SPECIAL ELECTION – AT 8:11 A.M. ET: Eyes are on New York's 9th Congressional District today, where a special election is being held to replace Anthony Weiner, the Gypsy Rose Lee of the internet. Remember, the votes haven't been cast yet, but there are signs of a political upset. From RealClearPolitics:
The special election in this state's 9th Congressional District, which comprises parts of Brooklyn and Queens, was supposed to be an easy win for Democrats. After all, prominent New York Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer and onetime vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro had held the seat long before Weiner took office in 1999. Democrats enjoy a near 3-to-1 registration advantage here and voters chose Barack Obama over John McCain in 2008 by 11 points.
But since then, voters appear to have soured on the president. A recent Siena Research poll found Obama with negative favorability ratings among voters, a majority of whom feel the country is headed in the wrong direction. That same Siena poll showed Weprin trailing by six points, and the closeness of this race has National Democrats worried: They spent half a million dollars on a broadcast ad buy that has been airing in New York’s expensive media market since Thursday. The Democratic House Majority PAC is running ads, too.
The electorate here has been slowly, and slightly, swinging more conservative in recent years: Democrat Al Gore received 67 received percent support in the 2000 presidential election but John Kerry attracted just 56 percent in 2004; Obama took 55 percent in 2008. Weiner defeated Turner in 2010, but the Republican still managed to take 40 percent of the vote. In this go-around, Turner appears more confident he can win, one volunteer observed. “He is the first Republican I’ve seen to go out and act like he can win; I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Republican candidate outside a Stop n’ Shop,” Michael Mets told RCP, referring to the grocery chain.
COMMENT: It is an extraordinary political sight. I still believe the Dem might pull it out, based on registration numbers and the fact that turnout is the key in any special election. But if the Republican wins, it will send shock waves to Washington. This is the Schumer seat, the Ferraro seat. It has great symbolic importance.
We'll watch the vote count tonight. We may be up late. Sleep deprivation is sometimes worth it.
September 13, 2011