Did Ithaca aid Reed’s #ny23 landslide? Analyst thinks so, this observer doesn’t

Andrew Casler, in an article published in the Elmira Star Gazette on November 5, 2014. writes:


Donald Beachler

“U.S. Rep. Tom Reed’s 26-percentage-point victory Tuesday proved that the congressman doesn’t need Tompkins County votes to remain in office.” Did it, one might ask. No justification is given for this sweeping claim.

Andrew Casler’s article includes a number of quotes by Donald Beachler, Associate Professor, Department of Politics, at Ithaca College. I believe Professor Beachler’s observations are off base.


“Reed successfully painted her as out of the district’s mainstream, and that’s why the margin was a shocker to analysts — they would have never committed money to the race if they thought it would be a 26 point race,” Ithaca College politics professor Donald Beachler said. Which analysts were shocked, one wonders? Most pundits predicted the result.

Robertson seemed unable to sell herself in a way that would make her accessible to voters outside of Tompkins County, Beachler said. Not true, in this writers opinion. The vote for Robertson was what would have been expected with a low voter turnout. It in no way reflects on Robertson’s campaign which went as well as could be expected.

She said she opposed the SAFE Act, but no one who’s an opponent of gun control was persuaded by that, he added. “Nobody really believed that she was against it,” he said. True enough–whose fault is that?

Part of Reed’s victory can be attributed to a wave of support for Republicans across the county, Beachler said. Doubtless that helped. It would have been very unusual to defeat a Republican incumbent in a red district in an off year.

“Democratic turnout was low, and Republicans were motivated to vote against Obama by way of the Democratic Party,” Beachler said.

“I think he very skillfully presented himself on issues that are almost consensus issues; I mean who’s for sexual assaults, or who’s against hospice care?” Beachler said. “Like I said, it was a very well-run campaign.” Well run in the sense that Reed kept his head down, stuck to the script, and avoided blunders. I would say it was a purile campaign. It also was a dirty campaign which used doctored images of Martha Robertson and attacked her with lies and half-truths which mark Reed’s style.

If Democrats want a candidate who can beat Reed, they need to nominate someone who’s not from Tompkins County, Beachler said. That might help, but there is no evidence in support of it. The vote was as one might have expected given the low turnout.

Tompkins politicians are seen as too liberal, too elite and out of touch with the rest of the 23rd, he said. More nonsense–this was a Reed talking point, no more than that.

Robertson was defeated by a 2:1 margin in Chautauqua County, where Jamestown is located. “That’s a toss-up county in a presidential election … and she got beat by a huge margin,” Beachler added. Yes, but this wasn’t a Presidential election year, now was it?

“Tom Reed is safe as long as Democrats keep nominating someone from Ithaca,” he said. I don’t think this is correct. Nate Shinagawa from Ithaca did well against Tom Reed. The idea that being from Ithaca is poison is likely false.

If I were giving out grades, I would give Professor Beachler an F.

© William Hungerford – November 2014



About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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6 Responses to Did Ithaca aid Reed’s #ny23 landslide? Analyst thinks so, this observer doesn’t

  1. pystew says:

    Should the Democrats try to find a moderate hunter from Jamestown?


  2. Barbara Griffin says:

    Tom Reed certainly slammed Ithaca every chance he could, but I believe Martha was the perfect candidate. I can’t help but wonder if some of the other counties weren’t covered as well as Tompkins, however(?). Its hard to believe that Reed got elected again, especially by such a high margin…but then, look at the other election results. We’re in for a hard ride for the next two years, my friends.


  3. BOB McGILL says:

    did you ever stop to think that the people who would have to pay for all Martha’s ” GIVE AWAY IDEAS ” realized that they just can’t afford footing the bill ?


  4. whungerford says:

    Reed’s expensive anti-Ithaca advertising may have cost Reed more votes than it gained. If Reed’s opponent had been from Jamestown, his advertising advisers would have found something else to mock.


  5. whungerford says:

    Why didn’t the people who have to pay for Reed’s give away ideas object much?


  6. Anne says:

    No discussion of this year’s election results is complete without a serious look at the dark money involved in engineering those outcomes. Bill Moyers, as usual, has been doing some very good reporting on this.

    Liked by 1 person

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