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UVA Center for Politics Hosts Mongolia Delegation


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Wednesday, Nov. 7, the University of Virginia Center for Politics kicks off the Leaders Advancing Democracy – Mongolia (LEAD Mongolia) fellowship. The program is operated by the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy Program in partnership with World Learning and sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

This will be the 26th exchange group to come to UVA as a part of the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy program, and it will feature 30 high-achieving young professionals from across Mongolia. They arrived on Monday. They will participate in a number of educational events and programs focusing on leadership training and civic engagement through the themes of environment and urbanization, unemployment and poverty alleviation, and anti-corruption and transparency.

Members of the media interested in LEAD Mongolia are welcome to attend any of the following events:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 7: Networking and Welcome Reception with addresses by the Embassy of Mongolia’s Deputy Chief of Mission Bold Bat-Ochir and UVA Vice Provost for Global Affairs Stephen Mull at the UVA Minor Hall lobby and Room 125 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Addresses will be at 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 8: Attendance at Staunton City Council Meeting at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 10: Lecture on U.S. politics by UVA Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato at 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at UVA’s Jefferson Hall.
  • Monday, Nov. 12: Panel on Advocacy with Virginia Organizing, Piedmont Environmental Council, Workforce Services and PVCC, Central VA Legal Aid Society, and Charlottesville Tomorrow in UVA Zehmer Hall from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 14: Panel of LEAD-Mongolia fellows on Democracy and addressing public concerns shared between Mongolia and the U.S. with the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement at James Madison University in the Madison Union Ballroom from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The Charlottesville portion of the LEAD Mongolia is coordinated by the Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy program. GPD fosters dialogue between the United States and other countries through public events and international exchanges. Visit www.centerforpolitics.org/gpd.htmlfor more information about GPD programming.




Center for Politics to Host Italy’s Ambassador in Rotunda at Public Event


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Wednesday, Oct. 24, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host a public event with His Excellency Armando Varricchio, Ambassador of Italy to the United States.

Varricchio has chosen the topic: “Italy, Europe, and the United States: Challenges and Opportunities. What’s at Stake.” He will also take questions from the audience.

The event will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. in the Rotunda Dome Room on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. The event is open to the public, but registration is over capacity. Members of the media are welcome to attend the address as well as the reception from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Pavilion IV.

Varricchio is the tenth ambassador to speak in Charlottesville as part of the UVA Center for Politics’ Ambassador Series, which has also featured the ambassadors from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Germany, Ireland, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

Varricchio studied Political Science at the University of Padua, graduating Summa con Laude in 1985. After a brief stint in the private sector, he entered civil service in 1986 and started a brilliant career, which led him to postings around the world, including Budapest, Belgrade, Brussels, and Washington, where he became the Ambassador of Italy to the United States in March 2016. He has served Italy in some of the most significant moments in recent history, starting with the collapse of Soviet Union and on to being the advisor of the youngest prime minister of Italy to date.

The event is in partnership with the International Residential College and the Batten School for Leadership and Public Policy. Wednesday’s forum is part of “Democracy in Perilous Times: Unprecedented Challenges and Controversies,” an ongoing program series organized by the Center for Politics and the Batten School for the 2018-2019 academic year as part of the National Symposium Series. Information on future programming can be found here.



Discussion of Whether Democracy is in Decline to Feature Sen. Tim Kaine, Distinguished Panel


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – On Monday, Oct. 8, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy will host a discussion on whether American democracy is in decline.

The forum will be divided into two parts. First, at 10 a.m., Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato will discuss the state of American democracy. Kaine has also served as Virginia’s governor and lieutenant governor, mayor of Richmond, and chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Then, at 11 a.m., Center for Politics Associate Director Ken Stroupe will moderate a discussion with:

  • Shawna Bader-Blau, Executive Director of the Solidarity Center, the largest global worker rights organization based in the United States
  • Dan Twining, President of the International Republican Institute, an international democracy-development organization
  • Ken Wollack, former President of the National Democratic Institute, which works to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide.

A Jeffersonian Luncheon will follow from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

The event will be held at the Newcomb Hall Ballroom on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. It is free and open to the public with advanced registration, and the media are encouraged to attend.

Monday’s forum is part of “Democracy in Perilous Times: Unprecedented Challenges and Controversies,” an ongoing program series organized by the Center for Politics and the Batten School for the 2018-2019 academic year as part of the National Symposium Series. Information on future programming can be found here.



UVA Center for Politics Hosts Youth Ambassadors from Bolivia and Peru


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Saturday, Oct. 6, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will kick off the Youth Ambassadors Program for Bolivia and Peru. The program is operated by the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy Program in partnership with World Learning and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

This will be the 25th exchange group to come to UVA as a part of the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy program, and it will feature 26 high-achieving youth leaders and four educators from across Bolivia and Peru. After arriving on Oct, 6, they will participate in a number of educational events and programs focusing on leadership development and civic engagement.

Members of the media interested in the Youth Ambassadors exchange are welcome to attend any of the following events:

  • Sunday, Oct. 7: Youth Civic Activism round robin with Charlottesville-area student leaders and Youth Ambassadors at the English Inn from 8 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 8: UVA Center for Politics event Is Democracy in Decline? at UVA’s Newcomb Hall Ballroom with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) from 10 a.m.-11 a.m.; event panel from 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m.; and Jeffersonian Luncheon from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 9: Visit to Monticello High School from 11:45 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 9: Rapper Shad Gill and the Arts and Civic Engagement from 7:15 p.m-8:45 p.m. at UVA’s Jefferson Hall (Hotel C).
  • Wednesday, Oct. 10: Lecture on Civic Engagement and American Politics by UVA Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15a.m. at UVA’s Jefferson Hall (Hotel C).

The Charlottesville portion of the Youth Ambassadors Program with Bolivia and Peru is coordinated by the Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy program. GPD fosters dialogue between the United States and other countries through public events and international exchanges. Visitwww.centerforpolitics.org/gpd.html for more information about GPD programming.




Panel: The Economic Factors That Divide America


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – On Wednesday, Oct. 3, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy will host a panel examining the state of the American economy and the political divides that uneven growth engenders.

The forum “The Economic Factors That Divide America,” will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Great Hall at Garrett Hall on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. The event is free and open to the public with advanced registration, and the media are encouraged to attend.

The panel will assess the impact of the recent federal tax cuts, discuss the impact that economic inequality has had on politics, and explore other issues at the intersection of the economy and politics, such as the Trump administration’s trade policy. Sally Hudson, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Education, and Economics at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, will moderate the panel, which will feature:

  • Greg Fairchild, Isidore Horween Research Associate Professor of Business Administration and Associate Dean for Washington, D.C. Area Initiatives for the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business and Academic Director of Public Policy and Entrepreneurship
  • Matt Erskine, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development
  • Ken Stern, former Chief Executive Officer of National Public Radio, president of Palisades Media Ventures, and author of With Charity for All and Republican Like Me

Wednesday’s panel is part of “Democracy in Perilous Times: Unprecedented Challenges and Controversies,” an ongoing program series organized by the Center for Politics and the Batten School for the 2018-2019 academic year as part of the National Symposium Series. Information on future programming can be found here.




The Mother of Exiles: Immigration Reform

Panel will discuss hot-button immigration topics in the United States


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – On Thursday, Sept. 27, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy will host a panel examining immigration policies in the United States. Topics will include Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA), President Donald Trump’s travel ban, border security, merit-based immigration, and family reunification policies, among others. After discussion and debate, the panelists will then take part in a question-and-answer session with the audience.

The forum, “The Mother of Exiles: Immigration Reform,” will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Great Hall at Garrett Hall, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. The event is free and open to the public, and the media are encouraged to attend.

Professor David Leblang will moderate the panel. He is Professor of Politics and Public Policy and Director of the Global Policy Center at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

The panelists will include:

  • Haley Barbour – former Governor of Mississippi and Founding Partner of BGR Group
  • Joshua Breisblatt – Senior Policy Analyst for the American Immigration Council
  • Maria Cardona – Principal at The Dewey Square Group
  • Luis Fortuño – former Governor of Puerto Rico and Partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP
  • • Mark Krikorian – Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies

Thursday’s panel is part of “Democracy in Perilous Times: Unprecedented Challenges and Controversies,” a program series organized by the Center for Politics and the Batten School for the 2018-2019 academic year as part of the National Symposium Series. Information on the series and future programming can be found here.




Has Trump Changed the Presidency Forever?

Star-studded panel to launch National Symposium Series on Democracy with discussion of the Presidency


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – On Wednesday, Sept. 12, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy launch the 2018-2019 National Symposium Series on Democracy with a panel examining the future of the presidency and whether President Donald Trump has altered the position forever. After discussion and debate, the panelists will then take part in a question and answer session with the audience.

Beginning at 6:45 p.m., the forum will take place in the Newcomb Hall Ballroom, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. The event is free and open to the public, but has sold out due to high interest. The University’s clear bag policy will be in effect, meaning that attendees will not be permitted to carry non-clear bags into the event.

Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato will moderate the panel, which will feature an ideologically diverse array of participants. Panelists include:

  • Brit Hume – Senior Political Analyst, Fox News Channel
  • Ana Navarro – Republican strategist and political commentator on CNN
  • Symone Sanders – Democratic strategist and political commentator and former press secretary for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign
  • Marc Short – Senior Fellow at the Miller Center of Public Affairs and former White House director of legislative affairs and assistant to President Trump.

The panel event can also be viewed via livestream here .

Wednesday’s panel is part of “Democracy in Perilous Times: Unprecedented Challenges and Controversies,” a National Symposium Series on Democracy organized by the Center for Politics and the Batten School, together with event partners across the University and around the country for the 2018-2019 academic year. Information on the series and future programming can be found here .




Center for Politics to Host Rep. Joe Kennedy III


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Friday, Sept. 7, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host a speech by Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA). The congressman will speak on democracy and civic engagement and will then take questions from students.

The event will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Abbott Dining Room at the Darden School of Business. While the event is private, members of the media are welcome to attend the speech as well as the post-event reception.

First elected in 2012, Kennedy is in his third term representing Massachusetts’ Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. A member of the famous Kennedy family, he is the son of Rep. Joe Kennedy II (D-MA) and the grandson of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY). His great uncles were President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA).




UVA Center for Politics and The Batten School Announce Democracy in Perilous Times: Unprecedented Challenges and Controversies

New collaboration to include public events, visiting international delegations and 20th annual national student mock election


CHARLOTTESVILLE – With the midterm of a presidential administration approaching and control of the Congress and U.S. Supreme Court weighing in the balance, today the UVA Center for Politics and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy announced a new National Symposium Series on Democracy.

The forthcoming series “Democracy in Perilous Times: Unprecedented Challenges and Controversies” will host nationally recognized speakers such as Martin Luther King, III; Republican strategist Karl Rove; former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile; political commentator Ana Navarro; CNN’s Jim Acosta; Brit Hume, Senior Political Analyst, Fox News; Rep. Adam Schiff (D, CA-28); and others. The series will also include visiting international delegations from Mongolia, Bolivia, and Peru, as well as the 20th annual Youth Leadership Initiative national student mock election and the national premiere of CHARLOTTESVILLE, a two-hour television documentary on the events of Aug. 11-12, 2017, produced in partnership with the PBS Community Idea Stations.

“Restoring faith in the American political system, and in democracy as an institution, is not a job for another people or another time,” said Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato. “It is today’s challenge. And while we know we can’t solve it alone, we hope this ambitious national series can serve as a springboard for other serious discussions and related efforts.”

“The partnership provides an opportunity to leverage the Batten School’s unique multidisciplinary approach to training the next generation of public policy leaders with the Center’s commitment to civic education and political participation,” Batten School Dean Allan C. Stam said. “Our collaboration is beneficial to the entire University community and comes at a critical time as we approach the national mid-term elections.”

The first program in the series, “Has Trump Changed the Presidency Forever?” will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 6:45 p.m. in the Newcomb Ballroom featuring Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume; Republican political strategist Ana Navarro; former Bernie Sanders campaign spokeswoman Symone Sanders; and former White House legislative affairs director Marc Short.

The following week, on Sept. 17 (Constitution Day), will feature the unveiling of the First Freedom Wall, in partnership with American Evolution. The newest online activity on the Center for Politics’ National Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI), this virtual free-speech wall will promote responsible use of social media for public dialogue. K-12 teachers nationwide will post student quotes, questions, or topics on the First Freedom Wall to which students may respond using the skills of civil discourse. The electronic free speech wall will be supported by a new series of lesson plans and other teaching resources on civil debate and media literacy.

On Sept. 27, the series will focus on the immigration debate in America when it presents “The Mother of Exiles” with Democratic strategist Maria Cardona and former Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño (R), among others. That event will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Great Hall located in Garrett Hall.

A complete schedule of events is availablehere.




Center for Politics/Ipsos Poll: Just Half of Americans Believe Elections Are Fair and Open


New national survey shows Americans critical of big money in politics, supportive of disclosure, but skeptical of judicial intervention

(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – Only about half of American adults believe elections are fair and open, and large majorities of Americans express skepticism about big money in politics and favor disclosure of donations. However, as the Senate considers President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the public offers mixed signals about judicial intervention that could either tighten or loosen the law concerning money in politics.

These are some of the takeaways from a national poll conducted by Ipsos in conjunction with the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

By a 51%-43% margin, those surveyed agreed with the statement that “American elections are fair and open.” However, there was a partisan gap, as 68% of Republicans but just 43% of Democrats agreed with the statement. Couched opinions – those who just “somewhat” agreed or disagreed with the statement – were more common than strong opinions from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.

Table 1: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? “American elections are fair and open”




Americans largely agreed with several other statements dealing with mandated disclosures of who paid for televised or online political advertisements and whether interest groups should follow the same campaign/election laws as candidates. Unlike with the fair elections questions, there was little difference among partisans on support for these statements, which are shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Do you agree or disagree with the following statements:




Respondents also expressed concern about a recent large, anonymous, and legal donation made to an outside political group (this question relates to this story). When asked which of two statements was closer to their views, nearly three-quarters of respondents agreed more with a statement that the donation is an “invitation to corruption,” while a little over a quarter of respondents agreed more with an alternative statement that “People should have a right to give as much as they please, and do so anonymously.” Democrats (78%) and Independents (76%) were likelier than Republicans (62%) to agree with the first statement expressing concern about the large donation.

Table 3: “Recently a political committee aligned with one of the nation’s top leaders accepted over $24 million from a single individual. The donor is anonymous, and the law permits that. Which statement comes closest to your views?”




Finally, respondents were asked whether the Supreme Court should intervene to either tighten or loosen campaign finance laws. Democrats were generally a little more supportive of the first three suggested Supreme Court actions -- proposed restrictions, as described in Table 4 – than Republicans. The fourth item, asking if the Supreme Court should eliminate donation limits and thus loosen campaign finance laws, attracted little support across the political spectrum.

Table 4: Do you think the Supreme Court should… (Select all that apply)




These findings come from an Ipsos poll conducted on July 5-6, 2018. For the survey, a sample of roughly 1,006 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii were interviewed online in English. The full results, methodology, and crosstabs are available here.

This poll represents the latest collaboration between the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Ipsos, an international, independent marketing research firm over the last year and a half. The Center for Politics and Ipsos released two polls on Americans’ attitudes toward recent presidents, and the Center and Ipsos, along with Reuters, released a poll on Americans’ racial attitudes in the wake of a neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville last year.



Extensive Mid-20th Century U.S. Presidential Collection Donated to Center for Politics


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics has received an extensive collection of mid-20th century U.S. presidential memorabilia and artifacts from the estate of the late Jack F. Christie.

The donation represents one of the largest privately-owned collections ever donated to the Center for Politics, and it’s made up of hundreds of items from the Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Carter political eras. Donated items include: presidential historical memorabilia, including presidential campaign itineraries and inaugural planning documents; original signed documents; original audio recordings; never-broadcast video news footage; political artwork; presidential campaign ephemera; presidential volumes published over the last 75 years; and Republican and Democratic National Convention artifacts, including the podium Bible used at the 1960 Los Angeles Convention where John F. Kennedy was nominated for president.

The Center for Politics will host a public exhibit of selected items during a planned series of events to be announced in fall 2018 and spring 2019.

“The Center for Politics is delighted to receive this impressive collection of Presidential artifacts, and we’re grateful to the Christie family for their support of our ongoing work in this field,” noted Center Director Larry J. Sabato. “These items, many of which are not only rare but rarely seen, will be used—carefully—in our classes, and showcased during the Center’s upcoming schedule of events during the fall and spring semesters.”

Jack F. Christie was a veteran of WWII, serving in the Army Air Corps. Upon returning from service he continued his education under the GI Bill and graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University.

With TV broadcasting in its infancy, Christie began his career with NBC and a program called “Youth Wants to Know” aimed at introducing young people to many of the key political figures of the time. In the mid-1950s, he took a job with the Democratic National Committee, where he met JFK during the 1956 Democratic convention when Christie was a part of the broadcast team.

Christie was also involved with the 1960 convention in Los Angeles, where he met and became friends with Frank Sinatra, with whom he remained in contact until Sinatra’s death in 1998. Christie started his collection during college and WWII and continued throughout his life. His full collection covered early broadcasting, the 1956 Democratic Convention, in-depth coverage of the Kennedy era, as well as the 1968 Democratic and Republican conventions. During Lyndon Johnson’s administration, Christie headed up the Presidential Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.



Center’s 20th Annual Virginia Political History Project Highlights Virginia’s Eight Presidents


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – On Wednesday, June 27, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will hold its 20th annual Virginia Political History Project. Through activities based around the legacy of Virginia’s eight presidents, the event will engage area children in American politics, history, civics, culture, and diversity. Over 200 camp children and their counselors from local chapters of the Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCA will participate in the event.

This year’s theme is “Virginia’s Eight Presidents.” Of the country’s 44 different presidents, eight were born in the Old Dominion (in order of presidency): George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson. The event will include many activities, such as:

  • Hoops and Sticks races, where children will experience playing with toys from presidents’ childhoods.
  • A Declaration of Independence activity, where kids will learn different phrases from the document and write their favorite verse with authentic goose quill pens and ink.
  • A Star-Spangled Banner activity, where children will learn about the War of 1812, President Madison and then-Secretary of State Monroe’s roles, and the inspiration behind the National Anthem through storytelling, discussion, and pictures.

The Virginia Political History Project will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the University of Virginia Center for Politics at 465 Crestwood Drive in Charlottesville. The event is not open to the general public, but the local press is invited to attend; please contact the media staffer listed above for more information.



Gun Rights and Responsibilities: How to Move Forward: Center for Politics to host forum examining fraught issue


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – On Tuesday, March 13, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host a panel examining gun rights and responsibilities in the wake of recent gun-related tragedies, most notably the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. The event is presented in partnership with Converge UVA, a bipartisan student-led initiative that seeks to alleviate political tensions among students at the University by facilitating political dialogue and discussion on politics and challenging public policy issues. After discussing their views on gun rights and responsibilities, the panelists will then take part in a question and answer session with the audience.

Beginning at 7 p.m., the forum will take place in Minor Hall, Room 125, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. The event is free and open to the public with advanced registration, and the media are invited to attend.

Center for Politics Communications Director Kyle Kondik will moderate the event, which will feature an ideologically diverse panel. Kondik is also the managing editor of the Center’s nonpartisan political newsletter, Sabato’s Crystal Ball. Panelists include:

  • Gerard Alexander – Associate Professor, Department of Politics. Alexander’s research examines political institutions in democracies and factors affecting the size and role of government.
  • Daman Irby – Director of Global Initiatives, Center for Politics. Irby coordinates the Center’s many foreign exchange programs aimed at improving civic engagement in other countries.
  • Jim Todd – Lecturer, Department of Politics. Todd’s research centers on constitutional history, particularly the theories of James Madison.
  • Carah Ong Whaley – Lecturer, Department of Politics. Whaley’s research focuses on how the interactions of political actors and institutions affect public policy as well as the causes and consequences of partisan polarization in the United States.



PUBLIC RATES PRESIDENTS: JFK, REAGAN, OBAMA AT TOP, NIXON, LBJ, TRUMP AT BOTTOM

Ipsos/Center for Politics poll measures views of recent chief executives at Presidents’ Day


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- As Americans prepare to celebrate Presidents’ Day, they rate John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan the best of recent chief executives, according to a new poll conducted by Ipsos in conjunction with the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

The Center for Politics and Ipsos collaborated to survey Americans’ views of modern presidents and asked them to rate the dozen presidents who have served since the early 1950s. The strong showings by Kennedy and Reagan reaffirm a previous Ipsos/Center for Politics survey from May 2017 that found them both with similarly high marks.

Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, the two most recent Democratic presidents, round out the top four, while the current president, Donald Trump, finds himself near the bottom of the ratings.

Obama, Reagan, and Kennedy received the most support from respondents when asked which recent president they wish was serving in the White House right now.

The online poll sampled 1,004 adults on Feb. 7-8, 2018. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll had a credibility interval of ±3.5 percentage points for all respondents surveyed..

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being terrible and 10 being excellent, Kennedy had the highest average rating, 6.56, of any post-World War II president (going back to Dwight Eisenhower). The father-son Republican presidential pair of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush received the exact same rating, 5.45. Table 1 shows the average rating for modern presidents by the poll’s respondents.

Table 1: Average overall rating for each modern president and by respondent’s party ID




Kennedy took the top spot in these ratings thanks to the strongest bipartisan support of any modern president. Naturally, he had a high rating among Democrats (7.09), but he also received top marks from independents -- 6.62, the highest any president earned from that group -- and from Republicans (6.20). Kennedy’s rating among Republicans was the highest rating the opposite-party identifiers gave to any modern president. The next highest were Ronald Reagan’s (5.15) and George H.W. Bush’s (4.96) rating among Democrats.

Independents rated Kennedy highest (6.62), but they also held relatively positive views of Reagan (6.21) and Barack Obama (6.11).

Among partisans, Reagan was the highest-rated president among Republicans, with GOP identifiers giving him an average of 8.03. With a 7.20 rating, President Donald Trump earned the second-best score among Republicans, reinforcing the reality that GOP voters have rallied around him.

As for Democrats, they gave Obama a rating of 8.65, the highest for any Democratic president and the highest for any single president among a partisan group. Bill Clinton was second behind Obama among Democrats with 7.19, followed by Kennedy at 7.09.

Few would dispute that JFK and Reagan have worn well over the decades, more so than any of their modern colleagues, and the data in this survey confirm that.

Today’s extraordinarily high level of partisanship mainly explains why the two most polarizing presidents among Democratic and Republican respondents are the two most recent, Obama and Trump. The difference between the average rating among Democrats and Republicans for Obama was 5.18, the largest margin of any president. Trump was next, with a sizable difference of 5.06. Clinton and Reagan tied for a distant third with a partisan difference of 2.88.

