferraro has remained an active participant in the American political process. She was appointed to lead the United States delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, and she also serves as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations Board, and is a member of the National Democratic Institute of International Affairs.

In 1978, Ms. Ferraro was first elected to Congress from the 9th Congressional District of New York. Ferraro spearheaded efforts to achieve passage of the Equal Rights Amendment during her time in Congress, and in 1984 she sponsored the Women's Economic Equity Act. A graduate of Marymount College and Fordham University School of Law, Ms. Ferraro has written two books: Ferraro: My Story, which recounts the 1984 campaign, and Geraldine Ferraro: Changing History, in addition to numerous articles.

Members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Matt Smyth at 434-243-8466 or smyth@virginia.edu to reserve space/seating.

In addition to Ms. Ferraro's appearance, the Center for Politics and co-sponsoring organizations will tap leading female political leaders, professional insiders, and renowned scholars to speak about various issues concerning women and politics. The 2006 National Symposium on Women and Politics seeks to understand how women are changing politics both as politicians and as political insiders. In addition, the series seeks to inspire young women to become involved in politics. More information about the 2006 National Symposium on Women and Politics is available at the Center for Politics website: www.centerforpolitics.org. Updates to the schedule of events, speakers and additional details can be found here throughout the year. For more information on this series contact Holly Hatcher, Assistant Director Programs (434.243.3539 or hhatcher@virginia.edu).

Additional information about the Center for Politics Programs


Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer to Speak at Rotunda

Governor to Address Public on Energy Policy, Ethics and the Future

2/27/06 | The University of Virginia Center for Politics welcomes Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer to a special public presentation entitled, "A Straight Shooter's Take on Ethics, Energy, and Challenges of the Coming Decade" on Wednesday, March 1, at 5:00 p.m., in the Rotunda Dome Room on the grounds of the University of Virginia. This event is free and open to the public, and members of the media are invited to attend.

To listen to Gov. Schweitzer's remarks, visit the Charlottesville Podcasting Network

Gov. Brian Schweitzer, dubbed "half Renaissance man, half rodeo cowboy" on a recent story on CBS's 60 Minutes, is attracting as much national attention for his Western swagger and "tell it like it is" bravado as his progressive political agenda. Addressing topics ranging from lessening America's dependency on foreign oil to Montana's escalating meth problem to increased investment in education, Schweitzer's influence on the national political scene is growing, sparking a movement to draft him into a 2008 presidential run.

Montana's 23rd governor, Schweitzer was elected to office in 2004. He is currently running as the only Democratic candidate for governor in 2005. Prior to this, he served on the National Drought Task Force, a 16-member national board, to review policy and report to Congress an improved coordination response to drought emergencies nationwide. In 1996, Schweitzer was appointed to the Montana Rural Development Partnership Board, and in 1993, he was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to serve on the Montana State USDA Farm Service Agency committee. He served for seven years with the FSA, before resigning in 1999 to run for U.S. Senate.

A graduate of Colorado State University and Montana State University, Schweitzer has owned and operated farms and ranches in four Montana counties, and his business and agricultural experience includes projects on five continents.

Center for Politics Director and Professor Larry J. Sabato will also host Gov. Schweitzer in his Introduction to American Politics course at 3:00 p.m. in Wilson Hall Auditorium at the University of Virginia.

Additional information about the Center for Politics Programs


Center for Politics Announces Presidents' Day Events

Women and the Presidency panel discussion and "8 in '08" Youth Poll

2/16/06 | The University of Virginia Center for Politics presents an exciting new way to celebrate President's Day in 2006. As part of its National Symposium on Women and Politics, the Center for Politics, in partnership with The White House Project, announces Women and the Presidency: 8 for '08, a bipartisan discussion with some of our country's top political authorities on the challenges facing women as presidential candidates and America's willingness to elect a female president in 2008 and beyond. This event will also serve as the opening of the Youth Leadership Initiative's 8 for '08 Youth Poll, which asks students to select the woman leader for whom they would vote in a 2008 presidential race.

Women and the Presidency: 8 for '08

DATE: Monday, February 20, 2006 (Presidents' Day) LOCATION: 7:00 PM, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia Participants include:

  • The White House Project's Marie Wilson
  • former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers
  • Republican political strategist Bob Carpenter
  • Campaigns and Elections Magazine's Morgan Felchner
  • NBC News' Rosiland Jordan

This event will also launch The White House Project's 8 for '08 national online poll. The White House Project, a national, non-partisan non-profit organization, is dedicated to advancing women's leadership across sectors, enhancing public perception of women's ability to lead, and fostering the entry of women into the leadership pipeline, up to and including the presidency. 8 for '08 identifies four Republican and four Democratic women selected by The White House Project as leaders who would be qualified to serve as president of the United States. Audience members will have the opportunity to vote in the online poll at the February 20th event. To find out more, and to participate in the online poll, visit their website at www.thewhitehouseproject.org.

