THE NEW SCOTT BROWN? – AT 8:43 A.M. ET: All political eyes will be on Tampa tonight, but tomorrow they will shift to the 9th Congressional District in New York. Polls suggest that we may see the biggest political upset since Scott Brown won the Senate seat in Massachusetts previously occupied by Ted Kennedy.
The 9th, a heavily Democratic district, will see a special election to replace disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner. Ordinarily, the GOP would put up only a token candidate in a district like this. But Bob Turner, this year's Republican nominee, has chosen to fight. And he's ahead. And it's because Obama is so unpopular. From The Daily Caller:
Two days before the special election in New York’s 9th Congressional District, yet another poll confirms that Bob Turner, the Republican, holds an improbable lead in the heavily Democratic district.
A Public Policy Polling poll released Sunday night found Turner leading his Democratic opponent, David Weprin, by a 47–41 margin. A Siena poll released last week found Turner leading by the same split, 50 to 44 percent.
Weprin and Turner are competing to fill the House seat vacated by former Congressman Anthony Weiner.
Turner has a strong lead with independent voters, 58 percent of whom say they will vote for him. Just 26 percent plan to vote for Weprin. Turner also has the majority of the Jewish vote, a demographic that makes up 36 percent of the district according to PPP’s results. Fifty-six percent of Jews say they will vote for Turner, while 39 percent say they have chosen Weprin.
The Turner campaign has claimed that Tuesday’s election will be a referendum on Obama’s presidency, and specifically on his policies relating to Israel.
The PPP poll illustrates a major shift in the district, which Obama won with 55 percent of the vote in 2008. Now, the President’s approval rating there is just 31 percent, with 56 percent of the district’s voters disapproving of his job performance. Twenty-three percent of voters who pulled the lever for Obama in 2008 say they will cross party lines and vote for Turner on Tuesday. By contrast, Weprin has attracted the support of just 8 percent of McCain voters.
COMMENT: We stress that special elections are won by turnout. The Democratic Party in New York still has a large turnout operation. We'll follow the result tomorrow night. But even the possibility of an upset in such a Dem district has got to concern the White House.
September 12, 2011