Reflecting his scandal-driven exit from the White House, Richard Nixon earned the lowest score among all respondents, 3.80, with Democrats, Republicans, and independents all rating him lower than 5.0. Lyndon Johnson, chief prosecutor of an unpopular war in Vietnam, was not far above Nixon with an overall average of 4.17.

Fading public memories and generational replacement play some role in the rating of many modern presidents. Americans have fuzzy images of Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, and even George H.W. Bush despite the fact that many scholars view them as fair-to-good presidents. Generally speaking, the oldest respondents (age 55 and up) were less likely to respond “don’t know” when rating the presidents, particularly when rating the less recent presidents.

Trump earned the third-lowest overall mark among respondents, 4.20, and his 3.77 average among independents was the second worst, just above Nixon’s 3.70. Compounding Trump’s weak performance among independents was his exceptionally low rating among Democrats, 2.14, the worst mark for any president among any partisan

That Democrats give the lowest ratings to Trump -- lower even than Nixon -- is remarkable, but so is the high evaluation of Trump among Republicans. This may be further evidence that the Trump brand and the Republican Party are increasingly synonymous, though Trump does not rate as highly among Republicans as Obama does among Democrats.

Another notable finding was that women routinely gave lower average scores to 10 of the 12 modern presidents. Only Obama and Jimmy Carter received higher average scores among women than men, although in some instances the differences by gender were very minor (Carter, Clinton, and George W. Bush). Curiously, the president with the largest gender gap in mean rating was Dwight Eisenhower, who received a score of 5.73 among men and 4.32 among women, for a difference of 1.41. Trump had the second-largest gender gap, 0.95. These data, along with data by age group, are presented in Table 2 below.

Table 2: Modern president ratings by age and gender




Eisenhower, the earliest president surveyed, received middling ratings from the 18-34 and 35-54 age groups (4.19 and 4.56, respectively), but those who were more likely to remember him (the 55 years or older cohort) gave Eisenhower an average rating of 6.08. Ike’s mark was third best among those 55+ behind Reagan (7.14) and Kennedy (7.04). The eldest age cohort rated Nixon worst of all modern presidents, with an average rating of 4.36.

Conversely (and unsurprisingly, given the Democratic lean of younger Americans), 18-34 year olds rated Obama highest, 6.96. As those in their early 30s were in their early 20s when Obama was first elected in 2008, his presidency shaped much of their adult lives. For those in the younger half of the 18-34 cohort, Obama was president for much of their teenage or even some of their childhood years.

Perhaps reflecting his aspirational rhetoric and the glamour of what became known as “Camelot,” as well as the fact that an assassin cut short his life, Kennedy ranked second among young people with an average rating of 6.28. The only other president over 5.0 among young people was Clinton (5.67). One thing the youngest and oldest age cohorts could agree on was a disdain for Nixon, who ranked last among 18-34s with an average rating of 3.4. Millennials rated Trump second-worst, with an average rating of 3.55.

Among the middle age cohort -- 35 to 54 year olds -- Reagan was the most well-regarded president, with an average rating of 6.65, followed by Kennedy at 6.30, and Obama at 6.09.

The survey also asked respondents which modern president they would choose to serve right now, assuming all were alive and could legally serve. About one-third (31%) of respondents picked Obama, followed by Reagan (22%), Kennedy (16%), and Trump (9%) -- with Trump’s votes coming almost entirely from Republicans.

Table 2: Modern president ratings by age and gender




Obama’s lead on this question came mostly from strong Democratic support: Nearly three of five Democratic respondents (58%) would want Obama as president, and among Democrats, only Obama, Kennedy (19%), and Clinton (10%) received double-digit support. Republicans, meanwhile, still strongly preferred Reagan (44%) to the current Republican president, Trump (24%). Kennedy showed his usual crossover appeal in this category, finishing third among both Republicans (9%) and Independents (18%).

The full results and methodology are available here and the crosstabs are available here.

This poll represents the latest collaboration between the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Ipsos, an international, independent marketing research firm. Last year, the Center and Ipsos released polls on Americans’ racial attitudes in the wake of a neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville and on Americans’ attitudes toward recent presidents, which also showed Kennedy and Reagan receiving the highest marks.




UVA Center for Politics to Host 19th Annual American Democracy Conference

(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – On Thursday, Nov. 16, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host the 19th annual American Democracy Conference in Charlottesville, VA. The conference will feature leading journalists and political experts discussing the upcoming 2018 midterm election cycle, the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, and early thoughts on the 2020 presidential election.

The conference will be held in Alumni Hall on the Grounds of the University of Virginia -- 211 Emmet Street South in Charlottesville. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. and the event will begin at 9:00 a.m. The conference is free and open to the public with advance registration, and the press is invited to attend.

For more information, please visit http://www.centerforpolitics.org/adc.html. The conference will also be livestreamed online at the following link: https://livestream.com/tavco/2017ADC.



“This is the House that Jack Built” Premiere

New documentary examines new and little-known stories about JFK


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Wednesday, Oct. 11, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations will host the Charlottesville premiere of their new documentary, This is the House that Jack Built. Center Director Larry J. Sabato will open the event with a conversation with David Pitts, author of Jack and Lem: John F. Kennedy and Lem Billings: The Untold Story of an Extraordinary Friendship. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Minor Hall Room 125, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. The event is free and open to the public, and those interested in attending should register here. The media are also invited to attend.

Directed by Paul Tait Roberts and hosted by Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato, This is the House that Jack Built touches on familiar themes of JFK's life and his ascent to the presidency, his mistakes, and his triumphs. But the film also explores new and little-known stories, some which surfaced after the Center for Politics’ Kennedy Half Century project in 2013, which included Sabato’s New York Times-bestselling book, an Emmy Award-winning documentary, and an Emmy Award-nominated Massive Open Online Course.

Among the new stories in the documentary is the friendship between Kennedy and Billings, the focus of Pitts’ book. Other revelations include a CIA staffer and her discovery of a file on Lee Harvey Oswald that soon thereafter went missing; the sonic analysis of the infamous dictabelt recording from the day of Kennedy’s assassination; and the Warren Commission’s pressure on 19-year-old Buell Wesley Frazier, who drove Oswald to work on Nov. 22, 1963. This program also explores why JFK is still relevant and why he so interests the public even 100 years after his birth and more than half a century after his assassination scarred the nation. A trailer for the documentary is available here.

This is the House that Jack Built is the latest collaboration between the Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations, which regularly partner to produce documentary films for public television on American politics and history. Three of their recent documentaries won Emmy Awards in the categories of Best Historical Documentary and Best Topical Documentary: 2016’s Feeling Good About America, which chronicled the 1976 presidential election; 2013’s The Kennedy Half Century, which explored President Kennedy’s life and legacy; and 2012’s Out of Order, which examined partisan polarization in Washington, DC.

David Pitts is an internationally-recognized journalist whose work has appeared in major magazines and newspapers in the United States and overseas. The author was previously a senior writer for the U.S. Information Agency/Voice of America for 15 years, where he reported from Europe, Africa, Latin America, and the United States. His articles on John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and other members of the Kennedy family, as well as on U.S. domestic and foreign policy, have been disseminated around the world.




“This is the House that Jack Built” Premiere

New documentary examines new and little-known stories about JFK


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – Today, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations will host the premiere of their new documentary, This is the House that Jack Built.

The event will take place at the Library of Virginia in Richmond. The pre-showing reception will begin at 6 p.m., to be followed by the presentation and premiere of the film at 7 p.m. The premiere event is free and open to the public, and those interested in attending should register here. The media are also invited to attend.

Directed by Paul Tait Roberts and hosted by Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato, This is the House that Jack Built touches on familiar themes of JFK's life and his ascent to the presidency, his mistakes, and his triumphs. But the film also explores new and little-known stories, some which surfaced after the Center for Politics’ Kennedy Half Century project in 2013, which included Sabato’s New York Times-bestselling book, an Emmy Award-winning documentary, and an Emmy Award-nominated Massive Open Online Course.

These new stories include a CIA staffer and her discovery of a file on Lee Harvey Oswald that soon thereafter went missing; the sonic analysis of the infamous dictabelt recording from the day of Kennedy’s assassination; and the Warren Commission’s pressure on 19-year-old Buell Wesley Frazier, who drove Oswald to work on Nov. 22, 1963. This program also explores why JFK is still relevant and why he so interests the public even 100 years after his birth and more than half a century after his assassination scarred the nation.

A trailer for the documentary is available here. The documentary will be begin airing on public television in mid-October. The film will also have a premiere in Charlottesville on Oct. 11, at 6:30 p.m. in Minor Hall 125 on the Grounds of the University of Virginia.

This is the House that Jack Built is the latest collaboration between the Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations, which regularly partner to produce documentary films for public television on American politics and history. Three of their recent documentaries won Emmy Awards in the categories of Best Historical Documentary and Best Topical Documentary: 2016’s Feeling Good About America, which chronicled the 1976 presidential election; 2013’s The Kennedy Half Century, which explored President Kennedy’s life and legacy; and 2012’s Out of Order, which examined partisan polarization in Washington, DC.




UVA Center for Politics Hosts Mongolia Delegation

(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – Today, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will kick off the Leaders Advancing Democracy – Mongolia (LEAD Mongolia) academic residency. The program is operated by the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy Program in partnership with World Learning and sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

This will be the 23rd exchange group hosted by the UVA Center for Politics as a part of the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy program, and it will feature 40 high achieving young professionals from across Mongolia. After arriving, they will participate in a number of educational events and programs focusing on leadership training and civic engagement through the themes of environment and urbanization, unemployment and poverty, and anti-corruption and transparency.

Members of the media interested in LEAD Mongolia are also welcome to attend any of the following events:

  • Thursday, Sept. 21: Welcome Reception with address by Elizabeth Cranwell of the UVA Board of Visitors in the UVA Clark Hall Mural Room from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 22: Founding Principles of the U.S. at James Madison’s Montpelier from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 25: Lecture on U.S. politics by UVA Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato at 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Cavalier Inn.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 26: Panel on Advocacy with Harold Folley (Virginia Organizing), Dan Holmes (Piedmont Environmental Council), Valerie Palamountain (Workforce Services and PVCC), Palma Pustilnik (Central VA Legal Aid Society), and Brian Wheeler (Charlottesville Tomorrow) in UVA Zehmer Hall 10:45 a.m. until 12:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 27: Lecture on Anti-Corruption and Civic Liberties by Rutherford Institute President John Whitehead at the Northside Library from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 28: Attendance at Staunton City Council Meeting at 7:30 p.m.

The Charlottesville portion of the LEAD Mongolia is coordinated by the Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy program. GPD fosters dialogue between the United States and other countries through public events and international exchanges. Visit www.centerforpolitics.org/gpd.html for more information about GPD programming. .




New Poll: Some Americans Express Troubling Racial Attitudes Even As Majority Oppose White Supremacists

Survey conducted by Reuters/Ipsos in conjunction with UVA Center for Politics measures racial sentiments in aftermath of August neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – A new Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in conjunction with the University of Virginia Center for Politics finds that while there is relatively little national endorsement of neo-Nazis and white supremacists, there are troubling levels of support for certain racially-charged ideas and attitudes frequently expressed by extremist groups. The survey also found backing for keeping Confederate monuments in place, the removal of which has become a hot-button issue in communities across the country.

As is often the case, these survey results can be interpreted in two quite different ways. On the one hand, despite the events in Charlottesville and elsewhere, few people surveyed expressed direct support for hate groups. But on the other hand, it will be disturbing to many that a not insubstantial proportion of those polled demonstrated neutrality and indifference or, worse, expressed support for antiquated views on race.

The large-sample poll (5,360 respondents for most questions) was conducted from Aug. 21 to Sept. 5 in the aftermath of a neo-Nazi rally and counter-protest on the Grounds of the University of Virginia and in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia on Aug. 11-12.

Among the questions, respondents were asked if they agreed or disagreed with statements asking whether white people and/or racial minorities in the United States are “under attack.” Notably, 14% of all respondents both 1) agreed that white people are under attack and 2) disagreed with the statement that nonwhites are under attack.

Nearly one-third of respondents (31%) strongly or somewhat agreed that the country needs to “protect and preserve its White European heritage.” Another third (34%) strongly or somewhat disagreed with the statement, and 29% neither agreed nor disagreed.

Fifty years after the United States Supreme Court struck down bans on mixed-race marriage in Loving v. Virginia, about one-sixth of respondents (16%) agreed with the statement that “marriage should only be allowed between two people of the same race” and an additional 14% neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement, while 4% said they didn’t know. In total, about a third failed to express tolerance of interracial marriage. Among whites, 17% agreed that marriage should be restricted to the same race, with 15% neither agreeing nor disagreeing. This was slightly higher than nonwhites (15% agreed, 12% neither agreed nor disagreed).

In separate questions, each asking whether/to the extent respondent supported various ideologies:

  • 6% of respondents said they strongly or somewhat supported the alt-right.
  • 8% expressed support for white nationalism.
  • 4% expressed support for neo-Nazism.

For both the alt-right and white nationalism questions, the poll found that about one-fifth of respondents said they neither supported nor opposed those groups or movements, perhaps revealing some potential additional support.

“Let’s remember, there are nearly 250 million adults in the United States, so even small percentages likely represent the beliefs of many millions of Americans,” said Center Director Larry J. Sabato.

On Confederate monuments, respondents were given a choice between removing Confederate monuments from all public spaces or keeping all of them in place.

  • Three-fifths (57%) said that Confederate monuments should remain in public spaces, while a quarter (26%) said they should be removed.
  • Among African Americans, 54% said all monuments should be removed versus 25% who were inclined to keep all monuments where they are. Whites strongly differed, with two-thirds (67%) saying they should remain in place and just 19% favoring removal.
  • A plurality of Democrats favored removing all monuments (46%) versus 38% for leaving them in place. /li>
  • Republicans (by 81%-10%) and Independents (by 62%-18%) overwhelmingly preferred keeping the monuments in place.
  • Among those people with a bachelor’s degree or higher, 51% favored keeping the monuments in place versus 34% for removing them.

Some results indicated broad acceptance of racial equality:

  • Seven in 10 respondents (70%) strongly agreed that people of different races should be “free to live wherever they choose” and that “all races are equal” (70%), with only 2% and 4% of respondents strongly disagreeing, respectively.
  • A large percentage (89%) agreed that all races should be treated equally, even as 11% answered otherwise: 3% disagreed, 5% neither agreed nor disagreed, and 3% said they didn’t know.

But other findings presented conflicting opinions about whether and which racial groups may be “under attack” in the United States.

  • 39% of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement that “white people are currently under attack in this country,” while 38% disagreed. Strong disagreement (28%) ranked higher than strong agreement (19%). Among whites, 29% disagreed with this statement, whereas 54% of nonwhites disagreed. Among partisans, 21% of Democrats agreed with the statement to some extent compared to 63% of Republicans. Conversely, 59% of Democrats disagreed (47% strongly) while just 17% of Republicans disagreed. About the same percentage of Democrats and Republicans neither agreed nor disagreed (17% for the former, 18% for the latter).
  • 55% strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement that “racial minorities are currently under attack in this country,” while 22% strongly or somewhat disagreed. Just 13% of racial minorities disagreed with the statement while 27% of whites disagreed.

Lastly, the poll found mixed views on Black Lives Matter and a relative unfamiliarity with Antifa compared to other movements and organizations that the survey asked about:

  • Roughly one-third of respondents (32%) said they supported Black Lives Matter, and another 24% indicated a middle position of neither supporting nor opposing. Among African Americans, 62% voiced support for the group, while 26% of whites and 33% of Hispanics also did.
  • A plurality of respondents were against BLM, however, with 37% somewhat or strongly opposing the organization. The strongest core of opposition to the group came from whites, with 43% opposing BLM. There was also an obvious partisan difference in support or opposition to the organization: 52% of Democrats supported BLM and 62% of Republicans opposed it.
  • 8% said they strongly or somewhat support Antifa versus 33% strongly opposing Antifa and another 6% somewhat opposing (39% total opposing). There is more uncertainty about Antifa than the alt-right, which could suggest a lack of familiarity with the groups themselves, or with the groups’ ideals: 32% answered “don’t know” when asked about their support or opposition to Antifa, versus 23% who said the same when asked about the alt-right.

A fundamental question that this poll sought to help clarify is whether there is a sizable portion of the American public that could be receptive to the types of messages being disseminated by groups associated with the alt-right and/or white supremacy. When respondents were asked if they supported the alt-right, white nationalists, and neo-Nazis, only a small percentage said they did. But for both the alt-right and white nationalism, about one-fifth of respondents said they neither supported nor opposed those groups or movements.

Within this poll a sizable number of respondents selected the “neither agree nor disagree” option. Given the racially-charged and controversial nature of some of the statements polled, these “middling” answers seemed remarkable, particularly given the fact that a “Don’t know” option was also presented and was available if, for example, one wished to express uncertainty or a lack of knowledge. Ipsos pollster Julia Clark examined the makeup of the “neither agree nor disagree” respondents from this survey. While the profile of these respondents is not uniform, on some of the more notable questions she discovered a general trend showing that these respondents were more likely to have views that leaned more toward intolerance than away from it.

“The ‘Neither agree nor disagree’ respondents, for example, are far less likely to condemn statements against interracial marriage and in favor of preserving white heritage,” said Clark. “In addition, the ‘Neither/Nors’ are notably less likely than other respondents to feel all races should be treated equally or that minorities are under attack. In both cases, and others, this makes their viewpoints more congruous with extremist, anti-equality views than more progressive views.”

The full results and methodology are available here and the crosstabs are available here.




Center for Politics’ Event to Explore JFK & the Space Era

Features UVA alum astronaut & JFK Library Foundation executive director


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics, in partnership with the UVA Parents Fund, will explore the past and future of NASA and former President John F. Kennedy’s legacy on space exploration in a Tuesday night panel.

NASA astronaut and UVA alumnus Dr. Thomas H. Marshburn, John F. Kennedy Library Foundation Executive Director Steven M. Rothstein, and Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato will discuss NASA and JFK’s leading role in space travel as part of the latest Center for Politics program marking the 100th anniversary of Kennedy’s birth.

The event will be held Tuesday, Sept. 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Minor Hall, Room 125, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. A light reception will follow. The event is free and open to the public with advanced registration at http://www.centerforpolitics.org/jfkspace.html. Members of the media are also welcome to attend.

The Center for Politics is noting the Kennedy centennial through a series of public programs and symposia, including Tuesday night’s event on JFK and space. Earlier this year, the Center hosted an exhibition of never-before-seen photos of Kennedy and a panel on his relationship with the media.

As part of JFK100, the Center also is partnering with PBS to produce a national television documentary. This is the House that Jack Built touches on familiar themes of JFK’s life and his ascent to the presidency, his mistakes, and his triumphs as well as new and little-known stories. The trailer is available at https://youtu.be/mT6_GSg4MsQ. https://youtu.be/mT6_GSg4MsQ

The new documentary will serve as a sequel to the Center’s 2013 release, The Kennedy Half Century, which won an Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary. The Center also is partnering with Coursera and iTunes U to produce a series of new lessons for its Massive Open Online Course entitled The Kennedy Half Century and taught by Prof. Sabato, which to date has enrolled nearly 200,000 students from around the world.



Sabato hosts the documentary, and others lending their voice to the program include presidential historian Robert Dallek, authors John Shaw and David Pitts, Kennedy staffers Nancy Dutton and Sue Vogelsinger, civil rights expert Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Buell Wesley Frazier, and others. Paul Tait Roberts directs the documentary.

This is the latest documentary from the Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations, a partnership that has produced three Emmy Award-winning documentaries over the past several years. Just last month, the documentary Feeling Good About America: The 1976 Presidential Election won an Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Additionally, the Center won Best Topical Documentary for Out of Order: Civility in Politics, which explores gridlock and hyper-partisanship in Congress, in 2013. The following year, the Center won Best Historical Documentary for the aforementioned documentary, The Kennedy Half Century.

This Is The House That Jack Built will be released nationwide this fall.




Center for Politics releases trailer for new JFK documentary


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – A trailer for the University of Virginia Center for Politics’ forthcoming documentary, This Is The House That Jack Built, is now available. The documentary is the latest collaboration between the Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations, which regularly partner to produce documentary films for public television on American politics and history.

This is the House that Jack Built touches on familiar themes of JFK's life and his ascent to the presidency, his mistakes, and his triumphs. But the film also explores new and little-known stories, some which surfaced after the Center for Politics’ Kennedy Half Century project in 2013, which included Center for Politics’ Director Larry J. Sabato’s New York Times-bestselling book, an Emmy Award-winning documentary, and an Emmy Award-nominated Massive Open Online Course.

These new stories include a CIA staffer and her discovery of a file on Lee Harvey Oswald that soon thereafter went missing; the sonic analysis of the infamous dictabelt recording from the day of Kennedy’s assassination; and the Warren Commission’s pressure on 19-year-old Buell Wesley Frazier, who drove Oswald to work on Nov. 22, 1963. This program also explores why JFK is still relevant and why he so interests the public even 100 years after his birth and more than half a century after his assassination scarred the nation.

To see the documentary trailer, click on the image below or visit: https://youtu.be/mT6_GSg4MsQ.



Sabato hosts the documentary, and others lending their voice to the program include presidential historian Robert Dallek, authors John Shaw and David Pitts, Kennedy staffers Nancy Dutton and Sue Vogelsinger, civil rights expert Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Buell Wesley Frazier, and others. Paul Tait Roberts directs the documentary.

This is the latest documentary from the Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations, a partnership that has produced three Emmy Award-winning documentaries over the past several years. Just last month, the documentary Feeling Good About America: The 1976 Presidential Election won an Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Additionally, the Center won Best Topical Documentary for Out of Order: Civility in Politics, which explores gridlock and hyper-partisanship in Congress, in 2013. The following year, the Center won Best Historical Documentary for the aforementioned documentary, The Kennedy Half Century.

This Is The House That Jack Built will be released nationwide this fall.




Center for Politics Wins Emmy Award for “Feeling Good About America” Documentary


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics’ latest documentary, Feeling Good About America: The 1976 Presidential Election, won an Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The award was announced Saturday, June 24, at the 59th Capital Emmy Awards in Bethesda, MD.

This is the third Emmy Award won by the Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations, which regularly partner to produce documentary films for public television on American politics and history.

Directed by Paul Tait Roberts and produced by Center Director and UVA Professor Larry J. Sabato, Feeling Good About America is a one-hour documentary that examines the 1976 presidential election. The ’76 election took place in the aftermath of a very turbulent period that featured the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal. But a new feeling was sweeping coast to coast as people pulled together to celebrate the nation’s bicentennial and to select a new president who could help close the book on an awful decade.