8 for '08 Youth Poll

In partnership with The White House Project, the Center for Politics' Youth Leadership Initiative will hold the 8 for '08 Youth Poll, which asks K-12 students across the country to select the woman leader for whom they would vote in a 2008 presidential race. The poll will open Sunday, February 19, 2006, just in time for President's Day. Results from both surveys will be announced nationally in Parade Magazine. Interested teachers can learn more at www.youthleadership.net.

Additional information about the National Symposium Series


Center for Politics Survey Shows Politics is a Labor of Love

Kilgore voters more likely to be in love that Kaine or Potts voters

2/13/06 | Is Virginia for Lovers? Absolutely, according to a University of Virginia Center for Politics survey conducted following last fall's gubernatorial election and released on the eve of Valentine's Day. According to the poll, 81 percent of adults in the Commonwealth report currently being "in love." However, this figure varies considerably across demographic and political groups. While only 61 percent of 18-24 year olds report being in love, for example, 78 percent of 25-34 year olds and 89 percent of those 45-54 years old say they are in love (see Table).

The survey did not ask about who the objects of respondents' affection were, but there is good news for marriage: A full 97 percent of married people report being in love, compared with 46 percent of those who are divorced, 48 percent of those who are widowed, and 53 percent of people who have never been married.

When it comes to politics, there are some striking findings: More than 84 percent of Republicans say they are in love, along with 83 percent of Independents, compared with only 75 percent of Democrats. Similarly, Kilgore voters were more likely than those voting for either Kaine or Potts to be in love.

"There may be no love lost between Republicans and Democrats in the nation today, but at least here in Virginia, people of all partisan persuasions are likely to have found love in their lives," said Larry Sabato, Director of the UVA Center for Politics. "And while Republicans may have lost the last two elections for Governor, they can take comfort from the fact that they currently lead Virginia's love parade."

The survey found that men are more likely than women both to say they don't know whether they're in love and to refuse to answer the question at all. Among those who did give an answer, married men are slightly more likely than married women to say they're in love. However, among people who are not married, women are more likely than men to report being in love.

What's Love Got to Do With It?

A lot, at least when it comes to political engagement. People in love are more likely to say they pay attention to government and politics: 31 percent say they pay "a great deal of attention," compared to only 23 percent of those who are not in love.

Respondents in love were almost six percentage points more likely to report having voted in last fall's gubernatorial election than less amorous Virginians. Lovers were also more likely to have discussed the election campaign with someone, to have watched or listened to a campaign speech, to have volunteered to work for a campaign, and to have contributed money to a party or candidate. In fact, the only activity that people in love were less likely to take part in was watching a candidate debate on television.

"To a great extent these patterns reflect the impact of being married," explained Paul Freedman, Associate Professor of Politics and Research Director for the Center's survey. "We know that for a number of reasons married people are more likely to take part in political activity, and because married people also tend to be in love, love seems to have a beneficial effect when it comes to politics." Freedman noted that among unmarried people, pursuing love can sometimes be a distraction, leading to lower levels of political activity.

In the aggregate, the political effects of love are clear: Being in love makes it more likely that one will pay attention to politics and take part in a range of political activities.

"This poll may have uncovered one of the keys to engaging more people in politics. All you need is love," said Sabato. "Can political party dating services be far behind?"

About the Survey

The Center for Politics Post Election Survey was commissioned by the UVA Center for Politics and conducted in partnership with the UVA Center for Survey Research. Interviews with 1,181 randomly selected Virginians (including an oversample of young people 18-24 years old) were conducted by telephone over the three weeks following the November 2005 election. The Data have been weighted to adjust for gender and age disparities. The survey has an overall margin of sampling error of +/- 3 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

Question wording: "As of right now, would you say you are currently in love?"

Additional information about the Center for Politics


Geraldine Ferraro to Headline National Symposium onWomen in Politics

Center for Politics also co-hosts national events with HarvardUC-Berkeley, The White House Project

2/09/06 | A keynote address by former Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro in Charlottesville and several national events highlight the University of Virginia Center for Politics' 2006 National Symposium on Women and Politics, a year-long series of events throughout the country. In addition to Ferraro, the Center for Politics and co-sponsoring organizations will tap leading female political leaders, professional insiders, and renowned scholars to speak about various issues concerning women and politics.

