With the upcoming election on every American’s mind, three political science professors — Associate Professors of Political Science Cedric Johnson and DeWayne Lucas and Professor of Political Science Iva Deutchman gave their perspective on the historic race during one of the 2008 Election Discussion Series panel talks at Irene’s Coffee & Jazz House. The professors and HWS community members were quoted in a Finger Lakes Times article about the event. To read the entire article, see below.
Deutchman holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University in political science and economics. She has a long list of publications in major journals, the latest of which is “Fundamentalist Christians, Raunch Culture and Post-industrial Capitalism,” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Summer 2008.
A member of the faculty since 2001, Johnson earned his B.A. in political science from Southern University-Baton Rouge, an M.A. in Black Studies at the Ohio State University, and an M.A. and his Ph.D. in government and politics at University of Maryland, College Park. A member of the American Political Science Association and the National Conference of Black Political Science, he serves on the planning committee for the Rochester Labor Lyceum.
A member of the faculty since 2000, Lucas teaches courses on Introduction to American Politics, Elections and Voting, Political Parties in the United States, and The American Congress. He holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and his M.A. and Ph.D. from State University at Binghamton.
Forums focus on election insight
HWS panelists aim to inform voters
By RACHEL CROFUT
Wednesday, October 29, 2008 11:06 AM CDT
GENEVA – With Nov. 4 just six days away, the nation is buzzing over the presidential election.
Locally, there have been ongoing efforts to ensure that voters are as informed as possible before they cast their ballots. At Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Michele Viterise, 21, is co-founder of the school’s Americans for Informed Democracy club, which last night hosted its second of three panel discussions on the topic. It was broadcast over the campus radio station from Irene’s Coffee & Jazz House in the Geneva Centre plaza with political science Professor Iva Deutchman and Associate Professors Cedric Johnson and DeWayne Lucas as panelists.
“They do a really good job of showing non-partisanship,” Viterise said, noting that the three speakers have offered opinions and educated insight rather than lecturing on their personal views.
Among the 50-plus students and area residents who attended was Leslie Shaw, 49, of Lyons.
“I wanted to be able to say that I really did consider both options,” she said.
The discussion focused on what might account for Democrats polling so well at the moment.
Deutchman was particularly interested in voters aged 18 to 22 and noted their overwhelming support for Democratic candidate Barack Obama.
“I have never seen students as interested in an election as they are this year,” she said.
Johnson, whose academic focus is on racial and urban politics, was concerned about the “overblown expectations” people have of Obama. Despite that he believes that Republican John McCain doesn’t connect with people the way Obama does, or even in the way President George W. Bush did as a candidate.
Lucas agreed, paraphrasing Obama’s message as “there are big problems facing the country, the government isn’t the only way to solve these problems, but it’s probably the best. We all need to come together to reach a solution.”
Lucas said that McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate earned him many short-term gains but may not be enough to win him the election.
Despite the polls, Deutchman told the audience not to count the Republican Party out, referring to “the unbelievable ability of the Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.”
“Anything can happen,” she said.
Lucas also pushed the exceptionally motivated “millenial voters” to maintain that enthusiasm past Nov. 4 so the 18-to-22 age group can be taken seriously as a major demographic.
The final installment of the panel series will be a post-election gathering on Nov. 20.