Feeling Good About America tells the story of the 1976 presidential election where then-former California Gov. Ronald Reagan, little-known former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter, and incumbent President Gerald Ford battled for the nation’s highest office. Through interviews with Walter Mondale, Jack Ford, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Stuart K. Spencer, and many more, the film shows how Reagan took his fight for the Republican nomination all the way to the Republican National Convention, how Ford tried to harness the positive energy of the bicentennial to win a full term in the White House, and how Carter charmed America by courting the rock ‘n’ roll vote and playing off his Southern heritage.

A trailer for Feeling Good About America is available here. The full documentary is now available on YouTube.

This is the Center’s third Emmy Award. In 2013, the Center won Best Topical Documentary for Out of Order: Civility in Politics, which explores gridlock and hyper-partisanship in Congress. In 2014, the Center won Best Historical Documentary for The Kennedy Half Century. In 2015, Sabato’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), also entitled “The Kennedy Half Century,” was the first MOOC to be nominated by the National Academy for an Emmy for Best Instructional Programming.

The Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations are currently working on a new documentary marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of John F. Kennedy and the pending October release of all previously-sealed, assassination-related records by the National Archives. The new film, The House That Jack Built, will be released nationwide this fall.




Center’s 19th Annual Virginia Political History Project Focuses on JFK to Raise Civic Awareness in Area Children


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Tuesday, June 27, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will hold its 19th annual Virginia Political History Project. Through activities based around the legacy of John F. Kennedy, the event will engage area children in American politics, history, civics, culture, and diversity. This year’s participants will include day campers from the Piedmont Family YMCA and two chapters from the Boys and Girls Club of Central Virginia (the Cherry Avenue and Madison clubs).

The theme this year is “Happy 100th Birthday JFK,” in honor of the centennial of Kennedy’s birthday. There will be many activities, including:

  • A “Race to the Moon” with balloon rockets to learn more about JFK’s role in the development of the American space program.
  • An obstacle course to emphasize the importance of physical fitness, something Kennedy valued deeply. He and his Council on Youth Fitness created a physical fitness program to promote and improve children’s health.
  • A team-building station where children will learn to work together just as JFK worked with members of his administration to overcome significant challenges, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • A tie-dye activity to represent how different people and ideas can come together in a positive way, in association with Kennedy’s belief that the “most important topic on Earth [is] peace.”

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the University of Virginia Center for Politics at 465 Crestwood Drive in Charlottesville. The event is not open to the general public, but the local press is invited to attend; please contact the media staffer listed above for more information.




Center for Politics Poll Finds Public Ranks JFK Highest Among Recent Presidents Survey conducted by Reuters/Ipsos coincides with upcoming Kennedy centennial


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – As the nation marks the 100th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s birth on Memorial Day, a University of Virginia Center for Politics-Reuters/Ipsos poll finds that Americans rate JFK more highly than other recent presidents.

The online poll of American adults found that of the presidents who served from 1950-2000 (Dwight Eisenhower through Bill Clinton), Kennedy received higher average ratings than any other president, and more than half of respondents (53%) named him as one of the one or two best presidents in that timeframe. Additionally, 87% of respondents expressed at least mildly favorable views of Kennedy.

Table 1: “Would you say you are generally favorable or unfavorable towards President John F. Kennedy?”



The rating of Kennedy as one of the best recent presidents improved from 2012, when the Center for Politics partnered with Hart Research Associates on a different online poll that used identical question wording as part of the Center’s Kennedy Half Century project. The percentage of respondents naming JFK as one of the best recent presidents in the second half of the 20th century increased from 41% to 53% (Table 3). The numbers for most of the other presidents stayed stable, with the exception of Bill Clinton, whose rankings declined significantly (as shown in both tables 2 and 3).


Table 2: Mean rating that respondents gave each president who served from 1950-2000 on a scale from zero (one of our country’s worst presidents) to 10 (one of our country’s best presidents)




Table 3: “From that same list of presidents who served between 1950 and 2000, which one or two stand out in your mind as the best president(s)?”




When asked to choose selected recent or historical presidents to hypothetically serve as the country’s next president, Kennedy (22%) rated similarly with Ronald Reagan (23%) and Barack Obama (21%). Here again, Clinton’s numbers declined significantly from the previous 2012 survey. It is worth noting when comparing the 2017 poll to the 2012 poll on this particular question that it was posed open-ended in 2012, allowing respondents to name any president they liked, while in 2017 only the top ranked responses from 2012 were provided to respondents to choose from.

Table 4: “Suppose you could bring back any of the U.S. presidents, living or dead, to be the next president of the United States. Who would you most want to be the next president?”




While it’s hard to pinpoint specific reasons for Kennedy’s improvement from the previous poll, Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato said recent commemorations of Kennedy could have re-inserted JFK positively into the public’s perception.

“It’s possible that there are some additional, residual good feelings about Kennedy engendered by all the JFK coverage that occurred during the anniversary of his assassination in 2013 and as part of the current emphasis on his centennial. In addition, the public sometimes has a tendency to compare and contrast the current president to past presidents, and they look for previous presidential traits that are lacking in the current incumbent. In terms of style, inspirational rhetoric, and many policies, there is undeniably a contrast between JFK and Donald Trump,” Sabato said.

Bill Clinton has suffered a sharp decline since 2012. Whereas 33% of respondents rated him as a 9 or 10 on a 0 to 10 scale five years ago, our new poll finds just 16% rate him as a 9 or 10. This shift comes from an across-the-board partisan decay in positive views of the former president, with more Democrats, Republicans, and Independents rating Clinton more unfavorably. Bill Clinton’s worsened public perception may mirror the similar decline of his wife, Hillary Clinton, during and in the aftermath of a brutal, unsuccessful presidential election.

“In 2012, Hillary Clinton had strong favorability nationally while she was secretary of state. Once she re-entered the political fray and was the target of negative attacks for two years, her numbers eroded significantly, and that erosion appears to apply to her husband as well,” Sabato said.

Some other observations from the poll:

-- When given a number of words and phrases used to describe Kennedy, respondents generally thought positive descriptors applied to Kennedy more than negative ones. However, respondents in this poll were not as impressed by JFK in several ways as respondents in 2012. Asked to rate different terms and phrases to describe Kennedy on a scale from 0 to 10, 50% said “charismatic” was a 9 or 10 versus 61% in 2012, 39% rated “courageous” as a 9 or 10 compared to 48% in 2012, and 47% rated “patriotic” as a 9 or 10 versus 56% in 2012.

-- JFK received the most bipartisan support from respondents regarding which former president (living or dead) they would want to be the next president. Ronald Reagan led on this question overall with 23%, followed by Kennedy with 22%, and Barack Obama 21%, as noted above. But JFK’s support was more evenly split among partisans, with 25% of Democrats and 16% of Republicans choosing him. This support contrasted with Reagan and Obama: 50% of Republicans picked Reagan while only 6% of Democrats did, and 38% of Democrats picked Obama while only 7% of Republicans did. And Kennedy was also the most common answer for Independents, with 27% selecting him versus 18% for Obama and 17% for Reagan.

-- Obama’s improvement and Clinton’s decline on the question of which former president respondents would like to see be the next president of the United States was driven by changes among Democrats. In the 2012 poll, while Obama was seeking his second term, 41% of Democratic respondents picked Bill Clinton as the person they preferred to be the next president, while just 10% picked Obama. In the new polling, 38% of Democrats picked Obama while only 11% picked Clinton.

-- Respondents had a good sense of when Kennedy served: 78% were able to accurately select “the early 1960s” as when he served in office. Unsurprisingly, older respondents scored better on this question than younger ones: 95% of those over 60 knew when Kennedy served, while just 60% of those aged 18-29 did.

This Ipsos poll was conducted May 11-15, 2017 on behalf of Thomson Reuters and the University of Virginia Center for Politics. For the survey, a sample of roughly 1,472 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. These findings are compared to 2012 results with a sample of 2,009 adults for an online poll conducted June 7-13, 2012 by Hart Research Associates. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls, so the precision is measured using a credibility interval. The 2017 poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points for all respondents. The 2012 poll had a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. For more on the methodology, see here.

The full poll is available here and the crosstabs are here. The 2012 poll is available here and the crosstabs here.

In addition to the poll, the Center for Politics is marking the Kennedy centennial through a series of public programs and symposia. Earlier this year, the Center hosted an exhibition of never-before-seen photos of JFK and a panel on his relationship with the media. Additional public programs and symposia planned for the year include:

  • JFK 100th Birthday celebration at UVA Reunions. (June)
  • Race to the Moon, featuring pioneers of America’s exploration of space. (September)
  • Secret JFK Records: A look into the records of the Kennedy assassination that remained sealed from public view. (October)

The final dates and participants will be announced ahead of each event.

As part of JFK100, the Center also is partnering with PBS to produce a national television documentary featuring a selection of the unreleased photos and new stories about the life and legacy of JFK. The new documentary will serve as a sequel to the Center’s 2013 release, The Kennedy Half Century, which won an Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary. The Center also is partnering with Coursera and iTunes U to produce a series of new lessons for its Massive Open Online Course entitled The Kennedy Half Century and taught by Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato, which to date has enrolled nearly 200,000 students from around the world.




Center for Politics Poll Takes Temperature of Trump Voters at 100-Day Mark


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – Voters who supported President Donald Trump in last year’s election have few regrets as Trump enters his 100th day in office this weekend, although his support is not uniformly firm. A new University of Virginia Center for Politics poll of Trump voters shows his approval rating at 93% with these voters, though just 42% “strongly approve” while 51% “somewhat approve.”

The poll, conducted for the Center by Public Opinion Strategies, surveyed 1,000 Trump voters online from April 17-19 and has a margin of error of ±3.1 percentage points. Public Opinion Strategies also conducted eight focus groups in five locations from April 4-18 with both Trump voters as well as Republicans and independents who voted for Hillary Clinton or for a third-party candidate.
Some highlights from the poll and focus groups include:

-- Respondents generally believed the country was headed in the right direction (70%) as opposed to being on the wrong track (22%), and two-thirds believed the economy has been improving since Trump took office. Yet the focus group respondents frequently expressed concern about how things in the country are going, using words like “terrible,” “upheaval,” “polarization,” “chaotic,” and “volatile” to describe the state of the country.

-- The breakdown of strong approvers vs. somewhat approvers largely mirrored Trump’s relative areas of strength and weakness in the campaign amongst the broader electorate: Men were likelier to be strong approvers than women (44% of men were strong approvers vs. 39% of women); respondents over 65 were the only age group where strong approvers outnumbered somewhat approvers (48%-46%); and, amongst respondents with differing levels of education, strong approvers narrowly outnumbered somewhat approvers only amongst those with a high school education or less (49%-47%), while voters with at least some college education were likelier to somewhat approve than strongly approve. (Full data are available in the poll crosstabs, linked below.)

-- To the extent that Trump voters were concerned about the president, it’s about his tweeting. Nearly one-fifth of respondents (19%) cited “Twitter” as the top reason they feel unsure about their vote for Trump (the next most mentioned reason was the failed repeal of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” at 11%). Respondents were mixed on whether they approved of his tweeting (55% approved, 45% disapproved). Younger voters tended to be more approving of Trump’s tweets than older ones. “This thing with the tweets, you know, he just shoots from the hip, and then he has to back up from it,” said one focus group participant in Pittsburgh.

-- One in five (20%) reported voting for Barack Obama at least once, and Trump’s approval rating is not quite as strong with these respondents (86% approve, 14% disapprove) as it is with the 80% of respondents who said they never voted for Obama (94%-6%).

-- Close to three-quarters of respondents (72%) believed that building a wall on the border with Mexico was at least “somewhat” important to them. However, given the choice to spend money on either building the wall or “fixing health care,” two-thirds preferred spending the money on health care.

-- More than half (57%) said their vote for Trump was more a vote for him than against Hillary Clinton, while 43% said their Trump vote was more against Clinton than for Trump. Only 10% of respondents said they made up their minds after the Republican convention -- the others said they made up their mind before then -- although these later-breaking voters may have made the difference in the razor-thin results in some of the crucial swing states. “I thought it was funny when he announced he was running for president, to be honest with you,” said one Trump voter in a focus group in Oak Creek, WI (Greater Milwaukee) who had previously supported Obama. “Yeah. I really chuckled. I was like is this seriously who we have to vote for?”

-- Only 5% of respondents said that Trump was the most responsible for the failed initial attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Roughly half (48%) blamed Democrats, while the remainder blamed House Speaker Paul Ryan (12%), moderate Republicans (15%), or the conservative House Freedom Caucus (21%). Overall, about four in five respondents (81%) approved of House Republicans, but only 20% strongly approved (61% “somewhat” approved). Further complicating Trump and the Republicans’ calculations on the Affordable Care Act is that a not-insignificant portion of respondents -- 26% of those surveyed -- reported that they or their families would be hurt by making changes to Obamacare. The remaining three-quarters (74%) said that they and their families would be helped by making changes to the ACA.

-- Trump voters view Vice President Mike Pence very favorably (82% favorable-8% unfavorable), but have more mixed feelings about House Speaker Paul Ryan (52%-24%) or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (28%-26%).

-- While respondents overwhelmingly disliked 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (3% favorable, 92% unfavorable) and former President Barack Obama (9%-86%), they were a bit more mixed on other Democrats, such as former Vice President Joe Biden (20%-63%) and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who ran for president last year in the Democratic primary (21%-61%). House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (5%-77%) elicited more strongly negative reactions than other prominent Democrats, like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (6%-47%) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (8%-55%), which perhaps helps to explain why Republicans continue to prominently feature Pelosi in attack ads targeted at Democrats.

-- While there has been much focus on the reactions of Clinton voters to the 2016 election outcome, Trump supporters were elated and pleased by it. Overall, 38% of respondents expressed “joy” at the outcome and 24% “pride.” Given the anti-Clinton nature of some Trump voters and the widespread expectations of a Clinton win, 51% expressed “relief” and 37% expressed “surprise.” “I felt like I had a winning lottery ticket. Like a weight was lifted off my shoulders, named Hillary,” one woman in Columbus said.

-- Looking ahead to the 2018 midterm election, 78% of respondents said they planned to vote for the Republican candidate in their House district, 2% for the Democratic candidate, and 19% undecided. The undecided are most likely to identify as politically independent (53% of them) and ideologically moderate (37%).

-- Respondents were deeply suspicious and distrusting of media. Nearly nine in 10 respondents (88%) said that media criticism of Trump reinforces that the president is on the right track, and the same percentage agreed with Trump’s assertion that the press is “the enemy of the American people.”

-- Focus group participants were asked an open-ended question: “If Donald Trump were an animal, what kind of animal would he be, and why?” “Lion” was cited by Trump voters far more than any other animal -- in one focus group of Proud Trump supporters in Pittsburgh, nine of 10 participants chose Lion.

The full report, including more details from the poll and extensive quotes from the focus groups, is available at:http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Trump_voter_poll_summary.pdf http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Trump_voter_poll_summary.pdf. The full poll results are available at:http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Trump_voter_poll.pdf http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Trump_voter_poll.pdf and the crosstabs are available at:http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Trump_voter_poll_crosstabs.pdf http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Trump_voter_poll_crosstabs.pdf.

The focus groups were conducted in electorally important battleground areas of states Barack Obama won in 2012 that Trump flipped in 2016 -- Columbus; Pittsburgh; Oak Creek, WI (Greater Milwaukee); and Canton, MI (Greater Detroit) -- as well as in Houston, where Clinton strongly outperformed Obama’s 2012 showing.

The Center for Politics decided to commission the poll and focus groups after the election as a way of checking in on Trump’s coalition early in his presidency.

“The election results last fall were a surprise to almost everybody in the field of political analysis, ourselves most definitely included,” said UVA Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato. “So we realized we needed to learn as much as possible about the phenomenon of the Trump voter, and share it with others. This study is part of our educational efforts.”

The UVA Center for Politics worked with Glen Bolger and others at Public Opinion Strategies to conduct the poll and focus groups. The Center chose Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican firm, for two reasons: 1.) The Center has a long relationship with Bolger and respects his work and 2.) The poll and focus groups primarily studied Trump voters, a strongly Republican group, and thus it made sense to use a Republican firm. The last time the Center for Politics conducted a poll and focus groups was as a part of the Center’s Kennedy Half-Century project; for that study, the Center used Democratic pollsters Peter Hart and Geoff Garin in part because the study focused on a Democratic president.




Center for Politics to Host Ireland’s Ambassador at Public Event


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Tuesday, April 25, the University of Virginia Center for Politics, in partnership with the International Residential College, will host a public event with Anne Anderson, Ambassador of Ireland to the United States.

Anderson will discuss issues in Irish-U.S. relations and discuss the legacy of John F. Kennedy, the United States’ first Irish-Catholic president, on both sides of the Atlantic. She will also take questions from the audience.

The event will be held from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. at Jefferson Hall on the Grounds of the University of Virginia and is free and open to the public with advanced registration. Members of the media are also welcome to attend.

Anderson is the latest ambassador to speak in Charlottesville as part of the UVA Center for Politics’ Ambassador Series, which has also featured the ambassadors of Argentina, Austria, Germany, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

As part of a long diplomatic career, Anderson has held many ambassadorships. Before starting as the Irish Ambassador to the United States, she served as Ireland's Ambassador to the United Nations, New York (2009-2013); Ambassador to France (2005-2009); Ambassador to the European Union, Brussels (2001-2005); and Ambassador to the United Nations, Geneva (1995-2001).

This special event is coordinated by the UVA Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD) program. GPD fosters dialogue between the United States and other countries through public events and international exchanges.




Center for Politics Hosts Touch Football Game as Part of National Tribute to JFK


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – As part of its JFK100 series recognizing President John F. Kennedy’s 100th birthday in 2017, the University of Virginia Center for Politics is hosting a touch football game at Carr’s Hill Field on the Grounds of the University of Virginia on Saturday, April 8 at 6 p.m. The game is presented in conjunction with the UVA Parents Fund and UVA Intramural-Recreational Sports and is part of a nationwide slate of touch football games organized by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

There will be 35 touch football games held across the country in honor of the centennial of the 35th President of the United States and his commitment to physical fitness. Kennedy’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., encouraged the competition among his children — with family weekends and holidays spent playing tennis, sailing, and the rough and tumble family football games that were documented in photographs and video that captured the nation’s imagination and contributed to the family’s all-American image.

The game is open to any participants age 17 and over. Those interested in participating or watching should RSVP to Center for Politics Programs Director Glenn Crossman atgac4t@virginia.edu or 434-243-3540. Refreshments will be provided. Members of the media are also welcome to attend; for more information, contact the media staffers listed above.

This is the third program in the Center for Politics’ JFK100 series this year. In March, the Center hosted an exhibition of never-before-seen photos of JFK and a panel on his relationship with the media. Additional public programs and symposia planned for the year include:

  • Kennedy and the Civil Rights Movement, a panel discussion exploring Kennedy’s often-reluctant participation. (April)
  • JFK 100th Birthday celebration at UVA Reunions. (June)
  • Race to the Moon, featuring pioneers of America’s exploration of space. (September)
  • Secret JFK Records: A look into the records of the Kennedy assassination that remained sealed from public view. (October)

The final dates and participants will be announced ahead of each event.

As part of JFK100, the Center also is partnering with PBS to produce a national television documentary featuring a selection of the unreleased photos and new stories about the life and legacy of JFK. The new documentary will serve as a sequel to the Center’s 2013 release, The Kennedy Half Century, which won an Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary. The Center also is partnering with Coursera and iTunes U to produce a series of new lessons for its Massive Open Online Course entitled The Kennedy Half Century and taught by Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato, which to date has enrolled nearly 200,000 students from around the world.

Prof. Sabato also is teaching a special on-Grounds seminar in the Rotunda for University students focused on Kennedy’s life and legacy, and his unique connections to the University of Virginia. Confirmed guest speakers will include: Buell Frazier of Dallas, who drove Lee Harvey Oswald to work on the morning of the assassination; Sid Davis, who rode in the Dallas motorcade and was a pool reporter on Air Force One when Lyndon Johnson took the oath of office; Michael McShane, who assisted his father, former U.S. Marshal James McShane, with security during JFK’s 1960 campaign; and Edward Nixon, brother of former President Richard Nixon.




Lights, Camera, Action: Center for Politics to Host Panel on John F. Kennedy and the Media


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Wednesday, March 29, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host a panel, “Lights, Camera, Action: JFK and the Media,” that will delve into President John F. Kennedy’s relationship with the media. The public event will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Albert & Shirley Small Special Collections Library on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. The panel is part of the Center’s JFK100 series marking JFK’s 100th birthday.

The panel will be comprised of experts and contemporaries, including Aniko Bodroghkozy (Professor of Media Studies at UVA), Sid Davis (former White House correspondent), Nancy Hogan Dutton (former Kennedy White House aide), and Sue Mortensen Vogelsinger (former Kennedy White House aide). Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato will moderate.

The event is free and open to the public advanced registration.Members of the media are also welcome to attend; for more information, contact the media staffers listed above.

This is the second program in the Center for Politics’ JFK100 series this year. Previously, the Center hosted an exhibition of never-before-seen photos of JFK on March 1. Additional public programs and symposia planned for the year include:

  • Kennedy and the Civil Rights Movement, a panel discussion exploring Kennedy’s often-reluctant participation. (April)
  • JFK 100th Birthday celebration at UVA Reunions. (June)
  • Race to the Moon, featuring pioneers of America’s exploration of space. (September)
  • Secret JFK Records: A look into the records of the Kennedy assassination that remained sealed from public view. (October)

The final dates and participants will be announced ahead of each event.

As part of JFK100, the Center also is partnering with PBS to produce a national television documentary featuring a selection of the unreleased photos and new stories about the life and legacy of JFK. The new documentary will serve as a sequel to the Center’s 2013 release, The Kennedy Half Century, which won an Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary. The Center also is partnering with Coursera and iTunes U to produce a series of new lessons for its Massive Open Online Course entitled The Kennedy Half Century and taught by Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato, which to date has enrolled nearly 200,000 students from around the world.

Prof. Sabato also is teaching a special on-Grounds seminar in the Rotunda for University students focused on Kennedy’s life and legacy, and his unique connections to the University of Virginia. Confirmed guest speakers will include: Buell Frazier of Dallas, who drove Lee Harvey Oswald to work on the morning of the assassination; Sid Davis, who rode in the Dallas motorcade and was a pool reporter on Air Force One when Lyndon Johnson took the oath of office; Michael McShane, who assisted his father, former U.S. Marshal James McShane, with security during JFK’s 1960 campaign; and Edward Nixon, brother of former President Richard Nixon.




Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam to Speak to Center for Politics’ Leaders for Democracy Fellows


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On the morning of March 16, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will welcome Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam for an event with the Center’s Leaders for Democracy Fellowship program. The event will go from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in Jefferson Hall on the West Range of the Lawn, on the Central Grounds of the University of Virginia.

If members of the press have questions, contact Geoffrey Skelley at 434-243-4087, 434-906-2862 or skelley@virginia.edu




Center for Politics hosts Leaders for Democracy Fellowship for Middle East & North Africa


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics is hosting a month-long program with 23 nonprofit, journalist, and business leaders from countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

The program fellows come from a variety of countries in the region: Algeria, Iraq, Israel/Gaza/West Bank, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen. During their time in Charlottesville, the fellows will participate in workshops and site visits with experts and civic advocacy groups on the themes of leadership, democracy and governance, communications, conflict resolution and civic engagement. They will also devise and implement a civic action plan for Charlottesville that will serve as a model for projects to be implemented in their home countries.

The fellowship while in Charlottesville is operated by the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD) program in partnership with World Learning and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The fellowship will continue in Washington, D.C., where the participants will serve in internships related to the occupations and interests and coordinated by World Learning.

The fellows arrived in Charlottesville on Feb. 18 and will remain until March 26. If members of the press have questions, the media contacts listed above can provide more information. Some highlights of the program that are open to the press include:

  • Tuesday, March 7, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at UVA’s Jefferson Hall: “My Culture, My Country” – A public event where fellows will make presentations to the local and university community about their culture and country through dialogue, imagery, or other artistic expression.
  • Wednesday, March 15, 10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the Graduate Hotel Piedmont Room A: Interfaith Dialogue.
  • Thursday, March 16, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at UVA’s Jefferson Hall: Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam.
  • Monday, March 20, 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., at the Graduate Hotel Conference Room: Lessons Learned from the Northern Ireland Conflict Transformation by Ron Kraybill, Peace and Development Advisor for the U.N.

This is the 21st exchange group to come to UVA as a part of the Center’s GPD program. Most recently, the Center hosted a group of high-achieving young professionals from Mongolia in January 2017.




Center for Politics to Display Unreleased Kennedy Photos at Public Event Wednesday Night


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics will unveil a collection of previously unreleased Kennedy photos at a public event on Wednesday, March 1, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Minor Hall 125 on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. The exhibition is part of the Center’s JFK100 series marking President John F. Kennedy’s 100th birthday.

The presentation will include a discussion with Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato, Kennedy historian and journalist John T. Shaw, and Lana Sherrard, the donor of the photos. In addition to the photos, the event will also feature memorabilia from the 1960 Democratic National Convention and White House correspondence during JFK’s administration, both of which were recently donated to the Center for Politics.

The event is free and open to the public with advanced registration http://www.centerforpolitics.org/jfkphotos.html.Members of the media are also welcome to attend; for more information, contact the media staffers Kyle Kondik (434-987-6894, kondik@virginia.edu) or Geoffrey Skelley 434-243-4087, 434-906-2862, skelley@virginia.edu).

This is the first of several planned Center for Politics’ programs this year centered around JFK100. Additional public programs and symposia planned for the year include:

  • Looking the Part: JFK’s impact on the media and image-making in modern American politics. (Wednesday, March 29)
  • Kennedy and the Civil Rights Movement, a panel discussion exploring Kennedy’s often-reluctant participation. (April)
  • JFK 100th Birthday celebration at UVA Reunions. (June)
  • Race to the Moon, featuring pioneers of America’s exploration of space. (September)
  • Secret JFK Records: A look into the records of the Kennedy assassination that remained sealed from public view. (October)

The final dates and participants will be announced ahead of each event.

The Center is partnering with PBS to produce a national television documentary featuring a selection of the unreleased photos and new stories about the life and legacy of JFK. The new documentary will serve as a sequel to the Center’s 2013 release, The Kennedy Half Century, which won an Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary. The Center also is partnering with Coursera and iTunes U to produce a series of new lessons for its Massive Open Online Course entitled The Kennedy Half Century and taught by Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato, which to date has enrolled nearly 200,000 students from around the world.

Prof. Sabato also is teaching a special on-Grounds seminar in the Rotunda for University students focused on Kennedy’s life and legacy, and his unique connections to the University of Virginia. Confirmed guest speakers will include: Buell Frazier of Dallas, who drove Lee Harvey Oswald to work on the morning of the assassination; Sid Davis, who rode in the Dallas motorcade and was a pool reporter on Air Force One when Lyndon Johnson took the oath of office; Michael McShane, who assisted his father, former U.S. Marshal James McShane, with security during JFK’s 1960 campaign; and Edward Nixon, brother of former President Richard Nixon.




UVA Center for Politics to Mark JFK’s 100th birthday with National JFK100 Series

-Yearlong series of lectures, symposia, and new TV documentary highlight life and legacy of 35th president-


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – In anticipation of John F. Kennedy’s 100th birthday in May and the scheduled release of all remaining sealed, assassination-related archives in October, the University of Virginia Center for Politics is announcing JFK100, a yearlong series of new programs and classes covering the life and legacy of America’s 35th president. Included among the new programs will be a new national television documentary (currently in production) and the first public release of more than 300 unreleased photos of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy.

Public programs and symposia planned for the year include:

  • First public exhibit of a selection of unreleased Kennedy photos. (February)
  • Looking the Part: JFK’s impact on the media and image-making in modern American politics. (March)
  • Kennedy and the Civil Rights Movement, a panel discussion exploring Kennedy’s often-reluctant participation. (April)
  • JFK 100th Birthday celebration at UVA Reunions. (June)
  • Race to the Moon, featuring pioneers of America’s exploration of space. (September)
  • Secret JFK Records: A look into the records of the Kennedy assassination that remained sealed from public view. (October)

The final dates and participants will be announced ahead of each event.

The Center is partnering with PBS to produce a national television documentary featuring a selection of the unreleased photos and new stories about the life and legacy of JFK. The new documentary will serve as a sequel to the Center’s 2013 release, The Kennedy Half Century, which won an Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary. The Center also is partnering with Coursera and iTunes U to produce a series of new lessons for its Massive Open Online Course titled The Kennedy Half Century and taught by Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato, which to date has enrolled nearly 200,000 students from around the world.

Prof. Sabato also is teaching a special on-Grounds seminar in the Rotunda for University students focused on Kennedy’s life and legacy, and his unique connections to the University of Virginia. Confirmed guest speakers include: Buell Frazier of Dallas, who drove Lee Harvey Oswald to work on the morning of the assassination; Sid Davis, who rode in the Dallas motorcade and was a pool reporter on Air Force One when Lyndon Johnson took the oath of office; Michael McShane, who assisted his father, former U.S. Marshal James McShane, with security during JFK’s 1960 campaign; and Edward Nixon, brother of former President Richard Nixon.

“President Kennedy remains one of the most admired men of the 20th century, and it is right and proper that we observe the 100th anniversary of his birth with a look back at his life and an examination of his living legacy,” Prof. Sabato said. “Today, when Americans are deeply divided about politics, perhaps we can learn some lessons about leadership that once united us."




UVA Center for Politics to Host 18th Annual American Democracy Conference


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Wednesday, Nov. 30, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host the 18th annual American Democracy Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference will feature leading journalists and political experts discussing the Democratic and Republican outcomes for 2016 and looking to the future.

The conference will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center’s Atrium Hall, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. It will begin at 9 a.m. and is free and open to the public with advance registration, although registration is now full. The press is invited to attend.

For more information, please visit http://www.centerforpolitics.org/adc.html. The conference will also be livestreamed online at the following link: https://livestream.com/tavco/ADC2016

Scheduled features of the conference include: 8:30 a.m.: Doors open

9:00 a.m.: Welcoming Remarks: Larry J. Sabato, Director, UVA Center for Politics

9:05 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Kellyanne Conway, Campaign manager for President-elect Donald J. Trump’s campaign

9:30 a.m.- 10:45 a.m.: Panel I - Politics and the Fourth Estate
Moderator: Geoffrey Skelley, Associate Editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball Panelists:

  • Molly Ball, National Politics Staff Writer for The Atlantic
  • Jamelle Bouie, Chief Political Correspondent for Slate
  • Karen Tumulty, National Political Correspondent for The Washington Post
  • Carlos Watson, Editor in Chief, OZY.com
10:45 a.m.- 12:00 a.m.: Panel II – Divided States of America
Moderator: Kyle Kondik, Managing Editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball Panelists:
  • Alan Abramowitz, Sabato’s Crystal Ball senior columnist and Emory University professor
  • Glen Bolger, Republican pollster and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies
  • Angela Rye, Principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies
  • Bakari Sellers, Political Analyst for CNN
  • David Byler, Elections Analyst for RealClearPolitics
12:00 p.m. - 12:15 p.m.: Lunch

12:30 a.m - 1:15 p.m.: Keynote Speaker, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)

1:15 a.m - 1:30 p.m.: Presentation, Alan Abramowitz

1:30 a.m - 2:15 p.m..: Interview by Larry J. Sabato
Khizr Khan, Gold Star father who spoke at the Democratic National Convention

2:15 p.m.- 3:30 p.m.: Panel III - Political Perspectives on 2016 and Beyond
Moderator: Carol Costello, CNN
Panelists:
  • Perry Bacon Jr., Senior Political Reporter, NBC News
  • Fred Barnes, Executive Editor of The Weekly Standard
  • Joe Borelli, Council member, 51st District and Minority Whip of New York City Council
  • Maria Cardona, Democratic strategist and principal at Dewey Square Group




Center’s Youth Leadership Initiative Kicks Off Largest Student-only Mock Election in the Country


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – Beginning today, Oct. 17, students and teachers around the United States will participate in a national mock election sponsored by the University of Virginia Center for Politics’ Youth leadership Initiative (YLI). Using a state-of-the-art online voting system, students nationwide will vote during the two-week voting period from Oct. 17-28. The YLI Mock Election is the largest secure, student-only mock election in the country.

Results of the YLI National Mock Election will be available on Oct. 29, 2016

A trailer for the documentary is available www.youthleadership.net/. The documentary will be released nationwide beginning Oct. 13, and will air on PBS stations across the country. It will also be offered to other affiliated networks around the world. In the Charlottesville-Richmond area, it will appear on WCVE and WHTJ on Oct. 13 at 9 p.m., Oct. 17 at 10 p.m., and Oct. 23 at 4 p.m. It will also appear on WCVW on Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 4 at 9 p.m.




Premiere of “Feeling Good About America” Film explores the people and events of the 1976 presidential election


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Friday, Oct. 7, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations will host the premiere of their new documentary, Feeling Good About America: The 1976 Presidential Election.

The event will take place in Minor Hall, Room 125 on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. The pre-showing reception begins at 6 p.m., to be followed by the presentation and premiere of the documentary film at 7 p.m. The premiere event is free and open to the public, and those interested in attending should register here. The media are also invited to attend.

Directed by Paul Tait Roberts, Feeling Good About America is a one-hour documentary that examines the 1976 presidential contest, which took place in the aftermath of a very turbulent period that featured the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal. But a new feeling was sweeping coast to coast as people pulled together to celebrate the nation’s bicentennial and to select a new president who could help close the book on an awful decade. Feeling Good About America tells the story of the 1976 presidential election where then-former California Gov. Ronald Reagan, little-known former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter, and incumbent President Gerald Ford battled for the nation’s highest office. Through interviews with Walter Mondale, Jack Ford, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Stuart K. Spencer, and many more, the film shows how Reagan took his fight for the Republican nomination all the way to the Republican National Convention, how Ford tried to harness the positive energy of the bicentennial to win a full term in the White House, and how Carter charmed America by courting the rock ‘n’ roll vote and playing off his Southern heritage.

A trailer for the documentary is available here. The documentary will be released nationwide beginning Oct. 13, and will air on PBS stations across the country. It will also be offered to other affiliated networks around the world. In the Charlottesville-Richmond area, it will appear on WCVE and WHTJ on Oct. 13 at 9 p.m., Oct. 17 at 10 p.m., and Oct. 23 at 4 p.m. It will also appear on WCVW on Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 4 at 9 p.m.

Feeling Good About America is the latest documentary produced by the UVA Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations, which regularly partner to produce documentary films for public television on American politics and history. Two of their recent documentaries won Emmy Awards in the categories of Best Historical Documentary and Best Topical Documentary: 2013’s The Kennedy Half Century, which explored President Kennedy’s life and legacy, and 2012’s Out of Order, which examined partisan polarization in Washington, DC.




Top Political Tweeters to Discuss Election at Center for Politics’ #Election2016 Event


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Wednesday, Sept. 28, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host #Election2016, a panel event featuring a group of top political tweeters. The panelists will examine the impact of social media on the 2016 election, as well as analyze where the presidential contest stands with less than six weeks remaining until Election Day on Nov. 8.

The event will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Albert & Shirley Small Collections Library on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. The event is free and open to the public with advanced registration, and the press is also welcome to attend. Please contact the media staffers Geoff Skelley 434-243-4087 or Kyle Kondik 434-987-6894 for more details.

Kyle Kondik, who directs the Center for Politics’ Washington, D.C. office and serves as managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, will moderate the discussion. The panelists are:

  • Josh Barro, senior editor for Business Insider
  • Taegan Goddard, publisher of Political Wire
  • Abby Livingston, Washington, D.C. bureau chief for The Texas Tribune
  • Geoffrey Skelley, associate editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball
  • Dave Weigel, national reporter for The Washington Post




Gov. McAuliffe to Address Center’s Democracy Fellows from the Middle East & North Africa


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Thursday, Sept. 22, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who will deliver remarks to a visiting international delegation from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). He will speak on the importance of civic participation and service to one’s community and country.

The talk will begin at noon in the Garden of Pavilion IV on The Lawn at the University of Virginia. Following his comments, the governor will take audience questions. While this event is not open to the general public, the press is invited to attend. Please contact the media staffer listed above for more details.

The Center for Politics is currently leading a month-long fellowship on democratic engagement with 25 government, nonprofit, and business leaders from countries in the MENA region. The program is operated by the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD) Program in partnership with World Learning and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs’ Middle East Partnership Initiative. This is the 18th foreign exchange group the Center has hosted as a part of the GPD program.

The program fellows, who arrived over Labor Day weekend, come from a variety of countries in the region: Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia, as well as the Palestinian Authority. During their time in Charlottesville, the fellows will meet with civic advocacy groups in the area and devise civic action plans that they can implement in their home countries.




Center for Politics hosts leaders from Middle East & North Africa for Democracy Fellowship


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – This week, the University of Virginia Center for Politics is beginning a month-long program with 25 government, nonprofit, and business leaders from countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

The program fellows, who arrived over Labor Day weekend, come from a variety of countries in the region: Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia, as well as the Palestinian Authority. During their time in Charlottesville, the fellows will meet with civic advocacy groups in the area and devise civic action plans that they can implement in their home countries. The fellows will also perform an analysis of Charlottesville’s Human Rights Commission and provide an assessment of its progress and make suggestions for its way forward.

The program is operated by the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD) Program in partnership with World Learning and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs’ Middle East Partnership Initiative.

“We’re honored to host these 25 high-level professionals from across the Middle East and North Africa,” Center for Politics GPD Director Daman Irby said. “We hope the fellows can learn valuable lessons about civic engagement in the United States and also provide valuable feedback to our community.”

The fellows arrived on Saturday and began the program on Labor Day. If members of the press are interested in interviewing any of the participants or attending some of the program, the media contacts listed above can provide more information. Some highlights of the program that are open to the press this week include:

Case Study: Human Rights Commission History and Progress

Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., City Spaces on Charlottesville Downtown Mall

Fellows will meet with city officials who were involved in the establishment of the Human Rights Commission of Charlottesville (HRC) and discuss its history and progress.

Welcome to the University of Virginia

Wednesday, Sept. 7, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., University of Virginia Center for Politics (Montesano)

Fellows will be welcomed to UVA by Center and University staff, program speakers, and others.

Citizens in Action NGO Round Robin

Thursday, Sept. 8, 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Jefferson Hall on the Grounds of the University of Virginia

Charlottesville-based NGOs will share their missions, ideas, and strategies and also propose civic action projects for the fellows.

This will be the 18th exchange group to come to UVA as a part of the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy program. Most recently, the Center for Politics hosted a group of students from Belarus.




Opening Ceremony for Belarus/USA Student Exchange to Feature Thomas Jefferson


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Friday, July 1, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will hold the opening ceremony for its Youth Leadership Program with Belarus. The program is operated by the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy Program in partnership with World Learning and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The keynote speaker for the kickoff event will be Thomas Jefferson, founder of the University of Virginia (played by historical actor Bill Barker).

The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. in Minor Hall 125 at the University of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson will welcome the students to the university, speak on the importance of civic engagement, and discuss the significance of the Declaration of Independence. He will then take questions from the exchange participants and others in attendance.

While this event is not open to the general public, the press is invited to attend.

This will be the 17th exchange group to come to UVA as a part of the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy program, and it will feature 30 students from Belarus and eight from across the United States. After arriving on July 1, they will participate in a number of educational events and programs focusing on leadership training, civic engagement, social entrepreneurship, and cultural awareness.

Besides the welcome ceremony, members of the media interested in the Youth Leadership Program with Belarus are also welcome to attend any of the following events:

  • Sunday, July 3: Lecture on U.S. politics by UVA Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato at 11 a.m. in Clark Hall 107 of the University of Virginia.
  • Monday, July 4: Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony at Monticello from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., where Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato will give the keynote address, and a picnic on Center for Politics grounds at Montesano from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 5: Social Entrepreneur and Civic Circle from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Clark Hall 107 of the University of Virginia. The participating non-profits are the Mediation Center of Charlottesville, First Tee of the Virginia Blue Ridge, On Our Own of Charlottesville, Stream Seekers, Computers4Kids, and CASA of the Piedmont. They will be sharing their mission and community projects with the participants.
  • Friday, July 8: Voting with Rosanna Bencoach, Charlottesville General Registrar, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at City Space.

The Charlottesville portion of the Youth Leadership Program with Belarus is coordinated by the Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy program. GPD fosters dialogue between the United States and other countries through public events and international exchanges. Visit www.centerforpolitics.org/gpd.html for more information about GPD programming.

Following their departure from Charlottesville on July 11, the group will travel to Louisville, Tulsa, and Denver to spend time with host families.




Center’s 18th Annual Virginia Political History Project Aims to Raise Civic Awareness in Area Children


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Thursday, June 16, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will hold its 18th annual Virginia Political History Project. The event will engage area children in American civics, politics, history, culture, and diversity. This year’s participants will include day campers from the Piedmont Family YMCA, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Charlottesville, and ACAC.

The theme this year is “Kid Power.” Activities will include:

  • A mock election to encourage the most fundamental form of civic participation
  • An obstacle course with lessons on the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and Bill of Rights
  • Bracelet-making as part of a lesson about cultural diversity in the United States
  • A reading of Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand, with a discussion about how one child can make a difference in society

The main presenter will be Chris Campbell, a singer, songwriter, musician, and ventriloquist. Campbell’s educational and lesson-oriented songs cover everything from the alphabet, to U.S. presidents, the 50 states, exercise, confidence, and dealing with bullies.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University of Virginia Center for Politics at 465 Crestwood Drive in Charlottesville. The event is not open to the general public, but the local press is invited to attend; please contact the media staffers Geoffrey Skelley, 434-243-4087, 434-906-2862; skelley@virginia.edu or Kyle Kondik, 434-987-6894; kondik@virginia.edu.




Center for Politics hosts former Secret Service Agent Clint Hill, author of new book “Five Presidents” Hill available for Charlottesville media appearances day of event


((CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics will host former Secret Service Agent and New York Times bestselling author Clint Hill at a public event on Thursday, May 5. Hill served in the Secret Service for 17 years and was part of the presidential motorcade when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

The event will be held at Minor Hall, Room 125, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. It begins at 5 p.m., when Hill will sign copies of his new book, Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford, along with his co-author, Lisa McCubbin. A reception begins at 6 p.m., and then McCubbin will interview Hill starting at 6:30 p.m. They will sign books following their presentation as well.

The event is free and open to the public with advanced registration, and the press is welcome to attend as well. Please contact the media staffers listed above for more details.

Hill also will be available for interviews in Charlottesville the morning of the event. Members of the media who would like to interview Hill can contact McCubbin at 630-276-9183.




Center for Politics to Host Sweden’s Ambassador at Public Event


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Tuesday, April 26, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and UVA's International Residential College in partnership with the UVA Office of the President, will host a public event with Björn Lyrvall, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States.

Ambassador Lyrvall will speak on current international issues related to Sweden, such as the ongoing EU refugee crisis, as well as the Swedish social system and the country’s relationship with the United States.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Peabody Hall Auditorium on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. It is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required. The press is also invited to attend. Please contact the media staffers listed above for more details.

Lyrvall is the latest ambassador to speak in Charlottesville as part of the UVA Center for Politics’ Ambassador Series, which has also featured the ambassadors of Argentina, Austria, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

From 2007 until taking up his current position in September 2013, Ambassador Lyrvall was Director General for Political Affairs at Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm. He has also represented Sweden at the European Union and served in various other diplomatic posts.

This special event is coordinated by the UVA Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD) program. GPD fosters dialogue between the United States and other countries through public events and international exchanges.




Center for Politics hosts UVA Alumni from CBS’s “Face the Nation,” including Host John Dickerson


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Thursday, April 21, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host three UVA alumni from Face the Nation, CBS’s long-running Sunday news program. Center Director Larry J. Sabato will interview Host John Dickerson, Executive Producer Mary Hager, and Broadcast Associate Tim Perry about their experiences covering U.S. politics and current events.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Minor Hall, Room 125, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. It is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required. The press is also invited to attend. Please contact the media staffers listed above for more details.

Face the Nation is the most-watched Sunday morning public affairs program. The broadcast is one of the longest-running news programs in the history of television, having premiered on CBS on Nov. 7, 1954.

John Dickerson is the Host of Face the Nation. He also serves as Political Director for CBS News and is a contributor to Slate magazine and its podcast The Political Gabfest. Dickerson joined CBS News in April 2009, providing on-air political analysis and contributing to CBS News broadcasts across the network. He graduated with distinction from the College of Arts & Sciences in 1991 with a B.A. in English. His mother, Nancy Dickerson, was CBS News’ first woman correspondent.

