Professor of Political Science Iva Deutchman is a sought-after media source each election season, especially in times like these when the positions are hotly-contested and there are new players in the field. In the past few days, Deutchman has commented on the election in a number of articles, including three in the Finger Lakes Times. In the most recent, which appears Nov. 1, Deutchman is presented as offering “a few predictions- some of which the party chairs probably wouldn’t like.”
The article quotes her, “I think they’re going to lose the House,” she said of congressional Democrats. “I don’t think they’re likely to lose the Senate.”
It notes Deutchman expects Andrew Cuomo to win New York’s gubernatorial race, “but she expects Democrats to lose state houses elsewhere.” This is attributed partly to “the traditional dynamic of a midterm election: The party in power tends to lose seats.”
Deutchman also points to the recession as a factor in this year’s elections:
“As Bill Clinton once said many, many years, ago: ‘It’s the economy, stupid,'” she is quoted. “We’re living with the results of Bush’s policies, and that’s what’s hurting the Democrats. … How do you [run an ad saying], ‘Vote for me, it’s the worst economy you can remember’? It’s not exactly a sexy campaign slogan.”
She continued, “I’ve got to tell you, in the long run, it’s not a happy run for Republicans unless they do something to change very quickly and very substantially, because this country is becoming more multicultural, and the Republican Party is still a party of old white guys, and it’s pretty regional.”
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 is a professor of 20 plus years who has worked on two continents (Australia and North America). Deutchman has a long list of publications in major journals, such as “Fundamentalist Christians, Raunch Culture and Post-industrial Capitalism,” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Summer 2008, and “Five Factions, Two Parties: Caucus Membership in the House of Representatives, 1994- 2002,” Congress and the Presidency, 36:62-84, 2009 (with colleague DeWayne Lucas).
The full article from Monday’s paper follows. The other Finger Lakes Times articles, “ELECTION 2010: Paladino chases frontrunner Cuomo” and “Tea party pours it on” can be found online.
Finger Lakes Times
Dems look to crash tea party
Despite official enthusiasm, all signs point to big Republican gains
Jim Miller • November 1, 2010
Carolyn Schaeffer thinks Democrats have plenty of reasons to be enthusiastic this year.
She believes the policies that her party implemented in Washington prevented a deep depression at home and increased American prestige abroad.
Congress enacted health care reform, a Democratic goal for decades. And the president even won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Schaeffer, chairwoman of the Yates County Democratic Committee, would like to think voters would remember and appreciate all that.
“That’s why we have all our get-out-the-vote efforts, to get people to think about what’s at stake,” she said. “There’s a constant movement to further that vision.”
But a different narrative seems to be driving this election. And that narrative says Democrats will lose – possibly in droves – having lost the enthusiasm that propelled them into office in 2008, along with the support of independent voters.
The tea party has the energy this time, conventional wisdom says, and the Democrats will also suffer from a left wing dissatisfied with President Barack Obama’s performance and ready to sit out the election. If some tea party members see him as a socialist, some Democrats see him as too centrist.
That’s the story.
But local Democrats aren’t necessarily reading from the same book, even if they stop short of predicting landslide victories tomorrow night.
Gaye Chapman, Wayne County’s Democratic committee chairwoman, said she hasn’t seen any signs of disillusionment among voters she’s talked with.
Good candidates have given them reason to stay enthused, she said.
“We recognize what [Obama’s] done, and we think that it’s been good,” she said. “We’re not in that group of critics or cynics or whatever.”
Media reports of Democratic despondency might even end up energizing the party by highlighting the importance of getting out the vote, she said.
Schaeffer was less sanguine, but hardly pessimistic.
“There is some disillusionment out there, but I don’t know if it’s enough disillusionment to keep them home,” Schaeffer said. “I hope not.”
People on her e-mail list are enthusiastic, she said, and she sees energy in Yates County.
“As we go out talking in the neighborhoods, people are very welcoming of the information that we have and willing to talk one-on-one,” she said.
The area has also seen at least a few signs of Democratic activity in response to the tea party.
Macedon boasts a coffee party group. And Karen Boynton, an independent who said she comes from a long line of Democrats, is talking with others about starting one in nearby Newark.
The election-night upshot of the Democrats’ efforts?
“If I could answer that question, I’d be in demand, wouldn’t I?” Schaeffer said.
Iva Deutchman, a political science professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, did offer a few predictions – some of which the party chairs probably wouldn’t like.
“I think they’re going to lose the House,” she said of congressional Democrats. “I don’t think they’re likely to lose the Senate.”
Deutchman sees Andrew Cuomo winning New York’s gubernatorial race, but she expects Democrats to lose state houses elsewhere.
In part, she said, Democrats are suffering from the traditional dynamic of a midterm election: The party in power tends to lose seats.
But she thinks the recession isn’t helping them either.
“As Bill Clinton once said many, many years, ago: ‘It’s the economy, stupid,'” Deutchman said. “We’re living with the results of Bush’s policies, and that’s what’s hurting the Democrats. … How do you [run an ad saying], ‘Vote for me, it’s the worst economy you can remember’? It’s not exactly a sexy campaign slogan.”
But Deutchman also had a few words of comfort for the Democrats.
“I’ve got to tell you, in the long run, it’s not a happy run for Republicans unless they do something to change very quickly and very substantially, because this country is becoming more multicultural, and the Republican Party is still a party of old white guys, and it’s pretty regional,” she said.
Even in terms of this year’s vote, Democrats believe they’re still in the game. Republicans naturally believe it’s their turn. The answer – or at least part of it – will emerge tomorrow night.
“It’s just an interesting thing about politics,” Chapman said. “Nobody knows until it’s over with.”