Dr. Schoettmer, SU Political Science instructor, found himself in high demand with local media for expert analysis during this year’s mid-term elections. Here are quotes from his interviews and links to read and view the full stories.
Local election impacts from political attack ads
“ “You can actually work to drive down the turnout of your opponent’s side,” said Dr. Patrick Schoettmer, an instructor of American Politics. “You may not convince them to vote for you, but you can convince them that their candidate isn't worth the effort."
“Schoettmer said when it comes to actually generating votes, traditional door-knocking campaigns are one of the most effective ways to spend campaign dollars.
Most of WA's judges are running unopposed. Does it matter?
“Maintaining the status quo is not necessarily bad, said Seattle University political science instructor Patrick Schoettmer. “When judges don’t have to worry about elections, they have more latitude to rule the way they think is best, rather than the way they think voters want them to rule,” he said. “When there are elections, judges tend to sentence more harshly to prove they’re tough on crime.”
“But, Schoettmer added, the flip side is that uncontested elections defeat the purpose of holding elections at all. “If races are not being contested it reduces accountability of the judge, which is what the election is supposed to introduce.” “
Gender politics play important role in upcoming midterm elections
“ "Part of the reason is that women in general are more reluctant to run for office," says Dr. Patrick Schoettmer, a political science professor at Seattle University.
“ "A second reason is going to be where women find leadership opportunities. A lot of conservative women will satisfy that leadership need in the church itself."
“And he says there are simply more women who identify with the Democrats.
“ "We've seen women, especially since the election of Donald Trump, move decidedly towards the Democrats," he said. "As far as their partisan identities go, more women are feeling that the Democratic party is their home." “
Washington state voters are treating these midterms more like a presidential election
“He says this year Trump may influence Republicans to vote. But overall, he says a surge in turnout will tend to favor Democrats, who are out of power and angered with the state of politics.
“Schoettmer: "Now when it comes to midterm turnout in particular we would generally think that higher turnout is more beneficial to Democrats... First of all Republicans are more regular voters, so if you have people showing up who normally don't show up, they're more likely to be a Democrat than a Republican.” “
Do attack ads work? Washington's 8th District flooded with them before election
“While research on the exact effectiveness and impact of attack ads is mixed, Political Science Professor Patrick Schoettmer of Seattle University says it is clear that the impact of a negative ad is generally stronger than a positive one.
“ “People remember bad or negative facts about people much more easily than they remember positive things,” said Schoettmer. “While the half-life of a negative ad is 36 hours, the half-life of a positive ad is even shorter.” “
Washington lawmakers praise law enforcement in arrest of pipe-bomb suspect
“ “When it comes to the political period we’re in now, this sort of instability, this sort of tension is, unfortunately, something we could expect to see,” continued Schoettmer.
“ “It’s something that’s only beginning to subside with time, as people begin to settle down, and in particular as this younger generation begins to take their place and really begin to define what the new political debate and the new political story is going to be about.” “
October 23rd: Get Counted: why does Washington vote the way it does at all?
How did voting by mail become Washington state law? And does it increase turnout? KUOW asked those and other questions of Patrick Schoettmer, political scientist at Seattle University.