Mary Hager is the Executive Producer of Face the Nation. She served as former host Bob Schieffer’s producer for 15 years and covered virtually every presidential campaign, convention, and election night. Prior to becoming Executive Producer, Mary was the broadcast’s Senior Producer. She began her career at CBS in 1991 as a researcher in the CBS News Political Unit and from there moved to Capitol Hill to work with Schieffer as Senate producer in 1993. Hager graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences in 1987 with a B.A. in English.

Tim Perry began his career at CBS as a News Associate in July of 2015 and recently joined Face the Nation as Broadcast Associate in February. He graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences in 2013 with a B.A. in Foreign Affairs.




Center for Politics to Host Vietnam’s Ambassador at Public Event


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Tuesday, April 12, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host a public event with Pham Quang Vinh, Vietnam’s Ambassador to the United States. The visit is coordinated in partnership with UVA's International Residential College, the UVA Office of the President, the UVA Asia Institute

Vinh is the latest ambassador to speak in Charlottesville as part of the UVA Center for Politics’ Ambassador Series, which has also featured the ambassadors of Argentina, Austria, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom.

The event will begin at 4 p.m. in the Albert & Shirley Small Special Collections Library on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. It is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required. The press is also invited to attend. Please contact the media staffers listed above for more details.

Appointed Vietnam’s Ambassador to the United States in July 2014, Vinh has had a long career in Vietnam’s diplomatic affairs. Prior to taking the ambassador post, he served as his country’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, where he was responsible for relations with South Asia and the South Pacific and served as Vietnam’s Senior Official to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Vinh has held various diplomatic positions since the late 1980s, and his long and distinguished service has earned him the title of Senior Ambassador – the highest rank for a Vietnamese career diplomat.

This special event is coordinated by the UVA Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD) program. GPD fosters dialogue between the United States and other countries through public events and international exchanges.




Opening Ceremony for South American Student Exchange to Feature Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – Marking its 10th year of international programming and global outreach, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host the opening ceremonies for its 2016 South American Youth Ambassadors conference and foreign student exchange program on Thursday, March 17. Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney will deliver the keynote address to the visiting international delegation representing Argentina and Chile. The Youth Ambassadors Program is an ongoing global initiative of the Center for Politics, in partnership with World Learning and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The opening ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. in Jefferson Hall, on the West Range of the Grounds of the University of Virginia. Secretary Stoney will speak at 1:45 p.m. about civic engagement and the importance of being involved in politics and governance. After his address, Secretary Stoney will take questions from media and international participants.

The press is invited to attend. Please contact the media staffers listed above for more details.

This will be the eighth group of South American delegates to participate in the Youth Ambassadors Program, and will include 26 students Ambassadors and four educators from Argentina and Chile. The Center will conduct academic programming for the delegation on Grounds and around Central Virginia including educational events and classes focused on leadership training, civic engagement, and cultural awareness.

In addition to the opening ceremony, members of the media are invited to attend any of the following events:

  • Friday, March 18: Students and educators will divide into two groups to visit either Monticello High School (12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.) or Charlottesville High School (12 p.m. – 2 p.m.).
  • Monday, March 21: Lecture on U.S. politics by UVA Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato at 10:30 a.m. in Jefferson Hall, on the West Range of the Grounds of the University of Virginia.
  • Monday, March 21: A discussion on diversity with Wayne Adkins of the Chickahominy Tribe of Virginia at 4:30 p.m. in Meeting Room B at the Cavalier Inn on Emmet Street.

The Youth Ambassadors Program is coordinated by the Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD) program. GPD fosters dialogue between the United States and other countries through public events and international exchanges. Visit www.centerforpolitics.org/gpd.html for more information about the Youth Ambassadors and other GPD programming.

Following their departure from Charlottesville on March 22, the group will travel to Denver and Kansas City to visit schools and reside with host families.



Center for Politics to Host Germany’s Ambassador at Public Event


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Monday, March 14, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host a public event with Peter Wittig, the Federal Republic of Germany’s Ambassador to the United States. The visit is coordinated in partnership with UVA's International Residential College, the UVA Office of the President, the UVA Center for German Studies, and the German-American Association of Central Virginia

Wittig is the latest ambassador to speak in Charlottesville as part of the UVA Center for Politics’ Ambassador Series, which also has recently featured the ambassadors of Argentina, Austria, Russia, and the United Kingdom.

This event will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Newcomb Hall Ballroom on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. It is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required. The press is also invited to attend. Please contact the media staffers listed above for more details.

Wittig has served as German Ambassador to the United States since April 2014. Prior to this, he was German Ambassador to the United Nations in New York and represented Germany during its tenure as a member of the UN Security Council from 2011 until 2012. There, he drew on his wide expertise in United Nations matters, having previously served as Director-General for United Nations and Global Issues at the German Foreign Office in Berlin.

This special event is coordinated by the UVA Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD) program. GPD fosters dialogue between the United States and other countries through public events and international exchanges.


Center for Politics Explores Presidential Race with Panel of Nationally-Recognized Pollsters


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics will hold a panel discussion featuring some of the nation’s top pollsters on Thursday, Feb. 18. The panelists will discuss the 2016 presidential race and the importance of polling in both measuring and influencing public opinion.

The panel will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Minor Hall Room 125 on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. The event is free and open to the public with advanced registration.

Kyle Kondik, who directs the Center for Politics’ Washington, D.C. office and serves as managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, will moderate the discussion. The panelists are:

  • Glen Bolger, partner and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies. Bolger is one of the top Republican pollsters in the nation
  • Courtney Kennedy, who directs survey research at the Pew Research Center
  • Mark Mellman, Mellman is president of the American Association of Political Consultants and a leading Democratic pollster.
  • Doug Usher,who directs polling for the nonpartisan public affairs firm Purple Strategies

Members of the media are also welcome to attend. For more information, visithttp://www.centerforpolitics.org/pollingcompanies.html

Center for Politics to host 17th annual American Democracy Conference in Washington


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – On Thursday, Nov. 19, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host the 17th annual American Democracy Conference in Washington, DC. The conference will feature leading journalists and political experts discussing the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries as well as the overall political outlook for 2016.

The conference will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center’s Atrium Ballroom, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW. It will begin at 10 a.m. and is free and open to the public with advance registration, and the press is invited to attend.

For more information or to register, please visit http://www.centerforpolitics.org/adc.html. Tweet about the conference by using the hashtag #2015ADC.

The conference will also be livestreamed online at the following link: https://livestream.com/tavco/17thADC

The conference will feature:

10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Panel I: The Democratic Presidential Primary
Moderator: Margie Omero, pollster with Purple Strategies

  • Jamelle Bouie, chief political correspondent for Slate
  • Maria Cardona, principal at Dewey Square Group
  • Mark Mellman, president and CEO of The Mellman Group
  • Dan Pfeiffer, former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama for Strategy and Communications
  • Hilary Rosen, managing director of SKDKnickerbocker

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS)

12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Lunch

12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.:
Panel II: The Republican Presidential Primary
Moderator: Kyle Kondik, Sabato's Crystal Ball managing editor

  • Glen Bolger, co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies
  • Kellyanne Conway, president of the polling company, inc./WomanTrend
  • Tom Davis, former member of the U.S. House from Virginia
  • Mike Warren, staff writer at The Weekly Standard
  • Crystal Wright, principal at the Baker Wright Group and publisher of ConservativeBlackChick.com

1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Panel III: The General Election Outlook
Moderator: Moderator: Professor Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics

  • Alan Abramowitz, Sabato’s Crystal Ball senior columnist and Emory University professor
  • Kristen Soltis Anderson, co-founder at Echelon Insights
  • Robert Costa, national political reporter at The Washington Post
  • Josh Kraushaar, politics editor at National Journal
  • Jill Lawrence, columnist for Creators Syndicate and contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report
  • Steven Shepard, Caucus editor at Politico



Center for Politics explores history of pivotal Selma to Montgomery March


(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – On Sunday, Nov. 8, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host a panel and documentary screening about the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.

The event will run from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jefferson School City Center’s African American Heritage Center in Charlottesville as part of this year’s Virginia Film Festival. It is free and open to the public with advanced registration at www.centerforpolitics.org/selma.html.

Following a reception will be a screening of the documentary Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot, which describes the role that young people in Selma, AL played in the struggle for African-American voting rights. After the documentary, a panel will discuss the role of the Selma march in the civil rights struggle. The panelists are:

  • Joanne Bland, co-founder and former director of the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma. By the time she was 11, Bland had been arrested more than a dozen times and was the youngest person to have been jailed during any civil rights demonstration during that period.
  • Charles Mauldin, who at 16 became the president of the Dallas County (AL) Youth League. This was the student-led organization that initially began and sustained many of the nonviolent demonstrations and marches that culminated in the March to Montgomery and the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
  • Albert Southall, one of the original members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Selma.
  • On Saturday, Nov. 7, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Center for Politics, Center staff will be interviewing the panelists for an upcoming documentary on the importance of exercising the right to vote. While these interviews are not open to the public, members of the media are welcome to attend and also interview the panelists about their experiences.


    Center for Politics to Host United Kingdom’s Ambassador at Public Event


    (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Friday, Oct. 23, the University of Virginia Center for Politics, in partnership with the International Residential College International Residential College, will host a public event with Sir Peter Westmacott, the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to the United States.

    Sir Westmacott is the latest ambassador to speak in Charlottesville as part of the U.Va. Center for Politics’ Ambassador Series, which has also recently featured the ambassadors of Argentina, Austria, and Russia.

    This event will begin at 11:45 a.m. at Jefferson Hall, Hotel C, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. It is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required at http://www.centerforpolitics.org/ambassadorseries.html . The press is also invited to attend. Please contact the media staffers listed above for more details.

    Prior to his posting in the US, Sir Westmacott served as the UK’s Ambassador to France and Ambassador to Turkey. He has spent most of his career working in or on the non-Arab Middle East (Iran and Turkey), Western Europe, and the Americas.

    This special event is coordinated by the U.Va. Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD) program. GPD fosters dialogue between the United States and other countries through public events and international exchanges.


    Center for Politics’ Youth Leadership Initiative Holds 2015 Mock Election


    (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics’ Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) is currently holding its annual Mock Election. Students from across the nation will participate before voters go to the polls on Election Day, Nov. 3.

    The Mock Election window opened on Oct. 19 and will remain open through 7 p.m. ET on Nov. 3. The default election ballot will include gubernatorial races in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi, the three states deciding their state executives this year. For students in the rest of the country, the ballot will contain a survey about their political attitudes and habits, such as questions regarding partisan identification and principal sources of political news. Students in states with gubernatorial elections may also answer the attitudes and habits survey. As in past years, teachers have the ability to customize ballots to meet the unique needs of their classroom and school.

    The mock election serves as an opportunity to instill the importance of voting in students, encouraging current and future civic engagement as well as critical thinking about politics and issues in the United States today. Teachers can get their students involved by visiting YLI’s website.


    “Ball of Confusion” to premiere in Richmond Documentary examines the momentous 1968 presidential election


    (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Thursday, Oct. 22, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations will host the premiere of their new documentary, Ball of Confusion: The 1968 Presidential Election, at the Library of Virginia in Richmond.

    The showing will take place at 7 p.m. and will feature introductory comments from U.Va. Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato and Community Idea Stations President and CEO Curtis Monk. The Library of Virginia is located at 800 East Broad Street in Richmond, and there will be a reception beforehand beginning at 6 p.m.

    The premiere event is free and open to the public, but space is extremely limited. Those interested in attending should register here or email Glenn Crossman at gac4t@virginia.edu. Media are also invited to attend.

    Directed by Paul Tait Roberts, Ball of Confusion is a one-hour documentary that examines the 1968 presidential contest in the context of a difficult and contentious year in American history. The assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, racial unrest, nationwide riots, and a continuing war in Vietnam put the nation on edge and produced a historic three-way presidential election. Through archival footage and compelling interviews, the film shows how the election was influenced by the fractures in the United States’ social and political foundations, leaving deep scars that would affect generations to come.

    A trailer for the documentary is available here. The documentary will be released nationwide beginning Nov. 1, 2015, and will air on PBS stations across the country. It will also be offered to other affiliated networks around the world.

    Ball of Confusion is the latest documentary produced by the U.Va. Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations, which regularly partner to produce documentary films for public television on American politics and history. Two of their recent documentaries won Emmy Awards in the categories of Best Historical Documentary and Best Topical Documentary: 2013’s The Kennedy Half Century, which explored President Kennedy’s life and legacy, and 2012’s Out of Order, which examined partisan polarization in Washington, DC.

    Ball of Confusion features interviews with, among others, former Vice President Walter Mondale; civil rights advocate and former presidential candidate Rev. Jesse Jackson; Pat Buchanan, former adviser to multiple Republican presidents; civil rights activist Mary Frances Berry; George Wallace Jr. and Peggy Wallace Kennedy, the son and daughter of former Alabama governor and 1968 American Independent presidential nominee George Wallace; Skip Humphrey, son of former vice president and 1968 Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey; John Carley and Robert Odle, former aides to President Richard Nixon; Mark Updegrove, director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum; and Prof. Larry J. Sabato, director of the U.Va. Center for Politics.


    Local students to learn from reenactors at Center for Politics’ Virginia Political History Project


    On Constitution Day, the Youth Leadership Initiative invites you to take a trip back in time and visit with the man who made our Constitution possible. James Madison and a handful of middle and high school students join together in Pavilion IV on the historic Grounds of the University of Virginia to share a lunch and discuss the Constitution.

    The luncheon takes place on September 17th of 1814 just following the end of the War of 1812. Madison is approaching the end of his second term and discusses his thoughts when drafting the Virginia plan, the challenges to the Constitution during ratification, and his actions as President during the war. The questions were written by the participating students based on their knowledge of the Constitution.

    YLI’s “Discussion with James Madison” will be available for FREE via the YLI website,www.youthleadership.net , YouTube and the Center for Politics Website, www.centerforpolitics.org beginning on Friday, September 11th. The entire program runs approximately thirty minutes. The YLI Lesson Plans page has a variety of lesson plans to support the film as well as a graphic organizer to facilitate active viewing.

    Click here for Constitution Day linkA conversation with James MAdison

    Celebrate Constitution Day with the Center for Politics and the Youth Leadership Initiative!!




    Teacher Day program to focus on Virginia elections and voter participation


    (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics and the Charlottesville League of Women Voters will hold the third annual Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) Teacher Day on Friday, July 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Grounds of the University of Virginia in Clark Hall, room 107.

    Teacher Day will bring together approximately 40 educators from across Virginia to look at elections and voter participation. The day’s events include the presentation of new YLI materials created specifically to address the electoral process and a discussion with experts on Virginia elections and the Old Dominion’s electoral history.

    The event will feature three speakers, each of whom will focus on different aspects of Virginia elections:

    • Brian Cannon, executive director of OneVirginia2021, will discuss gerrymandering and Virginia’s redistricting process;
    • Adrienne Robertson, ‎education and programs coordinator at the Library of Virginia, will highlight tools educators can use to engage students with the state’s voting history;
    • Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Jeff Schapiro will share insights and anecdotes about Virginia voting from his over 30 years of covering state politics.
    • The day’s final activity will be a round-robin discussion on increasing voter participation in Virginia. Teachers will be broken into small groups to meet with participating experts. Experts will circulate among the groups answering questions and discussing voting in the state of Virginia. Participating in the discussion will be Bob Gibson, executive director of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at U.Va.; state Sen. Creigh Deeds, who represents much of the Albemarle-Charlottesville area; Kathy Galvin, member of the Charlottesville city council; Christina Ross, federal policy analyst at Teach Plus; Geoffrey Skelley, media relations coordinator and political analyst at the U.Va. Center for Politics; and former state Delegate Shannon Valentine, who is a member of the OneVirginia2021 Foundation.

      The Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) is the largest program at the Center for Politics. YLI fulfills the Center’s mission of increasing civic participation by providing the best civics education resources via its website, www.youthleadership.net .YLI is a free, nonpartisan program available to educators of all varieties and has over 55,000 registered teachers from across the nation and globe.



      Local students to learn from reenactors at Center for Politics’ Virginia Political History Project


      (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — This Thursday, June 25, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will hold its 17th annual Virginia Political History Project.

      Actors, including U.Va. Drama department graduate students, will portray important figures in Virginia history and teach approximately 250 to 300 students from local day camps. Among those the actors will portray are Henry Clay, the Virginia native and famous Kentucky politician; James Armistead, a slave who served as a spy during the American Revolution; Dorothy Height, a civil rights activist; and many others. A professional magician will perform while telling the story of Henry “Box” Brown, who escaped slavery by being shipped in a box from Richmond to Philadelphia.

      The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Newcomb Hall Ballroom on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. The event is open to the general public and local press are invited to attend; please contact the media staffers listed above for more information.



      Center for Politics to Host Juneteenth Kickoff


      (CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – On Sunday, June 14, 2015, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host a kickoff event for Juneteenth, an annual commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. The event will include a luncheon reception followed by an informal discussion on the history and significance of Juneteenth.

      The event will run from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, located at 233 4th St. NW in Charlottesville. Attendance is free and open to the public with advanced registration, and members of the media are welcome to attend.

      This year marks the 150th anniversary of the first Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers landed at Galveston, TX, where they reported the news that the Civil War had ended and that slavery had been outlawed. President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had taken effect Jan. 1, 1863, had made little impact in Texas due to the state’s relative distance from much of the war’s action. With the arrival of Federal troops in the Lone Star State, slavery was finally ended throughout the country.

      Charlottesville is holding its 15th annual community celebration of Juneteenth. Following the kickoff event on Sunday, there will be a cultural celebration event held Friday, June 19 at Piedmont Virginia Community College, as well as a day event on Saturday, June 20, also at PVCC. For more information on these events,click here.



      Center for Politics Receives Two Emmy Nominations for Historical Documentary and Instructional Programming

      First MOOC Nominated for an Emmy Award


      (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has nominated the University of Virginia Center for Politics for two Emmy Awards in the categories of Best Historical Documentary for the 2014 production of Bombs Away: LBJ, Goldwater and the 1964 Campaign that Changed it All and Best Instructional Programming for lessons from UVA Professor Larry J. Sabato’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) The Kennedy Half Century. Sabato’s online course is the first MOOC to be nominated for an Emmy Award.

      The documentary, produced by the Center for Politics and the Community Idea Stations, is directed by Paul Tait Roberts. The one-hour documentary marked the 50th anniversary of the 1964 presidential contest between President Lyndon Johnson and Sen. Barry Goldwater. Polarized by very different personalities and ideologies, Johnson and Goldwater attacked each other with gusto – and in the process opened the door to a modern era of campaigning and highly negative TV advertising. The documentary premiered at the Virginia Film Festival in 2014 and has since aired on PBS stations nationwide.

      The Kennedy Half Century is a massive open online course available on Coursera.org and iTunes U that is based on UVA Professor Larry J. Sabato’s New York Times bestselling book of the same title and was produced in partnership with Paladin Media Group of Charlottesville. The course traces Kennedy’s early legislative career and progresses through the 50 years since his death, focusing on how each president, Lyndon Johnson through Barack Obama, has used JFK to craft their own political image. The class offers more than eight hours of video consisting of 45 lessons. To date, nearly 200,000 students worldwide have participated in the online instructional series. Last year The Kennedy Half Century national television documentary, produced in partnership with PBS Community Idea Stations, received an Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary.

      The Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations have also previously partnered on a number of documentary projects, including the 2013 Emmy-Award winning Out of Order, a film that explores gridlock and hyper-partisanship in Congress. The Center for Politics and the Community Idea Stations are currently producing a new documentary, Ball of Confusion, about the historical political events of 1968. This film will be released nationally in the fall.

      The 2015 nominations were announced Thursday, May 28 by the Capital Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Winners will be announced at the 57th Annual Emmy Awards ceremonies in June.



      Center for Politics to Host U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida


      (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Friday, April 24, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) at a public event from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Minor Hall, Room 125, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia.

      The senator will discuss his time on Capitol Hill, the ongoing challenges facing the country and the U.S. Senate, and his experience traveling to space as an astronaut in 1986 to help promote the nation’s space program. As a part of the discussion, he will also answer questions from the audience.

      Attendance is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required at http://www.centerforpolitics.org/senatornelson.html. The press is also invited to attend.

      A graduate of the U.Va. School of Law, Sen. Nelson returns to Grounds as Florida’s senior senator, having entered office in 2001. The senator has had a long career in politics: He previously served as Florida’s Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner, and Fire Marshal from 1995 to 2001, and he was a member of the U.S. House from 1979 to 1991. Nelson is particularly well known for his advocacy on behalf of America’s space program, including a seven-day trip to space in 1986 on board the space shuttle Columbia as a payload specialist.


      Center for Politics to Host Argentina’s Ambassador at Public Event


      (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Monday, March 30, the University of Virginia Center for Politics, in partnership with the Latin American Studies Program, will host a public event with Cecilia Nahón, the Ambassador of the Argentine Republic to the United States. She will discuss Argentina’s fiscal and economic challenges as well as American-Argentine relations, followed by questions from the audience.

      The event will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Newcomb Hall’s South Meeting Room on the Grounds of the University of Virginia.

      Attendance is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required at http://www.centerforpolitics.org/ambassadorseriesargentina.html.

      Ambassador Nahón’s visit is a part of the Center for Politics’ Ambassador Series, which aims to bring foreign ambassadors and high-level officials from other countries to Grounds to offer the University community different international viewpoints on the global issues and challenges of our time.

      This special event is coordinated by the U.Va. Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD) program. GPD fosters dialogue between the United States and other countries through public events and international exchanges meant to increase civic participation and engagement.




      Center for Politics to Host Baroness Helena Kennedy


      (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On March 26, 2015, the University of Virginia Center for Politics, in partnership with the University’s International Residential College, will host a public event with Baroness Helena Kennedy, a leading expert in human rights law, civil liberties, and constitutional issues. Baroness Kennedy will discuss human trafficking, international terrorism, human rights, and climate change, which will be followed by questions from the audience.

      The event will run from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Colonnade Club on The Lawn at the University of Virginia.

      Attendance is free and open to the public with advanced registration.

      Helena Kennedy is a leading barrister and has been a member of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords since 1997. She is chair of JUSTICE, a law reform and human rights organization working to strengthen the U.K.’s justice system. Baroness Kennedy has led several high-level commissions and organizations working toward legal and political reform, including the Power Commission, which reported on the state of British democracy and produced the Power Report in 2006. She has received multiple honors for her work on human rights and has been awarded more than thirty honorary doctorates.




      Center for Politics’ New Book Analyzing the 2014 and 2016 Elections, “The Surge,” Now Available


      (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The Surge, the University of Virginia Center for Politics’ postmortem of the 2014 midterms and preview of the 2016 presidential election, is now available.

