New York’s 9th Congressional District Special Election Tells Us Much Going in to 2012

Bookmark and Share   Today, some of the last waves of the 2010 midterm elections are about to sweep ashore the American political landscape. And much like the original tidal wave of victory that the G.O.P. rode to some of the largest gains of congressional seats in history, this last wave is expected to bring surprises with yet another Republican gain.

In Nevada voters in the second district will be filling the vacancy created by Joe Heller’s appointment to the U.S. Senate following Senator John Ensign’s May resignation. In that special election Republican Mark Amodei looks to be a slam dunk in what was once considered a tight race for Republicans to retain the seat, but is now considered an impossibility for Democrats to pick up.

But the real story of the day is shaping up to be the special election in New York’s 9th congressional district. There, residents of a district which is comprised of portions of Brooklyn and Queens will be electing a successor to disgraced liberal Anthony Weiner who resigned after lying about sending sexually explicit photo’s of himself over the internet. The district has been held by Democrats for nearly a century and it has not even been considered competitive at any point in the last forty years.

Yet while Republicans have not exactly had great success in special elections to fill vacant congressional seats in New York state, NY-9 seems ready to make up for that.

Over the past two years, special congressional elections that the G.O.P. should have won with relative ease, were lost to Democrats due to poorly managed campaigns and a series of assorted Party related political anomalies and blunders. In May, New York’s Upstate 26th Congressional District should have gone Republican but instead was won by Democrat, Kathy Hochul.

In 2009, Republicans lost another Upstate New York congressional seat that they should have retained.

After nominating a disastrous candidate in liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava and seeing a strong Conservative Party candidate take to the field, Democrat Bill Owen won a seat that had been in Republicans for over 100 years.

But today’s special in NY-9 is a case that is quite different. This election is being fought not in the Republican friendly upper portion of the vast Empire State, it is being fought in the Democrat stronghold of two of New York City boroughs.

The ninth spans sections of Brooklyn and Queens and is a middle and lower middle class, blue collar district heavily comprised of Jewish and Italian-American voters as well as union members. It is a district that is ideally suited for liberal candidates, like the man who previously held the seat……Anthony Weiner. Yet despite its Democrat friendly makeup, NY-9 is in the midst of casting what can only be described as a protest vote that is about to elect businessman Bob Turner over long serving liberal Assemblyman David Weprin.

While Turner’s victory is not a sure thing, polls and the prevailing winds indicate that he is a likely winner.

According to the most recent Public Policy Polling survey the race stands as follows:

  • Bob Turner (R) 47%
  • David Weprin (D) 41%
  • Christopher Hoeppner (S) 4%
  • Undecided 7%

But the story here is not merely that a Republican is about to take a seat away from Democrats that hasn’t been in G.O.P. since the 1920’s, but rather that traditional Democrat constituencies are showing their dissatisfaction with President Obama and are sending a protest vote. That story is explained by a deeper look at the most recent PPP poll of the 9th district. Republican Bob Turner has the support of as much as 29% of the Democrat vote, while Democrat David Weprin has only a 58% share. Right there you can see that things are out of whack. Democrats in New York City typically back their Party nominee in numbers approaching 80% or more.

When it comes to Republicans,Bob Turner is receiving 83% of the Republican vote and a mere 10% support Weprin.

But some of the most startling and important stats come from the districts heavy Jewish population and those voters who consider themselves to be independent.

Those results are as follows:

Among Jewish Voters

  • Bob Turner (R) 56%
  • David Weprin (D) 39%
  • Christopher Hoeppner (S) 2%
  • Undecided 4%

Among Independents

  • Bob Turner (R) 58%
  • David Weprin (D) 26%
  • Christopher Hoeppner (S) 7%
  • Undecided 10%

But perhaps the biggest story of all here is that this election is really not between Turner and Weprin at all. As it turns out the vote is between two sentiments,………………. are you happy with the way things are going a dn our President’s leadership, or are you dissatisfied by President Obama and his liberal policies?

The answer to that question is that voters are pissed at the President. And Democrat politicos know it. That is one reason why President Obama’s name is hardly mentioned by the Democrat candidates campaign but it is often brought by Republicans who are labeling Weprin as a rubberstamp for Obama’s failed policies. The reasons for that are made quite clear with the following additional Public Policy Polling data from the same poll that shows Turner ahead of Weprin.

Do you approve or disapprove of President Barack Obama’s job performance?

  • Approve 31%
  • Disapprove 56%

Among Men

  • Approve 27%
  • Disapprove 63%

Among Women

  • Approve 35%
  • Disapprove 49%

Among Jewish Voters

  • Approve 26%
  • Disapprove 62%

Do you approve or disapprove of Barack Obama’s leadership on Israel?

  • Approve 30%
  • Disapprove 54%

Among Democrats

  • Approve 42%
  • Disapprove 40%

Among Republicans

  • Approve 13%
  • Disapprove 78%

Among Independents

  • Approve 13%
  • Disapprove 66%

Among Jewish Voters

  • Approve 22%
  • Disapprove 68%

How important was the issue of Israel in deciding who to vote for Congress: very important, somewhat important, or not all that important?

  • Very important 37%
  • Somewhat important 32%
  • Not all that important 29%
  • Among Jewish Voters
  • Very important 58%
  • Somewhat important 30%
  • Not all that important 11%

To make matters worse, in 2008 President Obama won the 9th C.D. with 55% of the vote to John McCain’s 44% but when asked about the 2012 presidential election, President Obama is obviously in trouble.

2012 Presidential Election

  • Mitt Romney 46%
  • Barack Obama 42%
  • Barack Obama 44%
  • Rick Perry 43%

Among Jewish Voters

  • Mitt Romney 52%
  • Barack Obama 38%
  • Rick Perry 47%
  • Barack Obama 43%

The voters of New York’s 9th Congressional District have not suddenly changed ideologies and gone from believing that government doesn’t do enough to believing that it does too much. They remain largely supportive of Democrat policies but the sentiment among voters here is that President Obama isn’t working and his policies are failing us. As such, they are taking their frustrations out on David Weprin. That is just one of the reasons why Democrats have not brought President Obama into this district. Apparently, they have learned from the 2010 special election to replace Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate. In that race President Obama was brought in to energize the base and motivate independent Massachusetts voters to turn out and vote for liberal Martha Coakley. As it turned out, they instead stayed home while the rest of angry electorate came out to support Republican Scott Brown and reject Barack Obama.

Now as we head into the 2012 election, NY-9 is showing us that if anything, that sentiment which swept Scott Brown into office has not changed and may have in fact built even more momentum.

Republican Bob Turner can still lose this race. Special elections usually come down to the Get Out the Vote operation and in that area, Weprin and Democrats have that aspect of the election wrapped up. With quite robust Democrat organization abilities as compared to the meager Republican organization in new York City, combined with the assistance of organized efforts by unions, the Weprin campaign can out organize the Turner campaign. But at the same time anger is a strong motivational tool and the voters of the 9thare angry at President Obama. That could make it so that there are very few voters for Democrat GOTV efforts to make sure go to the polls.

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1 Comment

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One response to “New York’s 9th Congressional District Special Election Tells Us Much Going in to 2012

  1. Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favourite justification appeared to be on the web the easiest thing to understand of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while other people think about concerns that they just don’t realize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and outlined out the entire thing with no need side effect , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thank you

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