By Carole on Sep 12, 2011
Just one day before the special election to replace disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-New York), Republican Bob Turner is "poised to pull a huge upset in the race" according to Public Policy Polling, a Democratic Party-affiliated firm. The latest PPP survey shows Mr. Turner leading Democrat David Weprin by six points (47- 41), the same margin shown in last week's independent Siena Research Institute's poll.
Would a Republican win in New York's ninth district where Democrats outnumber Republicans 3-1 be an indicator of bigger problems for President Barack Obama and other Democrats in 2012? The numbers seem to bear that out. According to the pollster, "If Turner wins on Tuesday it will be largely due to the incredible unpopularity of Barack Obama dragging his party down in the district. Obama won 55% there in 2008 but now has a staggeringly bad 31% approval rating, with 56% of voters disapproving of him. It's a given that Republicans don't like him but more shocking are his 16% approval rating with independents and the fact that he's below 50% even with Democrats at 46% approving and 38% disapproving."
Then there's the large Jewish population in NY-9. Traditionally loyal to the Democratic Party, this latest PPP poll shows Mr. Turner leading among Jewish voters by 17 points (56-39) despite the fact that Assemblyman Weprin is not only a Democrat but an Orthodox Jew. No doubt this is another reflection on Mr. Obama's leadership as, according to the poll, only 22% of Jewish voters in the district approve of Mr. Obama's performance with regard to Israel while 68% disapprove. Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat, has encouraged others to vote for Mr. Turner to send a message to the Obama administration on Israel.
No doubt that's part of the reason why Mr. Weprin has been trying to distance himself from the unpopular president even while accepting Mr. Obama's Organizing for America's help with his campaign and agreeing with the president's positions on most issues. He recently tried to explain away this attempt to have it both ways by saying of the president, "I will probably not refuse to endorse him, because I think I will be more effective by supporting him, but at the same time being very strongly against him on some of his policies."
Regardless of what happens in New York on Tuesday, expect plenty of that kind of double talk from other desperate Democrats as campaigns heat up across the nation.
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