      Edited by Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato and Sabato’s Crystal Ball editors Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley and published by Rowman and Littlefield, The Surge: 2014’s Big GOP Win and What It Means for the Next Presidential Election brings together some of the nation’s top political journalists and analysts to explain why and how the Republicans took the Senate and where American politics stands as the country’s polarized political parties gear up for 2016.

      The Surge can be purchased via Rowman and Littlefield, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other major booksellers.

      The contributors and their chapters are:

      • Larry J. Sabato provides an overview of the 2014 election, including a look at historical election patterns and demographic voting trends.
      • Long-time political expert and Crystal Ball Senior Columnist Rhodes Cook explores the 2014 primary season and how those nominating contests influenced the November results.
      • Politico’s James Hohmann and the Crystal Ball’s Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley provide in-depth analysis of, respectively, the Senate, House, and gubernatorial races.
      • Former Federal Election Commission chairman Michael Toner and former FEC staffer Karen Trainer examine the ever-growing pot of money involved in American elections and where it came from.
      • Huffington Post’s Mark Blumenthal and Ariel Edwards-Levy follow with a look at the state of polling and how pollsters fared in 2014.
      • Veteran journalist Jill Lawrence reminds us that despite all the talk about 2016, President Barack Obama still has two more years in office and goals he still wants to achieve.
      • The state of the parties as they turn their eyes to 2016: Slate’s Jamelle Bouie examines the Democrats and the Washington Post’s Robert Costa explores the Republicans.
      • FrontloadingHQ’s Josh Putnam reviews the likely shape of the presidential nominating process.
      • RealClearPolitics’ Sean Trende, also a Crystal Ball Senior Columnist, gives an early sense of how the Electoral College may align.
      • Crystal Ball Senior Columnist Alan Abramowitz sketches the fundamentals of the race for the White House.



      • Center for Politics Hosts Youth Ambassadors from South America


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) — The University of Virginia Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy program, in partnership with World Learning and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is hosting students from Argentina and Chile this week as a part of its Youth Ambassadors Program for South America.

        The group’s 26 students and four educators, who arrived Saturday, March 21, will participate in a number of educational events and programs focusing on leadership training, civic engagement, and cultural awareness. Members of the media interested in this program are welcome to attend any of the following events:

        Tuesday, March 24
        • Diversity within American Democracy Chief Stephen Adkins, Chickahominy Tribe of Virginia 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Location: Jefferson Hall at the University of Virginia Chief Adkins will discuss the American experience from the view of the Virginia Indians and what diversity and civic engagement mean to him.
        • High School Visit 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Location: Monticello and Charlottesville high schools Students will divide into two groups and tour Monticello High School and Charlottesville High School, meet with student leaders, compare school experiences, and tour the facilities. (Charlottesville High School group will return from the school at 2:00 p.m.)
        Wednesday, March 25
        • American Politics Larry Sabato, Director of the U.Va. Center for Politics 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Location: Jefferson Hall at the University of Virginia Prof. Sabato will discuss the American political process with the students.
        • Poplar Ridge Challenge Course and Leadership Training 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Location: Behind Zehmer Hall at the University of Virginia Poplar Ridge provides team building, leadership, and organizational development opportunities using the facilities’ high ropes course.
        Thursday, March 26
        • Community Service with Habitat for Humanity 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Locations: Southwood, 387 Hickory St., Charlottesville, VA 22902; Students experience civic engagement in action by learning about the organization and activities of Habitat for Humanity and participate in a service project in the City of Charlottesville.

        The student visit is part of the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy program and is the seventh Youth Ambassadors group the Center has hosted.

        Following their departure from Charlottesville this Friday, the group will travel to Charlotte, NC, and Kansas City, MO, to visit schools and spend two weeks with host families.

        Visit www.centerforpolitics.org/gpd.html for more information about the Youth Ambassadors and other Global Perspectives on Democracy programming.



        Center for Politics to Host Austrian Ambassador at Public Event


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, the University of Virginia Center for Politics, in partnership with the Center for German Studies, will host a public event with Dr. Hans Peter Manz, the current Austrian Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Manz will discuss relations between the United States and Austria, the 70th anniversary of Austria’s liberation during World War II, and the 60th anniversary of Austria’s reestablishment as a sovereign nation. He will also answer audience questions.

        The event will run from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. in the Harrison Auditorium of the Small Collections Library on the Grounds of the University of Virginia.

        Attendance is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required at http://www.centerforpolitics.org/ambassadorseries.html.

        Ambassador Manz’s visit is a part of the Center for Politics’ Ambassador Series, which aims to bring foreign ambassadors and high-level officials from other countries to Grounds to offer the University community different international viewpoints on the global issues and challenges of our time.

        This special event is coordinated by the U.Va. Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD) program. GPD fosters dialogue between the United States and other countries through public events and international exchanges meant to increase civic participation and engagement.



        Center for Politics Announces Exchange Opportunity for Local Students


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD) program is now recruiting local students, educators, and adult youth leaders to apply to participate in the U.S. Youth Ambassadors Programs with Argentina/Chile and Brazil. These exchanges, in partnership with World Learning and funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, include fully-funded exchange trips to Brazil from April 11 through May 2, 2015, and to Argentina and Chile from May 17 through June 27, 2015.

        Highlights of the two exchanges will include homestays with families, attendance at a local high school, cultural activities, community service projects, and presentations from local organizations.

        “GPD has hosted delegates from around the world during the last eight years. Three students and two educators from the Charlottesville area were selected last year for the Youth Ambassadors program, and we are thrilled to once again provide this opportunity to members of our community,” said Daman Irby, director of the GPD program. “Those selected will gain hands-on experiences learning about leadership, civic engagement, and other cultures in South America.”

        Student applicants must be U.S. citizens between 15 and 17 years of age during the time of travel; attend a public high school, homeschool, or public charter school in Charlottesville/Albemarle or the surrounding counties, and have at least one year of school remaining; have not traveled outside of the United States, Canada, or Mexico; and have permission from his or her parents or legal guardians. Applicants for the Argentina/Chile exchange must have at least an intermediate level of Spanish language ability. There is no language requirement for the Brazil exchange. Charlottesville-area participants will be joined by other students from Chicago; Charlotte; Dallas; Kansas City; Pensacola, FL; Portland, OR; Tulsa, OK; Seattle; and Washington, DC.

        Please address questions about these exchanges to Daman Irby, who can be reached at irby@virginia.edu or 434-243-8475. Youth and adult applicants should visit http://wlyap.tumblr.com/apply for complete information including the applications, which will be accepted until Jan. 10, 2015.



        U.Va. Center for Politics to host 16th annual American Democracy Conference


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Thursday, Nov. 20, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host the 16th annual American Democracy Conference. The conference, which will be held at Alumni Hall on the Grounds of the University of Virginia, will feature panels of leading journalists and political experts focused on the results of the recent midterm elections and the upcoming presidential race.

        The event, which will begin at 10:30 a.m., is free and open to the public with advance registration, and the press is invited to attend. For more information or to register, please visit http://www.centerforpolitics.org/adc.html

        The conference will also be livestreamed online at the following link: http://new.livestream.com/tavco/UVA-CenterforPolitics.

        The panels are:

        10:30 a.m. – noon: Panel I: The 2014 midterm

        Moderator: Larry J. Sabato, director of the U.Va. Center for Politics

        Panelists:

        • Alan Abramowitz, Sabato’s Crystal Ball senior columnist and Emory University professor
        • Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard
        • Chris LaCivita, Republican political consultant who worked on Sen. Pat Roberts’ (R-KS) successful reelection bid
        • Ali Lapp, executive director of House Majority PAC, a Democratic Super PAC
        • Sean Trende, RealClearPolitics senior election analyst and Sabato’s Crystal Ball senior columnist
        12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.: Panel II: What to expect in 2016

        Moderator: Geoffrey Skelley, associate editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball

        Panelists:

        • Greg Jackson,national field director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
        • Chris LaCivita (noted above)
        • John Lapp, Democratic political consultant
        • Jill Lawrence, columnist for Creators Syndicate


        Sergei Khrushchev to speak to U.Va. class in advance of evening panel discussion


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Wednesday, Nov. 5, Dr. Sergei Khrushchev, son of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, will speak to the University of Virginia Center for Politics’ 2014 fall internship class and answer student questions. Open to the media, the discussion with students will begin at 3 p.m. at the U.Va. Center for Politics, located at 465 Crestwood Drive in Charlottesville. The talk will take place prior to an evening panel about the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

        Khrushchev will be the featured speaker at a panel discussion Wednesday evening commemorating the quarter century since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The event will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Small Special Collections Library on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. Khrushchev and other panelists will discuss the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall and its impact on the policies and politics of Europe, Russia, and the United States. The evening forum, moderated by Dr. Andrew Bell, Senior Historian at the Center for Politics, is free and open to the public. Other evening panelists include:

        • Dr. Klaus Larres, Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations and professor of Cold War history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
        • Dr. Allen Lynch, professor of politics at the University of Virginia and former director of the University’s Center for Russian & East European Studies (1993–2008).
        • Dr. Mary Beth Stein, professor of German and International Affairs at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

        The panel, co-sponsored by the U.Va. Center for Politics and Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, is presented in partnership with the Virginia Film Festival. The event is part of the Center for Politics’ Anniversary Series, which commemorates landmark political events in American history through public lectures, programs, television documentaries, and teaching resources offered to a nationwide audience.


        Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato & Crystal Ball team to present predictions for 2014 midterm elections


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- On Monday, Nov. 3, University of Virginia Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato and his team will gaze into the Crystal Ball and share their thoughts about the 2014 election.

        The event will take place at 7:00 p.m. in Wilson Hall, Room 402, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. Sabato and his Crystal Ball team will discuss the possible outcomes on Election Day, Nov. 4. The discussion will focus on the battle for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, and the nation's governorships.

        The event is free and open to the public with advance registration advance registration, and the press is invited to attend.


        “Bombs Away” documentary to premiere in Richmond Explores LBJ, Goldwater, and the 1964 Election


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On the evening of Thursday, Oct. 30, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations will host the premiere of their new documentary, Bombs Away: LBJ, Goldwater and the 1964 Campaign that Changed It All, at the Library of Virginia.

        The showing will take place at 7 p.m. and will feature introductory comments from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, U.Va. Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato, and Community Idea Stations President and CEO Curtis Monk. Gov. McAuliffe will also present Prof. Sabato with the Emmy award for The Kennedy Half Century, the U.Va. Center for Politics and Community Idea Station’s previous documentary project. The Library of Virginia is located at 800 East Broad Street in Richmond, and there will be a reception beforehand beginning at 6 p.m.

        The event is free and open to the public, but space is extremely limited. Those interested in attending should email Glenn Crossman at gac4t@virginia.edu or call (434) 243-3540. Media are also invited to attend.

        Directed by Paul Tait Roberts, Bombs Away is a one-hour documentary that marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 presidential contest between President Lyndon Johnson and Sen. Barry Goldwater. Polarized by very different personalities and ideologies, Johnson and Goldwater attacked each other with gusto – and in the process opened the door to a modern era of campaigning that features highly negative TV advertising campaigns.

        A trailer for the documentary is available here. The documentary will be released nationwide beginning Nov. 1, 2014, and will air on PBS stations across the country. It will also be offered to other affiliated networks around the world.

        Bombs Away is the latest documentary produced by the U.Va. Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations, which regularly partner to produce documentary films for public television on American politics and history. The last two documentaries produced by the pair won Emmy Awards from the Capital Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences: 2013’s The Kennedy Half Century, which explored President Kennedy’s life and legacy, and 2012’s Out of Order, which examined partisan polarization in Washington

        Bombs Away features interviews with, among others, former Rep. Barry Goldwater Jr.; Lynda Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson, daughters of President and Mrs. Johnson; Pat Buchanan, former advisor to multiple Republican presidents; Joseph Califano, former special assistant to Johnson; Victor Gold, who worked on the Goldwater presidential campaign; Doris Kearns Goodwin, biographer and presidential historian; Richard Goodwin, former advisor to Johnson; Joanne Bland, civil rights activist; Sid Davis, journalist who attended Johnson’s swearing-in aboard Air Force One; Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee; Robert Mann, author of Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds; and Prof. Larry J. Sabato, Director of the U.Va. Center for Politics.



        New Online Lessons Accompany Expanded Paperback Release of The Kennedy Half Century


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – Ahead of the 51st anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, the University of Virginia Center for Politics has launched a series of new online classes to accompany the new, expanded paperback edition of Professor Larry J. Sabato’s The Kennedy Half Century. The online lessons are now available to students anytime, via iTunes U and the new on-demand platform of Coursera.org.

        The Kennedy Half Century online lectures begin with the early legislative career of John F. Kennedy and progress through the 50 years since Kennedy’s death. Legacy lessons focus on how each president, Lyndon Johnson through Barack Obama, has used JFK to craft their own political image. The class offers more than eight hours of video instruction consisting of 45 lessons averaging 10-20 minutes each in length.

        Professor Sabato’s latest video lectures were based on new research from the expanded paperback edition of The Kennedy Half Century released earlier this month, and include:

        • Revelations by a well-placed CIA employee about what really happened inside agency headquarters on Nov. 22, 1963.
        • New analysis, empirical evidence, and video reenactments that further demonstrate the unreliability of the police Dictabelt audio evidence from Nov. 22, 1963, that the House Select Committee on Assassinations used as proof that two shooters were present in Dealey Plaza.
        • Interesting new anecdotes and information about Nov. 22, 1963, from a diverse group of individuals.
        • A retrospective review of the events and impact of the 50th anniversary ceremonies in Dallas last year.

        The first edition of The Kennedy Half Century became a New York Times Best Seller in 2013, and the PBS/Center for Politics television documentary based on the book received an Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary, which will be presented during the 2014 Virginia Film Festival. Since the release of the first version of the online course last October, more than 150,000 students from around the world have accessed the lessons.

        The online course is accessible, on-demand from either Coursera or iTunes U . The JFK Half Century App, produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics, can also be downloaded for Android and Apple devices. The app features the complete Dallas police recordings from Nov. 22, 1963, which the Center acquired from the National Archives and is now available to the public in one easily accessible format.



        Center for Politics to host “Bombs Away” panel on legacy of 1964 presidential campaign


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will hold “Bombs Away,” a panel discussion focusing on the legacy of the 1964 presidential campaign. Marking the 50th anniversary of the election, panelists will examine the ramification of the contest between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater, which greatly influenced the tenor and style of modern campaigns and shaped the partisan conflicts we still see today.

        The event will run from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Small Special Collections Library (map) on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. Attendance is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required at http://forms.hoosonline.virginia.edu/cfp64campaign.

        Moderated by U.Va. Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato, the panelists will include: Sid Davis, a White House correspondent during the John F. Kennedy and Johnson administrations; Monique Luiz, who starred as a child actress in the controversial “Daisy” spot run by the Johnson campaign, perhaps the most infamous TV ad in American political history; and Prof. Robert Mann, a journalist and Louisiana State University professor who wrote Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds.

        Following the event, there will be a book signing by Sabato and Mann. The newly-released paperback edition of The Kennedy Half Century, featuring new interviews, scientific studies, and empirical data, will be available for purchase. Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds will also be available for purchase.

        The legacy panel is a part of the Center’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking 1964 presidential campaign. Later this fall, the U.Va. Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations will release a new documentary about the election, Bombs Away: LBJ, Goldwater and the 1964 Campaign that Changed It All. Scheduled for nationwide release beginning Nov. 1, the one-hour documentary looks back at a presidential election that not only redefined both political parties but also ushered in a new age of highly negative television advertising. A new trailer for the documentary is available here.

        As a part of the Virginia Film Festival, there will be a special screening of Bombs Away on Nov. 8. The showing will take place at Culbreth Theatre at 5 p.m. and will include special guests Barry Goldwater Jr., the 1964 Republican nominee’s son, and Skip Humphrey, son of Hubert Humphrey, Johnson’s vice president.


        “Bombs Away” tackles LBJ, Goldwater & 1964 Election

        Ushered in age of negative campaign ads, highlighted by “Daisy” spot


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – Marking the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking 1964 presidential campaign, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations have released the first trailer for their latest documentary, Bombs Away: LBJ, Goldwater and the 1964 Campaign that Changed It All. Scheduled for nationwide and international release later this fall, the one-hour documentary looks back at a presidential election that not only redefined both political parties but also ushered in a new age of highly negative television advertising.

        A trailer for the documentary is available here. The documentary will be released nationwide beginning Nov. 1, 2014, and will air on PBS stations across the country. It will also be offered to other affiliated networks around the world.

        Directed by Paul Tait Roberts, Bombs Away is a one-hour documentary that examines the 1964 presidential contest between President Lyndon Johnson and Sen. Barry Goldwater. Polarized by very different personalities and ideologies, Johnson and Goldwater attacked each other with gusto – and in the process opened the door to a modern era of campaigning that features highly negative TV advertising campaigns.

        A notable revelation in the film is the regret felt by Monique Luiz about her role in kickstarting the era of negative political campaigning as a child actress in the Johnson campaign’s infamous “Daisy” ad. In the spot, Luiz is seen picking petals off of a daisy, counting as she plucks them. Her counting turns into a launch countdown followed by an atomic explosion, implying that a Goldwater presidency could lead to nuclear Armageddon. The “Daisy” spot remains one of the most controversial television campaign advertisements in American political history.

        Bombs Away is the latest documentary produced by the U.Va. Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations, which regularly partner to produce documentary films for public television on American politics and history. The last two documentaries produced by the pair won Emmy Awards from the Capital Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences: 2013’s The Kennedy Half Century, which explored President Kennedy’s life and legacy, and 2012’s Out of Order, which examined partisan polarization in Washington.

        Bombs Away features interviews with, among others, former Rep. Barry Goldwater Jr.; Lynda Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson, daughters of President and Mrs. Johnson; Pat Buchanan, former advisor to multiple Republican presidents; Joseph Califano, former special assistant to Johnson; Victor Gold, who worked on the Goldwater presidential campaign; Doris Kearns Goodwin, biographer and presidential historian; Richard Goodwin, former advisor to Johnson; Joanne Bland, civil rights activist; Sid Davis, journalist who attended Johnson’s swearing-in aboard Air Force One; Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee; Robert Mann, author of Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds; and Prof. Larry J. Sabato, Director of the U.Va. Center for Politics.


        Center for Politics Interns to Participate in Conference Working to Foster Youth Political Engagement


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) — This weekend the University of Virginia Center for Politics will send two intern students to Harvard University to participate in an intensive political training conference. Sponsored by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP), the conference is a part of the institute’s National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement and will feature top political practitioners on bipartisan advocacy and campus political engagement.

        On Sept. 27-28, Harvard will host second-year University of Virginia students Delia Golden and Ian Riley along with four dozen other students for a conference entitled: “Bipartisan Advocacy: Finding Common Ground.” Students will arrive with a working plan to tackle a policy issue in their communities and on their campuses nationwide. Conference speakers include leading professionals with expertise in campaign and issue advocacy, federal and state government, communications, negotiation, and team-building. Delia and Ian will use skills gleaned from conference experts to implement their advocacy plan, which addresses redistricting and the politics of college towns, in the University community.

        For a schedule of the roundtable discussions, please visit the IOP’s conference website . Several of the conference’s Saturday, Sept. 27, discussions will be livestreamed at that link as well. Follow the event on social media at #NAC4Change. Photos of the participants are available upon request.

        “The Center for Politics is thrilled to send Delia and Ian to the National Campaign conference,” said Center Director Larry J. Sabato. “As an institution devoted to improving civic education and participation in the United States and abroad, we hope they will take advantage of this opportunity to learn skills that will help them advance civic engagement in our own community.”

        “The IOP is honored to host dozens of students from across the country who share our belief that politics and public service are a force for good to improve our communities,” said Harvard IOP Director Maggie Williams. “The IOP’s National Campaign conference and training will help foster political engagement both here at Harvard and at Campaign schools throughout the nation.”

        The Center for Politics is a member of the IOP’s “National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement,” a consortium of 25 colleges and universities around the country aiming to engage and encourage the next generation to improve our communities through bipartisan politics and public service. National Campaign participating schools work on their own campus and collaboratively in three key areas: establishing an ongoing relationship with electoral politics; focusing on career development in public service; and ensuring a foundation in civic education.

        The National Campaign’s 25 consortium schools are: Allegheny College; Arizona State University; Birmingham Southern College; Elon University; Franklin & Marshall College; Harvard University; Louisiana State University; Ohio State University; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Saint Anselm College; Simpson College; Tennessee State University; Tufts University; University of Chicago; University of Florida; University of Kansas; University of Louisville; University of Oklahoma; University of Rochester; University of Southern California; University of Tennessee, Knoxville; University of Texas; University of Utah; University of Virginia; and Vanderbilt University.


        Center for Politics Hosts Youth Ambassadors from South America


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) — The University of Virginia Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy program, in partnership with World Learning and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is hosting students from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru this week as a part of its Youth Ambassadors Program for South America.

        The group’s 39 students and six educators, who arrived Friday, Sept. 12, will participate in a number of educational events and programs focusing on leadership training, civic engagement, and cultural awareness. Members of the media interested in this program are welcome to attend any of the following events:

        Tuesday, Sept. 16
        • American Politics Larry Sabato, Director of the U.Va. Center for Politics 10:30 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. Location: Jefferson Hall at the University of Virginia Prof. Sabato will talk with the students about the American political process.
        • High School Visit 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Location: Monticello and Charlottesville high schools Students will divide into two groups and tour Monticello High School and Charlottesville High School, meet with student leaders, compare school experiences, and tour the facilities. (Charlottesville High School group will return from the school at 2 p.m.)
        Wednesday, Sept. 17
        • Diversity within American Democracy Chief Stephen Adkins, Chickahominy Tribe of Virginia 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Location: Jefferson Hall at the University of Virginia Chief Adkins will discuss the American experience from the view of the Virginia Indians and what diversity and civic engagement mean to him.
        • Poplar Ridge Challenge Course and Leadership Training 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Location: Behind Zehmer Hall at the University of Virginia Poplar Ridge provides team building, leadership, and organizational development opportunities using the facilities’ high ropes course.
        Thursday, Sept. 18
        • Community Service with Habitat for Humanity 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Locations: Southwood, 387 Hickory St., Charlottesville, VA 22902; The Habitat Store, 1221 Harris St., Charlottesville, VA 22903 Students experience civic engagement in action by learning about the organization and activities of Habitat for Humanity and participate in a service project in the City of Charlottesville.

        The student visit is part of the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy program and is the sixth Youth Ambassadors group the Center has hosted.

        Following their departure from Charlottesville this Friday, the group will travel to Chicago, IL, Pensacola, FL, and Portland, OR, to visit schools and spend two weeks with host families.

