Posted on Friday, November 09, 2012
Professor of Political Science Iva Deutchman was quoted in the Democrat and Chronicle about the recent 25th district race between incumbent U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter and Republican Maggie Brooks.
The article details the race, suggesting that Brooks' defeat could be attributed to a message that lacked strength. In comparison, Slaughter is believed to have benefited from experience and continued support from Democratice voters.
Deutchman voiced her opinion that, indeed, Brooks did not do her part to prove that she was the more capable candidate. "(The Brooks campaign) didn't give you a substantive reason why you should stop voting for Louise Slaughter," said Iva Deutchman, a professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva. "She couldn't point to something, a terrible bill she supported ... Maggie Brooks didn't say, ‘Look at her record.'
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). She has a long list of publications in major journals, the latest of which are "Electoral Challenges of Moderate Factions: Main Streeters and Blue Dogs, 1994- 2008," The Forum, Vol. 8: Iss2, Article 2 (2010) (with DeWayne Lucas); "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); and "Fundamentalist Christians, Raunch Culture and Post-industrial Capitalism," Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Summer 2008.
She has been a senior lecturer and visiting scholar at the University of Melbourne numerous times. Deutchman's expertise in Australia has been cited in U.S.-based publications as well as in Australia in The Australian, The Age, Australian Time andArena. Most recently, she taught a graduate course on "President Barack Obama and the World" at the University of Melbourne in Australia in 2010.
The full article follows.
Maggie Brooks should have come out swinging against U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter sooner and harder, according to political experts who agree that her message wasn't strong enough.
The Monroe County executive failed in her attempt to unseat the Fairport Democrat, who has been in Congress for 26 years. Slaughter trounced the Webster Republican by 14 percentage points in the 25th District contest.
Slaughter was strongest in the city of Rochester, where she got 79 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Monroe County Board of Elections. She also took the suburban towns of Brighton, East Rochester, Gates, Henrietta and Irondequoit.
Brooks won in Chili, Clarkson, Greece, Ogden, Parma, Penfield, Perinton, Pittsford, Riga, Sweden and Webster, but votes in these towns were not enough to counter support for Slaughter in the city.
"(The Brooks campaign) didn't give you a substantive reason why you should stop voting for Louise Slaughter," said Iva Deutchman, an associate professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva. "She couldn't point to something, a terrible bill she supported ... Maggie Brooks didn't say, ‘Look at her record.' "
Curt Smith, a political commentator and former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush, said Brooks got complacent in the summer and thought she could rely on name recognition. "Running for county executive is not the same as running for Congress," Smith said. "I don't think she realized that."
Repeated attempts to contact the Brooks campaign were unsuccessful.
Gerald Gamm, associate professor of political science and history at the University of Rochester, disagreed, saying that Brooks couldn't have done anything differently. "At the end of the day, voters liked Louise, and voted to keep her," Gamm said.
Simply put, it's a Democratic district.
"It was a race that captured the attention of voters across the county because we know both political figures extremely well... but at the end of the day the race wound up exactly as it began," Gamm said.
Gamm doesn't see Brooks running against Slaughter again, but the time will come when Slaughter will step down. "That will be the time for Maggie Brooks to step up."
Deutchman, however, said Brooks won't be the best candidate for Republicans in the future. "Maggie Brooks has been around for a million years," she said. "She can't argue that she's young, sexy, new and exciting anymore."
Smith said Brooks can run again, and win with a better strategy - she might have better luck in a presidential off-year, like 2014.
"It's a competitive district, Louise brings a special magic that is uniquely her own..." Smith said. "I think Brooks will run again, but she needs a big-league team around her."
In the 27th District, U.S. Rep. Kathy Hochul, D-Amherst, Erie County, fell victim to new district lines. She lost to former Erie County Executive Chris Collins, R-Clarence, 51 percent to 49 percent.
The district includes the Monroe County towns of Rush, Hamlin, Sweden, Wheatland and a small part of Clarkson. Collins took all but Wheatland.
Deutchman said she thought Hochul would pull off a victory. "She lost by very few votes, you would have to ask yourself what was going on in the district," she said.
However, the 27th District is very conservative, and Smith said he was surprised that Hochul came as close as she did. He called the district "prohibitively Republican."
"(Collins) is more in sync with the voters in this district," Smith said. "If anything he should have beaten Hochul by more than he did."
This race was exciting, Gamm said, because two strong forces were running against each other: incumbency versus a strong Republican base.
"Even though Kathy Hochul had an advantage as an incumbent, she was swimming against the tide," Gamm said.