The program will launch locally with a series of events this spring at the University of Virginia and will continue nationally throughout the year. This year's series will also include partnerships with:

  • The White House Project
  • The Institute of Governmental Studies at University of California at Berkeley
  • The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • University of Virginia Women's Center
  • Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership

For centuries women have participated in the political process through social movements and civic organizations, and for the past two hundred years, women have worked their way into the electoral system. However, their direct role in politics has been hard fought and they remain underrepresented at all levels. This program seeks to understand how women are changing politics both as politicians and as political insiders. In addition, the series seeks to inspire young women to become involved in politics.

The Center for Politics announces the following events related to the National Symposium on Women and Politics. Unless specifically noted, all of the events are free and open to the public. More events and partnerships are being added.

Women and the Presidency: 8 for '08

Co-Sponsored by The White House Project and the UVa Women's Center
DATE: Monday, February 20, 2006 (Presidents' Day)
LOCATION: 7:00 PM, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia

Participants include:

  • The White House Project's Marie Wilson
  • former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers
  • Republican political strategist Bob Carpenter
  • Campaigns and Elections Magazine's Morgan Felchner
  • NBC News' Rosiland Jordan

This event will also launch The White House Project's 8 for '08 national online poll. 8 for '08 features four Republican and four Democratic women selected by The White House Project as leaders who would be qualified to serve as president of the United States. Audience members will have the opportunity to vote in the online poll at the February 20th event. The White House Project, a national, non-partisan non-profit organization, is dedicated to advancing women's leadership across sectors, enhancing public perception of women's ability to lead, and fostering the entry of women into leadership positions, including the presidency. To find out more, and to participate in the online poll, visit their website at www.thewhitehouseproject.org.

In partnership with The White House Project, the Center for Politics' Youth Leadership Initiative will hold the 8 for '08 Youth Poll, which asks K-12 students across the country to select the woman leader for whom they would vote in a 2008 presidential race. The poll will open Sunday, February 19, 2006, just in time for President's Day. Results from both surveys will be announced nationally in Parade Magazine. Interested teachers can learn more at www.youthleadership.net.

  • Geraldine Ferraro, Former Vice Presidential Nominee
    This keynote address is co-hosted by the UVa Center for Politics and the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics at the University of Virginia.
    DATE: Wednesday, March 15, 2006
    LOCATION: 7:00 PM, Newcomb Hall Ballroom, University of Virginia
  • Jeanne Shaheen, Former New Hampshire Governor
    Speaking to Larry Sabato's Introduction to American Politics class
    DATE: Wednesday, March 22, 2006
    LOCATION: 3:00 PM, Wilson Hall Auditorium, University of Virginia
    (Event not open to the public, members of the media may attend with advance notice.)
  • Book Discussion and Signing: What Women Really Want: How American Women Are Quietly Erasing Political, Racial, Class, and Religious Lines to Change the Way We Live
    Kellyanne Conway of the polling company and Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners
    DATE: Wednesday, April 19, 2006
    LOCATION: 6:30 PM, University of Virginia Bookstore
  • Women in Politics: Seeking Office and Making Policy, UC-Berkeley
    Two-day academic conference co-hosted by the UVa Center for Politics and the UC-Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies discussing the developing role of women in government, politics and campaigns.
    DATE: Friday, June 9 and Saturday, June 10, 2006
    LOCATION: University of California at Berkeley
  • The Virginia Political History Project: Women in Virginia Politics
    A continuation of the annual Virginia Political History Project, this year's conference will focus on the contributions that women have made to politics and government in the Commonwealth.
    DATE: July 2006 (date TBD)
    LOCATION: Richmond, Virginia
  • Fall Event: The Institute of Politics and the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government will co-sponsor an event with the UVa Center for Politics.
    DATE: October, 2006 (date TBD)
    LOCATION: Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Center for Politics would like to thank Altria Corporate Services, Inc. for their sponsorship of the 2006 National Symposium Series at the President's Level.

Additional information about the National Symposium Series


Virginians Pick Warner Over Allen for President in '08 in Poll

Outgoing Governor Leads in All But Republican Demographics

1/18/06 | If the 2008 election for President of the United States were held today, former Virginia Governor Mark Warner would defeat US Senator George Allen in the Old Dominion by a heavy margin, according to a recent survey of Virginians conducted by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. The post-election survey showed support for Warner well ahead of Allen by a margin of 49 percent to 32 percent with 20 percent undecided or uncertain.* Warner leads within every demographic group except Republicans. See chart below for demographic subgroups.