        Visit www.centerforpolitics.org/gpd.html for more information about the Youth Ambassadors and other Global Perspectives on Democracy programming.


        Center for Politics to Host Russian Ambassador at Public Event


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, the University of Virginia Center for Politics, in partnership with the Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation and the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, will host a public event featuring Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, the current ambassador to the United States from the Russian Federation. Ambassador Kislyak will speak about the relationship between the United States and Russia as well as answer audience questions.

        The event will run from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Newcomb Hall Theater, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia.

        Attendance is free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required at http://www.centerforpolitics.org/asrussia.html

        “The complexity of the current relationship between our countries is clear,” said Daman Irby, Director of Global Initiatives at the Center for Politics. “Directly interacting with Ambassador Kislyak provides our community with a unique opportunity to gain a more extensive understanding of Russian perspectives on issues of profound concern to both Russia and the United States.”

        This special event is coordinated by the U.Va. Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD) program. GPD fosters dialogue between the United States and other countries through public events and international exchanges meant to increase civic participation and engagement.


        Teacher Day program to feature experts on state, federal budgets


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics and the Charlottesville League of Women Voters will hold the second Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) Teacher Day on Friday, July 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Grounds of the University of Virginia in Clark Hall, room 107.

        Teacher Day will bring together approximately 40 educators from across Virginia to examine state and federal budgeting. The day’s events include the presentation of new YLI materials created specifically on the budget process, a chance to use Marketplace Radio’s Budget Hero simulation, and a discussion with professionals in the fields of policy and budget.

        The keynote speaker will be Sandy Davis, Associate Director of Legislative Affairs at the Congressional Budget Office, who will address the topic of creating the federal budget.

        The highlight of the day’s activities will be a round-robin discussion on the 2015 Virginia budget process. Teachers will be broken into small groups to meet with participating experts. Experts will circulate among the groups answering questions and discussing the contentious budget process and what can be done to improve the process in the future. Participating in the discussion will be state Delegates Steve Landes (R, HD-25), Jennifer McClellan (D, HD-71), and Lee Ware (R, HD-65); Secretary of Finance Ric Brown; Betsey Daley of the Senate Finance Committee; Scott Sandridge from the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget; Robley Jones from the Virginia Education Association; and Jeff Schapiro, a political reporter and columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

        The Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) is the largest program at the Center for Politics. YLI fulfills the Center’s mission of increasing civic participation by providing the best civics education resources via its website,www.youthleadership.net . YLI is a free, nonpartisan program available to educators of all varieties and has over 55,000 registered teachers from across the nation and globe.



        Crystal Ball, Politico announce new partnership


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics and Politico are pleased to announce an exclusive media partnership to offer Interactive election ratings from Sabato’s Crystal Ball on Senate, House, and gubernatorial races.

        The new feature on Politico’s website shows which way the Center believes a race is leaning each week as well as the logic behind changes in ratings.

        “Partnering with Politico is an exciting next step for the Crystal Ball, and we look forward to contributing our race ratings and analysis to one of the top political news outlets in the country,” said Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

        “This partnership with the Center for Politics adds a new dimension to Politico’s agenda-setting coverage of congressional elections,” said Mike Zapler, national politics editor for Politico. “It provides readers an easy-to-access barometer of House and Senate races as well as additional analysis of the contests that will decide control of Congress.”

        The Crystal Ball will also play a role in a series of four Politico polls on the 2014 midterms — the second of which is being released Monday, July 21. Produced in partnership with SocialSphere Inc. of Cambridge, MA, the polls survey likely voters in the states and districts with the most competitive Senate and House races, as ranked by the Center.

        The ratings and polls are housed on Politico’s Election Central, which also features a full 2014 primary calendar and map, real-time election results with an auto-tweet feature, and a comprehensive and customizable polling center.

        The Crystal Ball-Politico partnership is just the latest collaboration between the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the widely-read political news outlet. Earlier this year, Center Director Larry J. Sabato started writing a biweekly column for Politico Magazine.

        The Center for Politics is also announcing that it has opened a Washington, DC office, led by Kyle Kondik, the center’s communications director and managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball. Kondik will work to expand the center’s reach in Washington and also build relationships and contacts to enhance the Crystal Ball’s nationally recognized coverage of American politics and elections.

        While the Crystal Ball’s ratings will be featured on Politico, there will be no change to the existing Crystal Ball website: Readers will still be able to find the latest Crystal Ball stories, ratings, and ratings changes at www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball.


        Center for Politics’ Virginia Political History Project features Sens. Warner, Emmy-winning “Out of Order”


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – Today, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will hold its 16th Annual Virginia Political History Project. The event will feature a screening of the Center’s Emmy Award-winning documentary, Out of Order, about political polarization in Congress. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and former Sen. John Warner (R-VA) that will be moderated by Center Director Larry J. Sabato.

        The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at Nau Hall on the Grounds of the University of Virginia and will be live-streamed here. Media are welcome to attend the event, and the event is also free and open to the general public with advance registration. Seating is limited, and those interested in attending should e-mail Center for Politics Programs Director Glenn Crossman at gac4t@virginia.edu.

        Former Sen. John Warner served as Secretary of the Navy before being elected to the Senate in 1978, where he served five terms. Sen. Mark Warner was elected to John Warner’s seat in 2008 after the latter retired; prior to his election to the Senate, Mark Warner served as Virginia governor from 2002 to 2006.

        Out of Order is an Emmy Award-winning half-hour documentary produced by the UVA Center for Politics in partnership with The Community Idea Stations on political polarization in Congress featuring interviews with a number of officeholders and political observers, including both Sens. Warner. Earlier this week, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded a 2014 Emmy to the Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations in the category of Best Historical Documentary for The Kennedy Half Century.

        The Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations are currently working on a new documentary, set for release this fall, exploring the 1964 presidential campaign.

        Since 1998, the Center for Politics has hosted the annual Virginia Political History Project. This event is an ongoing effort to preserve the rich history of government and politics in the commonwealth and to reflect upon the issues that affect its people.



        Center for Politics wins Emmy Award for “The Kennedy Half Century” documentary


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics’ latest documentary , The Kennedy Half Century, has won an Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

        This is the second Emmy Award won by the Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations, which regularly partner to produce documentary films for public television on American politics and history.

        The film, directed by Paul Tait Roberts, is a one-hour documentary that chronicles the impact and influence of John F. Kennedy’s life, administration and tragic death on the public, the media and every subsequent U.S. president. The documentary features interviews with major political and media figures, including Bob Schieffer, Ron Reagan Jr., Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Ari Fleischer, James Carville and Julian Bond, among others.

        Emmy winners were announced Saturday at the Capital Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ 56th Annual Emmy Awards event in Silver Spring, Md.

        The Kennedy Half Century is part of a larger project produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics exploring JFK’s life and legacy that includes: A New York Times bestselling book, The Kennedy Half Century, by Professor Larry J. Sabato; a state-of-the-art website; a free online course through Coursera and iTunes U (in which more than 100,000 students worldwide have enrolled over the last year); and a mobile app that allows users to explore the Dallas police audio tapes from the events of Nov. 22, 1963. A trailer for the documentary is available here.

        This is the second year in a row that a Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations documentary has won an Emmy Award: Last year, Out of Order -- a film that explores gridlock and hyper-partisanship in Congress -- took home the top prize in the Best Topical Documentary category.

        This Friday, the Center for Politics is holding a screening of Out of Order followed by a discussion between Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and former Sen. John Warner (R-VA), moderated by Center Director Larry J. Sabato. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at Nau Hall on the Grounds of the University of Virginia and will be streamed here. Media are welcome to attend the event, and it is also free and open to the general public with advance registration. Seating is limited, and those interested in attending should e-mail Center for Politics Programs Director Glenn Crossman at gac4t@virginia.edu.

        The Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations are currently working on a new documentary, set for release this fall, on the 1964 presidential campaign.


        “The Kennedy Half Century” documentary earns Emmy nomination


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics’ latest documentary, The Kennedy Half Century, has been nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary. The film, produced by the Center for Politics and the Community Idea Stations and directed by Paul Tait Roberts, is a one-hour documentary that chronicles the impact and influence of John F. Kennedy’s life, administration and tragic death on the public, the media and every subsequent U.S. president.

        The Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations have previously partnered on a number of documentary projects, including the 2013 Emmy-winning Out of Order, a film that explores gridlock and hyper-partisanship in Congress.

        The Kennedy Half Century is part of a larger project produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics exploring JFK’s life and legacy that includes: A New York Times bestselling book, The Kennedy Half Century, by Professor Larry J. Sabato; a state-of-the-art website; a free online course through Coursera and iTunes U (in which more than 100,000 students worldwide have enrolled over the last year); and a mobile app that allows users to explore the Dallas police audio tapes from the events of Nov. 22, 1963.

        The 2014 nomination of The Kennedy Half Century was announced Tuesday by the Capital Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Winners will be announced at the 56th Annual Emmy Awards event on Saturday, June 14, 2014, in Silver Spring, Md.

        The Center for Politics and the Community Idea Stations are currently producing a new documentary marking the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1964 presidential campaign. This film will be released nationally in the fall.



        Senator Tim Kaine to speak with U.Va. class


        CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) will speak to students in Prof. Larry Sabato’s Introduction to American Politics class on Monday, April 14 at 3 p.m. at the Wilson Hall Auditorium, Room 402, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia.

        Kaine, who also served as Virginia governor from 2006 to 2010 and as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2009 to 2011, will discuss his experience in politics and his perspectives on some of the nation’s future challenges.

        The event is hosted and sponsored by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. As a part of the discussion, Kaine will also answer questions from students. While the event is not open to the public due to space constraints, members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Geoffrey Skelley or Kyle Kondik to reserve space or seating.

        Kaine entered politics in 1994, when he won a race for city council in Richmond. He later served as mayor of Richmond before being elected as Virginia’s lieutenant governor in 2001 and as governor in 2005. Kaine was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012.



        Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee to speak with U.Va. class


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D-RI) will speak to students in Prof. Larry Sabato’s Introduction to American Politics class on Wednesday, April 9 at 3 p.m. at the Wilson Hall Auditorium, Room 402, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia.

        Chafee, who also represented the Ocean State in the U.S. Senate from 1999 to 2007, will have an informal conversation with Prof. Sabato about his experiences in Rhode Island, how he got his start in politics and his thoughts on the current state of American government on the 50th anniversary of the Great Society.

        “As Governor, the visit to U.Va is an opportunity to send a message beyond our borders that Rhode Island is a great place to live and work. I plan to reinforce our state’s assets such as our investments in public education, our growing knowledge district and our state’s rich history of civic engagement,” Gov. Chafee said. “I look forward to inspiring young people to engage in public service and emphasizing the many great attributes that Rhode Island has to offer.”

        The event is hosted and sponsored by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. As a part of the discussion, Chafee will also answer questions from students. While the event is not open to the public due to space constraints, members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Geoffrey Skelley or Kyle Kondik to reserve space or seating.

        Originally a Republican, Chafee entered politics at the local level in the city of Warwick, RI, where he served on the city council and later led the city as mayor for seven years. In 1999, he was appointed to the U.S. Senate after the death of his father, Sen. John Chafee (R-RI). He then won a full term in 2000. After losing a reelection bid in the Democratic wave year of 2006, Chafee won a three-way race for the Rhode Island governorship as an independent in 2010. In the spring of 2013, Chafee switched parties to become a Democrat.

        For future media planning, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) is scheduled to address the class next Monday (April 14).


        Senator Ted Cruz to speak with U.Va. class


        CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) will speak to students in Prof. Larry Sabato’s Introduction to American Politics class on Wednesday, April 2 at 3 p.m. at the Wilson Hall Auditorium, Room 402, on the Grounds of the University of Virginia.

        Cruz will discuss his experience in politics with the more than 400 students taking Sabato’s course. As a part of the discussion, he will also answer questions from students.

        The event is hosted and sponsored by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. While the event is not open to the public due to space constraints, members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Geoffrey Skelley or Kyle Kondik to reserve space or seating.

        In 2012, Cruz was elected as the 34th U.S. senator from Texas. Prior to serving in the Senate, Cruz was the first Hispanic to serve as Texas’ solicitor general, arguing numerous cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. He also held posts in President George W. Bush’s administration. Cruz is a graduate of Princeton University and holds a law degree from Harvard University.

        Future guests scheduled to address Sabato’s class later this month include:

        • Monday, April 7: National Counterterrorism Center Director Matt Olsen
        • Wednesday, April 9: Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D-R.I.)

        The press is welcome to attend any of these upcoming sessions, but they are also closed to the general public.


        Center for Politics Hosts Youth Ambassadors from South America


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — The University of Virginia Center for Politics Global Perspectives on Democracy program, in partnership with World Learning and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is hosting students from Argentina and Chile this week as a part of the Youth Ambassadors Program for South America.

        The group’s 26 students and four educators, who arrived Saturday, Mar. 22, will participate in a number of educational events and programs focusing on leadership training, civic engagement and cultural awareness. Members of the media interested in this program are welcome to attend any of the following events:

        • Discussion about diversity within American democracy with Chief Stephen Adkins of the Chickahominy Tribe of Virginia, Tuesday, Mar. 25, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Jefferson Hall at the University of Virginia.
        • Visit to Monticello High School to meet with students and tour the campus, Tuesday, Mar. 25, noon to 2:30 p.m.
        • Seminar with Prof. Larry J. Sabato on American politics, Wednesday, Mar. 26, 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Jefferson Hall at the University of Virginia.
        • Community service event with Habitat for Humanity, Thursday, Mar. 27, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Habitat for Humanity Store.

        The student visit is part of the Center’s Global Perspectives on Democracy program and is the fifth Youth Ambassadors group the Center has hosted. A group of five Charlottesville-area students and educators will participate this summer in a Youth Ambassadors exchange to Argentina and Chile, and in September the Center will host a Youth Ambassadors delegation from Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. Following their departure from Charlottesville this Friday, the group will travel to Dallas, Tex., and Kansas City, Mo., to visit schools and spend two weeks with host families.

        Visit http://http://www.centerforpolitics.org/yasa2014.html for more information about the Youth Ambassadors and other Global Perspectives on Democracy programming.


        Center for Politics to host 15th annual American Democracy Conference


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Friday, Dec. 6, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host the 15th annual American Democracy Conference. The conference, which will be held at Alumni Hall on the Grounds of the University of Virginia, will feature panels of leading journalists and political experts focused on the 2013 Virginia election outcome, the upcoming 2014 federal midterm elections and the future of the American electorate.

        The event, which will begin at 9 a.m., is free and open to the public with advance registration, and the press is invited to attend. For more information or to register, please visit http://www.centerforpolitics.org/adc.html.

        The conference will also be live-streamed online at the following link: http://new.livestream.com/tavco/uvacenterforpolitics.

        The panels are:

        9:30 - 10:45 a.m.: Panel I: Post Gubernatorial Discussion
        Moderator:Jeff Schapiro, Richmond Times-Dispatch political reporter and columnist

        - Kellyanne Conway, Republican strategist and pollster
        - Thomas Guterbock, U.Va. Center for Survey Research director
        - James Hohmann, Politico national political reporter
        - Ellen Qualls, senior adviser to Terry McAuliffe's (D) gubernatorial campaign
        - Geoffrey Skelley, Sabato's Crystal Ball associate editor

        11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.: Panel II: 2014 Mid Terms
        Moderator: Professor Larry J. Sabato, U.Va. Center for Politics director

        - Fred Barnes, The Weekly Standard executive editor
        - Christina Bellantoni, PBS NewsHour political editor
        - Carl Cannon, RealClearPolitics Washington bureau chief
        - Brit Hume, Fox News senior political analyst
        - Dahlia Lithwick, Slate senior editor
        - Michael Toner, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission

        12:45 – 2:00 p.m.: Panel III: Future of the American Electorate
        Moderator: Kyle Kondik, Sabato's Crystal Ball managing editor

        - Alan Abramowitz, Sabato's Crystal Ball senior columnist and Emory University professor
        - Josh Barro, Business Insider politics editor
        - Rhodes Cook, Sabato's Crystal Ball senior columnist and author of The Rhodes Cook Letter
        - Sean Trende, RealClearPolitics senior election analyst
        - Joe Trippi, Democratic strategist


        Center for Politics' new app provides dramatic, living history of JFK assassination

        Who is "Chicago Red?" Fifty years later, new mysteries still emerge


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The JFK Half Century App, produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics, is now available for download on Android and Apple devices. The app features the complete Dallas police recordings from Nov. 22, 1963, which the Center acquired from the National Archives and is now available to the public in one easily accessible place for the first time.

        The recordings are commonly known as "the Dictabelt," and they contain all Dallas police communications on two audio channels from 9:44 a.m. central – less than three hours before the assassination – through 3:57 p.m., long after Air Force One had departed Dallas with the slain president's body.

        "These recordings are dramatic, living history – a kind of black box for the crash that the country experienced on Nov. 22, 1963," said Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato.

        Some highlights of the recordings include:

        – A mysterious reference to a possible Mafia figure ("Chicago Red") with connections to Jack Ruby that is clearly audible on the recording, yet was not included on the official transcript produced by the Dallas Police or the Warren Commission.

        – The relative serenity of the president's visit being shattered by the assassination, along with scattershot early reports of a possible shooting of a Secret Service officer (which did not happen) and differing claims about where the gun shots that killed the president had originated.

        – An observation from a Dallas police officer who, after arriving at Parkland Hospital, reports to the dispatcher that "…the president's head was practically blown off." The officer, apparently regretting the comment, declined to repeat his observation when asked, noting that "It's not for me to say, I can't say."

        – References to a series of post-assassination events, from the shooting of Officer J.D. Tippit to the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald.

        More information on these and other highlights are available in Sabato's audio introduction to the app. Specific snippets of audio from the app are available to the media upon request.

        The app costs 99 cents to download, and all proceeds benefit the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

        The recordings now available on the app were used by Sabato to disprove a major 1979 finding by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, which found that the recordings contained four gunshots, thus supposedly proving that two shooters had fired on President Kennedy (because Lee Harvey Oswald could have only fired three shots). Sabato's study, performed by the audio analysis firm Sonalysts, found that the recordings actually don't contain any gunfire, and thus cannot be used as proof of a conspiracy. Those findings are described in more detail in Sabato's New York Times bestselling book, The Kennedy Half Century.

        This new app is part of a larger project produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics exploring JFK's life and legacy as the nation marks the 50th anniversary of his death. The Kennedy Legacy Project includes: Sabato's new book; a website; a major national poll examining the nation's attitudes about JFK; a PBS documentary that is airing both across the country and internationally; and a free online course about JFK available through Coursera and iTunes U.

        As part of this week's 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, the Center for Politics will be hosting two events in Dallas: A panel discussion about the assassination starting at 6:30 p.m. central on Wednesday at the Dallas Hyatt Regency, and a viewing reception of "The 50th: Honoring the Memory of President John F. Kennedy" on Friday at the Magnolia Hotel, which begins at 11:30 a.m. central. Both events are free and open to media and the public.


        Center for Politics Hosts Youth Ambassadors from South America


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — The University of Virginia Center for Politics' Global Perspectives on Democracy program, in partnership with World Learning and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is hosting students from Bolivia and Peru over the next several days as a part of the Youth Ambassadors Program for South America.

        The group's 24 students and four educators, who arrived today, will participate in a number of educational events and programs focusing on leadership training, civic engagement and cultural awareness. Members of the media interested in this program are welcome to attend any of the following events:

        • Seminar with Prof. Larry J. Sabato on American politics, Friday, Nov. 8, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., Jefferson Hall at the University of Virginia.
        • A discussion about diversity within American democracy with Chief Stephen Adkins of the Chickahominy Indian Tribe of Virginia, Friday, Nov. 8, 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., Jefferson Hall at the University of Virginia.
        • Community service event with Habitat for Humanity, Monday, Nov. 11, 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m.

        The student visit is part of the Center's Global Perspectives on Democracy outreach effort and is the fourth high school group the Center has hosted as a part of its GPD program. It is the final exchange of the two-year long Youth Ambassadors Program with South America involving delegations from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru. Following their departure from Charlottesville next Tuesday, the group will travel to Portland, Oregon, and Pensacola, Florida, to visit schools and spend two weeks with host families.

        The Center is also recruiting Charlottesville/Albemarle high school students and educators to apply to participate in an exchange that will take place this summer in Argentina and Chile. The deadline to apply is December 1, 2013. Visit www.centerforpolitics.org/gpdusya.html for more information.


        Center for Politics Announces Exchange Opportunity for Local Students


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics' Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD) program is now recruiting local students and educators to apply to participate in the U.S. Youth Ambassadors Program with Argentina and Chile. This exchange, in partnership with World Learning and funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, includes a fully funded exchange trip to Argentina and Chile from June 13, 2014 through July 3, 2014.

        Selected participants will begin with a pre-departure training session in Washington, D.C., followed by orientation and teambuilding in Santiago, Chile. The group will then be divided in two and travel to either Rancagua, Chile, or Salta, Argentina, for a host community experience. Highlights will include homestays with families, attendance at a local high school, cultural activities, community service projects and presentations from local organizations. The program ends in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where students will create civic action plans to implement at home in the United States.

        "GPD has hosted delegates from around the world over the last seven years," said Daman Irby, the Director of the Center's GPD program. "What a thrill to now give students from the Charlottesville area an all-expenses-paid opportunity to gain their own hands-on experiences learning about leadership, civic engagement and other cultures in Argentina and Chile."

        Student applicants must be U.S. citizens between 15-17 years of age during the time of travel; attend a public high school, homeschool or public charter school in Charlottesville or Albemarle County and have at least one year of school remaining; have not traveled outside of the United States, Canada or Mexico; have permission from both parents or legal guardians; and have at least an intermediate level of Spanish language ability. Charlottesville-area participants will be joined by other students from Dallas, Kansas City and the Washington, D.C. area.

        More information about this exchange is available at www.centerforpolitics.org/gpdusya.html. Student applicants should visit www.regonline.com/AC2014 to apply for this unique opportunity. Adult mentor applications can be accessed at www.regonline.com/AC2014-adult. Applications will be accepted Nov. 1-Dec. 1, 2013.


        Center for Politics' documentary "The Kennedy Half Century" to premiere in Richmond

        Center Director Larry Sabato will also be presented with Emmy statue for previous documentary "Out of Order"


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Tuesday, Oct. 22, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations will be hosting the premiere of their new documentary, The Kennedy Half Century, at the Library of Virginia in Richmond. The one-hour documentary chronicles the impact and influence of John F. Kennedy's life, administration and tragic death on the public, the media and every subsequent U.S. president.

