13 September 2011
We Don't Have a Weiner in NY-9
In a special election, some voters in New York City are going to the polls to replace disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY 9th). There is a good chance that Republican Bob Turner may be able to score an upset in a marginally Democrat (+5 D) part of Queens. Two polls late in the campaign show that Democrat candidate David Welprin is vulnerable to losing.
PPP Polling (a Democrat oriented firm) shows that Turner has net positive impression amongst NY-9 voters while President Obama’s approval rating in the district is 31%, down from the 55% in 2008. PPP pollster Tom Jensen speculates that if Obama’s favorables were 50%, the Democrats would retain the seat.
Residue from Weiner’s social media sex scandal may dampen Democrats enthusiasm for the special election. But Obama’s doldrums in the favorability polling may emulate the dispirited state of Democrats. Moreover, NY-9th has the highest concentration of Orthodox Jews in the nation. While Welprin is Orthodox, former Mayor Ed Koch (D-NYC) has endorsed Republican Turner. The Turner campaign has aired cable ads which lumps Welprin and Obama together for their stated support of the Park 51 9/11 mosque project and urges voters to send a message.
Of late, national Democrats have been pouring in $500,000 support to try to hold the seat. On the eve of the special election, President Bill Clinton made robo-calls to NY-9 voters urging them to support Welprin. National Republicans have added $100,000 to Turner’s warchest.
Even if Turner is triumphant, the victory will not be long held. Due to redistricting, New York will lose two Congressional districts. The politicians in Albany agreed to nix one CD upstate and one in the NYC metroplex. This will probably result in the abolishment of a typically GOP seat (likely NY-26) and a typically Democrat seat (most likely NY-9). So the incumbent may only hold office for a year.
While this may be a short term election result, it does show vulnerabilities that Democrats have even in the dark blue Empire State and soft support that Obama has with the serious Jewry on supporting Israel and accommodating ardent Islamists in America.