"For now, in the state that knows them both best, Warner is the undisputed king of the hill. Much can change before 2008, of course, including the likelihood that only one of them will probably be lucky enough to make the November ballot (if that)," said Larry Sabato, Director of the UVA Center for Politics. "Allen would almost certainly beat any other Democrat but Warner in Virginia. On the other hand, this poll suggests that Warner could be the first Democrat since LBJ who can turn Virginia 'blue' in a Presidential election."

Survey results released last week show Warner has become one of Virginia's most popular Governors in the polling era, with 75 percent job approval in the Center for Politics survey, compared to 54 percent for Allen. Former Democratic Governor Mark Warner left office on Saturday, having elected fellow Democrat Tim Kaine as his successor over George Allen's protégé, Jerry Kilgore (R).

The Center for Politics Post-Election Survey was commissioned by the UVA Center for Politics and conducted in partnership with the UVA Center for Survey Research. Interviews with 1,181 randomly selected Virginians (including an oversample of young people 18-24 years old) were conducted by telephone over the three weeks following the November 2005 election. The data have been weighted to adjust for gender and age disparities. The survey has an overall margin of sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

The question wording for this portion of the poll was: "In the 2008 presidential race, if George Allen gets the Republican nomination and Mark Warner gets the Democratic nomination, for which Virginian would you vote?"

*Due to rounding, totals may not equal 100%.


Poll Reveals Women and Independents Key to Kaine Victory

Virginians Also Show support for Two Term Governor

1/13/06 | On the eve of the swearing in of Virginia's 70th governor, a new poll by the University of Virginia Center for Politics shows Governor-elect Tim Kaine bested his opponents in the November 2005 election in all major demographic categories except among Republican Party identifiers.

The post-election survey reveals that the election outcome turned on political Independents, who made up more than a quarter of the electorate and voted 67.4 percent for Kaine. While a majority of both men and women surveyed said they supported Kaine in the November election, the poll uncovered a gender gap of more than 10 percent, with almost 62 percent of women in the survey supporting Kaine, compared with only 52 percent of men.

"It was a clear and decisive victory in nearly every demographic category for Governor-elect Tim Kaine," said Larry Sabato, Director of the UVA Center for Politics. "Women and Independents were the keys to victory in the November election."

The survey also found that an overwhelming majority of Virginians would support a measure allowing a governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia to seek a second consecutive term* and showed an extraordinarily high job approval rating of nearly 75 percent for outgoing Governor Mark Warner.

"It is not surprising, given the remarkable popularity of Governor Warner that most Virginians support a constitutional amendment to allow a governor to serve a second term," said Larry Sabato, Director of the UVA Center for Politics. "The November 2005 gubernatorial election was, in many ways, a vote of confidence in the policies of the Warner administration. Just as their perception of the incumbent governor influenced their vote on Election Day, so too it appears to influence whether they believe a Virginia governor should be permitted to serve a second consecutive term."

"The strength of support for allowing governors to run for re-election is striking," said Paul Freedman, Associate Professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia and Research Director for the Center for Politics survey. "More than two- thirds of Virginians would support allowing governors to run for re-election; only 26.8 percent oppose (the rest say they don't know). Support for easing the one-term limit is strongest among Democrats (75 percent), but even 64 percent of Republicans endorse the notion. Virginia is the only state in the nation that does not permit a governor to serve two consecutive terms. This may be an idea whose time has come."

The Center for Politics Survey, the only post-election survey of its kind conducted in 2005, also provides some greater detail of the choices and demographics of voters who participated in the November 2005 election.

Tim Kaine garnered more than nine out of ten Democratic votes, while Jerry Kilgore received 83.4 percent of the Republican vote. Among all survey respondents, 36.8 percent identified themselves as a Republican; 32.8 percent identified themselves as a Democrat; 28.4 percent identified themselves as an Independent and 2 percent said they did not know. The following chart provides a breakdown of voter support based on gender, race, party affiliation and age.

The Center for Politics Post Election Survey was commissioned by the UVA Center for Politics and conducted in partnership with the UVA Center for Survey Research. Interviews with 1,181 randomly selected Virginians (including an oversample of young people 18-24 years old) were conducted by telephone over the three weeks following the November 2005 election. The Data have been weighted to adjust for gender and age disparities. The survey has an overall margin of sampling error of +/- 2.85 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Additional results of the survey will be released in the coming weeks.

*Respondents were asked, "Currently governors in Virginia may not run for re-election and can serve for only one four-year term. Would you favor or oppose letting Virginia governors run for re-election?"