        Held in Richmond at the Library of Virginia at 800 East Broad Street, the event begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by remarks from Center Director Larry J. Sabato and the premiere of the documentary at 7 p.m.

        Registration for the event is full, but members of the media are welcome to attend.

        Based on Larry Sabato's new book, also entitled The Kennedy Half Century, the documentary features interviews with major political and media figures, including Sabato, Bob Schieffer, Ron Reagan Jr., Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Ari Fleischer, James Carville and Julian Bond, among others. The documentary will begin airing on WCVE Richmond and WHTJ Charlottesville on Nov. 4 at 9 p.m., Nov. 7 at 9 p.m. and Nov. 12 at 11 p.m., and it is expected to be shown both nationally and internationally in the coming weeks.

        This documentary is part of a larger project produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics exploring JFK's life and legacy. The Kennedy Legacy Project includes: the documentary; Sabato's new book, also entitled The Kennedy Half Century; a website; a free online course about JFK available through Coursera and iTunes U, which began today; and a forthcoming mobile app that will let users re-live the events of Nov. 22, 1963.

        The Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations have previously partnered on a number of documentary projects. Most recently, they produced the Emmy-winning Out of Order, which explored the ongoing gridlock in federal government. Sabato will be presented with the Emmy Statue before the premiere of The Kennedy Half Century.



        Center for Politics to host panel on JFK assassination as Sabato launches "The Kennedy Half Century"


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — Professor Larry J. Sabato will launch The Kennedy Half Century on Monday, Oct. 14, as the University of Virginia Center for Politics hosts a panel of witnesses and experts to discuss the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. These events are part of the Center's Kennedy Legacy Project, a series of programs, books, a national and international television documentary, free online classes, an interactive website and a new mobile application.

        Monday night's event will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Newcomb Hall Ball Room. Center Director Larry J. Sabato will moderate a discussion of the events of Nov. 22, 1963, and the experiences of each of these witnesses and experts as the tragedy unfolded. The panelists include:

        • Buell Wesley Frazier, a co-worker of Lee Harvey Oswald who drove him to the Texas School Book Depository on that fateful day;
        • Sid Davis, a journalist who was in the press bus close behind JFK's limousine and later witnessed the swearing in of President Lyndon Johnson on Air Force One;
        • James C. Bowles, the then-Communications Supervisor of the Dallas Police Department's dispatch office at the time of the assassination, who also transcribed the police radio tapes from Nov. 22;
        • Jefferson Morley, a former Washington Post reporter who has researched and written many articles about the Kennedy assassination;
        • Henry Hurt, an investigative reporter and author of Reasonable Doubt: An Investigation into the Assassination of John F. Kennedy.

        The event is free and open to the public with advance registration, and the press is invited to attend.

        Monday night's event precedes a press conference about Sabato's new book, The Kennedy Half Century, at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. There Sabato will unveil new findings that call into question the conclusions of a major government report on the JFK assassination. This is not a new theory; rather, Sabato will describe new scientific findings about a key piece of evidence that undergirds a government study. While this event is not open to the public, it will be available LIVE online. For more information, please visit this link. Media members are invited to attend the Tuesday press conference.

        Monday's panel discussion is part of a larger project produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics exploring JFK's life and legacy. The Kennedy Legacy Project includes: Sabato's new book; a website; a forthcoming international PBS documentary produced by the Emmy-winning Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations team; a free online course on JFK, beginning Oct. 21 and available through Coursera and iTunes U; and a forthcoming mobile app that will let users re-live the events of Nov. 22, 1963.



        Sabato to unveil study that disproves major government report on JFK assassination


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — University of Virginia Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato will reveal a major new finding regarding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

        The finding calls into question one of the conclusions of a major government report on the JFK assassination. This is not a new theory; rather, Sabato will describe scientific findings about a key piece of evidence that undergirds a government study.

        Additionally, Sabato will further discuss the JFK assassination, as well as reveal new information about President Kennedy's enduring impact on his nine successors in the White House and discuss a major new public opinion survey on the American people's opinions on JFK and the Kennedy legacy.

        Attendees of the press conference will receive the full report on the scientific findings, which are described in Sabato's new book, The Kennedy Half Century. The book will be released the same day as the presentation, Oct. 15.

        What: Larry Sabato unveils major scientific finding related to JFK assassination
        When: 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013
        Where: The Newseum
                     555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
                     Washington, D.C. 20001
                     Knight Studios on Level 3

        The book is part of a larger project produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics exploring JFK's life and legacy. The Kennedy Legacy Project includes: Sabato's new book; a website; a forthcoming international PBS documentary produced by the Emmy-winning Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations team; a free online course on JFK, beginning Oct. 21 and available through Coursera and iTunes U; and a forthcoming mobile app that will let users re-live the events of Nov. 22, 1963.

        To RSVP, please contact one of the following media representatives:

        Kyle Kondik, 434-243-1499, 434-987-6894; kondik@virginia.edu
        Geoffrey Skelley, 434-243-4087, 434-906-2862; skelley@virginia.edu



        Sabato announces partnership with iTunes U to host "The Kennedy Half Century" free online course


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — Prof. Larry J. Sabato's free online course about President John F. Kennedy's life, administration and legacy is now available on iTunes U.

        The four-week, massive open online course (MOOC), "The Kennedy Half Century," will begin on Oct. 21, with two hours of video instruction each week by Prof. Sabato. Registration for the free course is now available through the iTunes U app on mobile devices or through the iTunes store.

        This is the second major platform where the course will appear; last month, "The Kennedy Half Century" course went live on Coursera, an educational website that partners with some of the world's top universities, including the University of Virginia, to provide free online courses. Anyone can register for the course at www.coursera.org/course/kennedy.

        U.Va. Center for Politics

        The course content of the iTunes U and Coursera versions will be similar. The iTunes U version of "The Kennedy Half Century" features optional, interactive assignments for participants, such as interviewing an older relative or friend who lived through the Kennedy assassination, along with other activities.

        "Offering the course on both the popular Coursera and iTunes U platforms is designed to reach the broadest possible base of people interested in exploring President Kennedy's life, assassination and legacy," Prof. Sabato said.

        The MOOC is one of several initiatives the U.Va. Center for Politics is unveiling this fall in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination. Prof. Sabato's latest book, The Kennedy Half Century: The Presidency, Assassination and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy, will be released on Oct. 15, a week before the free course begins. Later in October, the Center will premiere a one-hour national PBS documentary on the same subject, which is being produced in partnership with Community Idea Stations. The Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations recently received an Emmy Award for their previous documentary, "Out of Order," which is about political dysfunction in Washington.

        View an introductory video for this FREE online class.

        The course begins with the early legislative career of John F. Kennedy and progresses through the 50 years since Kennedy's death, focusing on how each president, Lyndon Johnson through Barack Obama, has used JFK to craft their own political image. The class offers more than eight hours of video consisting of 40 lessons averaging 10-20 minutes each in length. Each week, there will be at least two new hours of content, including historical footage from each of the 10 presidential administrations of the last half-century. Prof. Sabato will focus four lessons around Kennedy's assassination as the nation marks the 50th anniversary of 11/22/63.

        Online learning is not new to the U.Va. Center for Politics, which has provided online education tools through its Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) since 1998. YLI conducts regular mock elections for students, as well as an interactive legislative simulation called E-Congress.



        Celebrating Constitution Day with an "Academical" Discussion


        On Tuesday, September 17th the Center for Politics celebrated Constitution Day with over seven hundred middle and high school students from throughout the state. The Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) worked to create an "academical" discussion befitting of Mr. Jefferson's University. Joining the students at Old Cabell Hall were re-enactors depicting Patrick Henry and Alexander Hamilton. These founders were chosen for their radically different stances on the Constitution in general and the Bill of Rights in particular. Students studied the arguments for and against the Bill of Rights in their classrooms prior to attending the event, and submitted questions for Hamilton and Henry to the Youth Leadership Initiative. Twelve students (six middle school and six high school) were chosen to sit on stage and present their questions directly to the honored guests. Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Henry debated the student questions and presented their views about the Constitution.

        U.Va. Center for Politics

        Following their debate the students viewed a segment of the Center for Politics' documentary Questioning the Constitution. The viewing focused on possible changes to the Constitution and helped to prime students for the final activity of the Constitution Day event. To conclude the day's events students were invited to come forth and offer suggestions for amending the Constitution. Teachers had prepared the students in advance and understood that the students' suggestions would be used to participate in a mock constitutional convention. Proposals made by the students included lowering the voting age to 15, eliminating the death penalty, and the abolition of affirmative action.

        All proposals made by the students to the Constitution Day Convention were included on the ballot for student voting. Julie Silverbrook, executive director of Constitutional Sources, was available to question the legality of proposals submitted for consideration. Patrick Henry and Alexander Hamilton also joined in the discussion of possible amendments. To make the event as authentic as possible, the 2013 Constitution Day Convention ballot was created entirely by youth participating in the event, without edits from the Center for Politics staff (the proposals in no way represents the views or opinions of the Center for Politics or the University of Virginia). Students who participated in the Constitution Day event voted online in their classrooms in the week following Constitution Day.

        The purpose of Constitution Day is not to learn all that you can about the document in one day. Instead the holiday should be used as a starting point for engaging in a relationship with the Constitution. The Constitution Day Academical Discussion exemplified the mission of the Center for Politics by inspiring students to know, understand and act on behalf our nation's future.


        Enrollment opens for Professor Sabato's free, online course -
        "The Kennedy Half Century"


        U.Va. Center for Politics

        Enrollment is now open for Prof. Larry J. Sabato's free, online course about President John F. Kennedy's life, administration and legacy.

        The four-week, massive open online course (MOOC), "The Kennedy Half Century," will begin on Oct. 21, with two hours of video instruction each week by Prof. Sabato. The course is available through Coursera, an educational website that partners with some of the world's top universities, including the University of Virginia, to provide free online courses. Anyone can register for the course at www.coursera.org/course/kennedy.

        The MOOC is one of several initiatives the U.Va. Center for Politics is unveiling this fall in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination. Prof. Sabato's latest book, The Kennedy Half-Century: The Presidency, Assassination and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy, will be released in October as the class begins. Also in October, the Center will premiere a one-hour national PBS documentary on the same subject, which is being produced in partnership with Community Idea Stations. The Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations recently received an Emmy for its previous documentary, "Out of Order," which is about political dysfunction in Washington.

        "The University of Virginia Center for Politics has long been committed to providing accessible educational tools about American politics and government. This free, online course about how JFK and his legacy have influenced the public, the media, and each of the nine U.S. presidents who followed President Kennedy is one way we can deliver high-quality instruction, at no charge, to a large audience," Prof. Sabato said.

        The course begins with the early legislative career of John F. Kennedy and progresses through the 50 years since Kennedy's death, focusing on how each president, Lyndon Johnson through Barack Obama, has used JFK to craft their own political image. The class offers more than eight hours of video consisting of 40 lessons averaging 10-20 minutes each in length. Each week, there will be at least two new hours of content, including historical footage from each of the 10 presidential administrations of the last half-century. Prof. Sabato will focus four lessons around Kennedy's assassination as the nation marks the 50th anniversary of 11/22/63.

        New portions of the class will be posted to the Coursera page each week. Students who complete the course do not receive university credit, but they will receive a statement of accomplishment. More information about the course's specifics, including a syllabus, is available at www.coursera.org/course/kennedy.


        PREVIEW: Kennedy Half Century, Coming this Fall


        THE KENNEDY HALF CENTURY will tell the compelling story of how John F. Kennedy's life and administration, as well as his tragic death on November 22, 1963, have influenced the general public, the media, and every president who has followed him. The film will air in the fall of 2013.

        The Kennedy Half Century is produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics in partnership with The Community Idea Stations, and is directed by Paul Tait Roberts.


        Center for Politics wins Emmy Award for "Out of Order" documentary film


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics' latest documentary, Out of Order, has won an Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for Best Topical Documentary.

        The film, which was produced by the Center for Politics and the Community Idea Stations and directed by Paul Tait Roberts, analyzes political gridlock in Washington, D.C. The Capital Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced the award recipients at its 55th Annual Emmy Awards dinner in Baltimore on June 15. The 30-minute documentary was one of 129 winners, and there were 774 entries in 104 award categories.

        "We thank the Academy for recognizing the work of the Center for Politics and our great partners at the Community Ideas Stations," said Larry Sabato, the documentary's producer. "It will take a lot more than an award-winning film to change the behavior of Congress, but I hope we've helped citizens think about what they can do to improve the situation."

        Out of Order: Civility in Politics explores partisanship and dysfunction in American government through interviews with prominent academics, journalists, political observers and senior (current and former) elected officials, including: Sens. Susan Collins (R) and Mark Warner (D); former Sens. Evan Bayh (D) and John Warner (R); Bob Schieffer of CBS News; and Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato.

        To date, Out of Order has aired on more than 180 PBS stations across the country, including top markets such as Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. John H. Felton was the executive producer with Community Idea Stations.

        The Center for Politics and the Community Idea Stations are currently producing a new documentary marking the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. The documentary, which will also explore JFK's influence on subsequent presidents, will be released nationally in the fall.



        Center for Politics' documentary "Out of Order" earns Emmy nomination


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics' latest documentary, Out of Order, has been nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Topical Documentary. The film, which was produced by the Center for Politics and the Community Idea Stations and directed by Paul Tait Roberts, is a 30-minute documentary about political gridlock in Washington, D.C. The nomination through the Capital Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences was announced May 13, and winners will be announced at the 55th Annual Emmy Awards dinner in Baltimore on June 15.

        Out of Order: Civility in Politics relies on interviews with prominent academics, journalists, political observers and senior (current and former) elected officials to explore partisanship and dysfunction in American government. The production features first-hand accounts by respected statesmen and women. Among the interviewees are Sens. Susan Collins (R) and Mark Warner (D); former Sens. Evan Bayh (D) and John Warner (R); Bob Schieffer of CBS News; and Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato.

        Over the past several months, Out of Order has aired on more than 180 PBS stations across the country, including broadcasts in top markets such as Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

        The Center for Politics and the Community Idea Stations are currently producing a new documentary marking the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. The documentary, which will also explore JFK's influence on subsequent presidents, will be released nationally in the fall.


        Voices of Civil Rights Movement to share their stories in Charlottesville


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – On Monday, April 15, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host a panel discussion, "Voices of the Civil Rights Movement." Panelists will discuss their personal experiences as a part of the dramatic events of that era, particularly key moments such as Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington.

        Beginning at 7 p.m., the event will take place at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center at 233 Fourth Street, NW in Charlottesville.

        The forum will be moderated by Dr. Patrice Preston Grimes, the Associate Dean of African-American Affairs at the University of Virginia and an Associate Professor at the Curry School of Education. She will be joined by the following panelists:

        • Joanne Bland, a participant in the Bloody Sunday and Turn Around Tuesday marches in Selma, Al.;
        • Edwilda Allen Isaac, who helped lead a walk-out protesting school segregation in Prince Edward County; the ensuing lawsuit became part of Brown v. Board of Education;
        • Rita Moseley, whose education was interrupted by Massive Resistance;
        • Sarah Collins Rudolph, who survived the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Al., perpetrated by members of the Ku Klux Klan;
        • Catherine Scott, a participant in the March on Washington from Farmville, Va.

        Founded as a school for former slaves in 1865, the Jefferson School served as a segregated educational institution in Charlottesville until the 1960s. Following integration, the building was used by the city for many educational and administrative purposes. In 2007, Charlottesville launched a public-private partnership to renovate and redevelop the Jefferson School. Today, the school serves as a community center offering educational, social, health and recreational services. It also houses the African American Heritage Center, which explores the Jefferson School's history and other aspects of the African-American experience in the region.

        The panel is presented as part of the Center for Politics' Anniversary Series, which commemorates landmark political events in American history through public lectures, programs, television documentaries and teaching resources offered to a nationwide audience.

        The event is free and open to the public with advance registration, and the press is invited to attend. For more information or to register, visit http://www.centerforpolitics.org/voices.html.



        Terry McAuliffe to speak with U.Va. class

        Democratic nominee for governor scheduled to appear Wednesday


        CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee in the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial race, will speak to students in Prof. Larry Sabato's Introduction to American Politics class on Wednesday, April 10 at 3 p.m. in the Wilson Hall Auditorium, Room 402, on the University of Virginia grounds.

        McAuliffe, who served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005, will discuss his experience in politics with the more than 400 students taking Sabato's course.

        The event is hosted and sponsored by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. McAuliffe will give brief remarks to the class before answering questions from students. His remarks to the class are not open to the public, but members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Kyle Kondik or Geoffrey Skelley to reserve space or seating.

        McAuliffe entered national politics in the early 1980s, working in finance for various Democratic campaigns and committees. In 1996, he served as national co-chair of President Bill Clinton's reelection campaign. After serving as DNC chair, McAuliffe sought the Democratic nomination for Virginia governor in 2009 but lost to state Sen. Creigh Deeds.



        Senator Tim Kaine to speak with U.Va. class

        Newly-elected Virginia Democrat scheduled to appear Wednesday


        CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), who was elected to the U.S. Senate last November, will speak to students in Prof. Larry Sabato's Introduction to American Politics class on Wednesday, April 3 at 3 p.m. at the Wilson Hall Auditorium, Room 402, on the University of Virginia grounds.

        Kaine, who also served as Virginia governor from 2006 to 2010 and as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2009 to 2011, will discuss his experience in politics with the more than 400 students taking Sabato's course.

        The event is hosted and sponsored by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. Kaine will give brief remarks to the class before answering questions from students. His remarks to the class are not open to the public, but members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Kyle Kondik or Geoffrey Skelley to reserve space or seating.

        Kaine entered politics in 1994, when he won a race for city council in Richmond. He later served as mayor of Richmond before being elected as Virginia's lieutenant governor in 2001 and as governor in 2005.



        Legendary journalist Bob Schieffer to speak with U.Va. class

        'Face The Nation' host scheduled to speak Monday


        CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Acclaimed CBS News journalist Bob Schieffer will speak to students in Prof. Larry Sabato's Introduction to American Politics class on Monday, March 4 at 3 p.m. at the Wilson Hall Auditorium, Room 402, on the University of Virginia grounds.

        Schieffer will discuss his career in covering government and politics with the more than 400 students taking Sabato's course.

        The event is hosted and sponsored by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. Schieffer will give brief remarks to the class before answering questions from students. His remarks to the class are not open to the public, but members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Kyle Kondik or Geoffrey Skelley to reserve space or seating.

        A journalist with more than a half-century of news experience, Schieffer serves as the chief Washington correspondent for CBS News and is the anchor and moderator of Face The Nation, the Sunday morning public affairs broadcast. He moderated presidential debates in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

        Schieffer is also a contributor to the Center for Politics' and Community Idea Stations' recently released documentary Out of Order, which explores gridlock in national politics. The 30-minute documentary is running on PBS stations in more than 180 markets across the United States.



        Virginia Lt. Gov. Bolling to speak with U.Va. class

        Possible independent gubernatorial candidate scheduled to appear Monday


        CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – As he ponders an independent bid for the Virginia governorship, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) will speak to students in Prof. Larry Sabato's Introduction to American Politics class on Monday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. at the Wilson Hall Auditorium, Room 402, on the University of Virginia Grounds.

        Bolling will share his experiences and perspectives regarding government and politics with the more than 400 students taking Sabato's course. The lieutenant governor, who presides over the Senate of Virginia during the annual state legislative sessions, is also expected to offer observations about the 2013 Virginia General Assembly, which is scheduled to adjourn this weekend.

        The event is hosted and sponsored by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. Bolling will give brief remarks to the class before answering questions from the students. His remarks to the class are not open to the public, but members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Kyle Kondik or Geoffrey Skelley to reserve space or seating.

        Elected as Virginia lieutenant governor in 2005 and reelected in 2009, Bolling was initially a candidate for the Republican nomination for the 2013 governor's race but suspended his bid in November 2012. He has not ruled out an independent run for the office and is expected to announce his intentions by the middle of March. Prior to becoming lieutenant governor, Bolling served in the Virginia Senate from 1996 to 2005.

        The presumptive Republican nominee for governor, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, spoke to Prof. Sabato's class on Feb. 6, and the Democratic front-runner, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, is expected later in the semester.



        Center for Politics' Documentary 'Out of Order' to Air Nationwide in Top Markets


        (CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) – Out of Order, a documentary produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the Community Idea Stations exploring political gridlock in Congress, will air on more than 180 PBS stations across the country this month. The 30-minute documentary will reach many of the country's top markets, including Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC.

        Over the last generation, citizens have increasingly expressed discontent with national politics. Congressional approval ratings are dismally low as partisan gamesmanship seems to rule the day. Senior leaders have noted that the collegiality they shared in the past with peers of differing political ideologies has disappeared in this era of polarization. Is the art of debate and compromise lost on contemporary politics? Is it possible to restore civility to Congress, and should we try? And is Washington actually less civil than it was in previous generations?

        Out of Order relies on interviews with prominent academics, journalists, political observers and senior (current and former) elected officials such as Sens. Susan Collins (R) and Mark Warner (D); former Sens. Evan Bayh (D) and John Warner (R); Bob Schieffer of CBS News; and Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato.

        "The overwhelming reception from PBS stations across the country underscores the timeliness of this program relative to our nation," said John Felton, TV General Manager for the Community Idea Stations. "We are honored to work with our partners at the Center for Politics to bring this important topic into living rooms across the United States."

        Out of Order airs on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 10:30 p.m. on WHTJ PBS in Charlottesville and WCVE PBS in Richmond.



        VA Attorney General Cuccinelli to speak with U.Va. class

        Republican gubernatorial nominee scheduled to appear Wednesday


        CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the 2013 Republican gubernatorial nominee, will speak to students in Prof. Larry Sabato's Introduction to American Politics class on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 3 p.m. at the Wilson Hall Auditorium on the University of Virginia Grounds.

        Cuccinelli will provide a first-hand perspective on American politics to the more than 400 students taking Sabato's class. The event is hosted and sponsored by the University of Virginia Center for Politics. The Attorney General will give brief remarks to the class before answering questions from the students. His remarks to the class are not open to the public, but members of the media are invited to attend and should contact Kyle Kondik or Geoffrey Skelley to reserve space or seating.

        Elected as Virginia Attorney General in 2009, Cuccinelli became the Republican nominee for this year's gubernatorial race after he was the only candidate to file for the party's nomination convention in May. Prior to becoming Attorney General, Cuccinelli served in the Virginia Senate from 2002 to 2010. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia.

        The front-runner for the Democratic nomination for governor, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, has committed to speak with the class later this semester.



        YLI Instruction Director Meg Heubeck

        K-12 Program Offers Civics Education Resources at No Cost!