NY Ninth Congressional District special election is a horse race; Update: 42/42?

posted at 4:06 pm on September 1, 2011 by Howard Portnoy

The seat in New York’s Ninth Congressional District vacated by Anthony Weiner is due to have a new occupant in less than two weeks. Much to the dismay of Democrats, however a distinct possibility looms that the longtime-blue seat could turn red.

Siena Research Institute poll released on August 10 shows Democrat David Weprin ahead of his GOP rival, businessman Bob Turner, by a slender 6-point margin—close enough to make the contest a horse race. The breakdown of voter preference shows Weprin with 48%, Turner with 42%, and 9% undecided.

Two factors in how the outstanding votes might break are the president’s high disapproval rating among Democrats (42%) and the profile of the typical voter. Speaking with respect to the latter, the institute’s director, Don Levy, observes:

This is not the Upper East Side of Manhattan; this is a conservative, working-class district, and it means something different to be a Democrat. If you hold the president up as a straw man, if he represents complete allegiance to the Democratic Party and rejection of current Republican critique, it’s not solid in this district; it’s by no means, right now, a rubber stamp district for the Democrats.

Hank Sheinkopf , a New York Democratic strategist, echoes the view: “It’s not an Obama Democrat district, it’s a Harry Truman Democrat district, which means people can do almost anything given an opportunity of alternatives.”

What voters do or don’t do, moreover, may reflect recent gaffes by Weprin. When asked about the size of the national debt by the editorial board of the New York Daily News, the candidate initially looked lost, then responded that it’s about $4 trillion. He was only off by $10 trillion.

The day after the Daily News published the story, Weprin canceled his appearance in a debate against Turner, claiming that his schedule had been unexpectedly affected by the cleanup after Hurricane Irene. On top of that, the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee has injected large transfusions of cash into the race on behalf of Turner.

Yet, the Democrats still have a breeze, if not a brisk wind, at their back. As a press release from Siena notes, voters favor almost two-to-one (65% to 33%) a tax increase on the “wealthy” (those who earn at least $250,000). The opposition to touching entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security is even more overwhelmingly, at 72% to 24%.

With voting turnout for special elections historically low, the race is one that will be worth watching as it enters the home stretch.

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This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.

Update (AP): Just across from Hotline. Wow.

GOP SHOCKER: Republican Bob Turner is tied with Dem David Weprin 42-42, and has the momentum in #NY09 special, per Turner internal

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There is hope…

PatriotRider on September 1, 2011 at 4:07 PM

It’s staying Dem. Period.

MeatHeadinCA on September 1, 2011 at 4:07 PM

I’ll believe it when I see it.

Caiwyn on September 1, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Make us proud Bob Turner.

ornery_independent on September 1, 2011 at 4:09 PM

I saw an editorial interview with one of the candidates who said the US national debt was something like $4 trillion dollars.
Obviously not the best and brightest, at least 4 cans short of a 6-pack.

J_Crater on September 1, 2011 at 4:10 PM

This is New York. We are not going to win it. We lose all the special elections, it’s something that the Republican Party is especially good at.

dczombie on September 1, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Can we get C O’D to campaign for the DEM?

joepub on September 1, 2011 at 4:12 PM

The opposition to touching entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security is even more overwhelmingly, at 72% to 24%.

The opposition to stopping the car before driving off a cliff is at 72% to 24%.

WashJeff on September 1, 2011 at 4:12 PM

It’s New York. I’m NOT getting my hopes up again.

SouthernGent on September 1, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Let’s not kid ourselves, the GOP is not going to win this race. First, I doubt the GOP has a very strong organization in this district, second, the district is overwhelmingly liberal, third, the GOP is notoriously lousy at these special elections.

Monkeytoe on September 1, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Who cares, its NYC and those idiots consistently voted for a perverted weiner to represent them.

David in ATL on September 1, 2011 at 4:18 PM

It’s staying Dem. Period.

MeatHeadinCA on September 1, 2011 at 4:07 PM

..yea, but it’s a healthy referendum on blue peoples’ disgust with their President and there ex-Dodger Dog.

The War Planner on September 1, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Seeing Mr. Weiner’s face put me in mind of post-political employment he can seek. He’d be ideal in the role of Punch in a Punch and Judy show.

Mason on September 1, 2011 at 4:23 PM

This district covers a lot of different neighborhoods. Howard Beach (John Gotti’s old neighborhood) is solidly Republican. Forest Hills has plenty of people who earn upwards of $250,000, many of whom are hard working Asians, who don’t feel guilty over their success. There’s also plenty of Bukharian Jews from Uzbekistan, who like most people from the USSR, are as anti-Commie as the Miami Cubans.

I work in this area, and while there’s no guarantee that Turner will win, this ain’t Murthaville by any means. And whoever this Don Levy is, he’s completely off the mark to call this a working class district. It is primarily upper middle class, and very ethnic. Immigrants and their children who are earning a nice living don’t strike me as being too fond of Obama’s policies.

We shall see.

ardenenoch on September 1, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Sounds good, but how does this explain Weiner being in the seat?

karl9000 on September 1, 2011 at 4:42 PM

Please don’t put “horse” and “weiner” in the same sentence.

faraway on September 1, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Sorry, but internal poll? I’d wait for the PPP, they’re good when they’re a week before the election. Anything sooner, and it’s propaganda.

Apologetic California on September 1, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Yeah just like they said that Barney Frank was going to lose his seat. Not Happenin’

txmomof6 on September 1, 2011 at 4:48 PM

42/42, means 16% will go D with a free bus ride.

faraway on September 1, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Weiner should have stayed. Ugh.

mythicknight on September 1, 2011 at 4:55 PM

GOP SHOCKER: Republican Bob Turner is tied with Dem David Weprin 42-42, and has the momentum in #NY09 special, per Turner internal

If the left lose this one, it will be the Scott Brown repeat for the next season.

May heads explode so brains are ‘seen’ on the asphalt.

Schadenfreude on September 1, 2011 at 5:01 PM

I wonder who is going to Inch this out?

portlandon on September 1, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Bob Turner is the Republican candidate in the September 13th Special Election. Here is a link to his campaign web site:


Please help to spread the word about Bob Turner’s campaign.

Republicans need to fight hard in every one of these special elections.

Any victories we can win now will make it easier for Republicans to increase their majority in the House and retake the Senate in 2012.

wren on September 1, 2011 at 5:09 PM

In a public opinion poll, dead people are not polled. In real elections in democratic-controlled inner cities, they do vote, probably multiple times, and get absentee ballots from Florida to boot.

slickwillie2001 on September 1, 2011 at 5:10 PM

Does the poll take Democrat voter fraud into account or not? I always assume factors like the Undead vote and Multiple-Ballot Personality Disorder, not to mention civics exercises such as SEIU and Black Panther voting location “supervision,” are worth at least a good 0.5-1.0 percentage points on any given election day (particulary in NYC or Chicago).

Blacklake on September 1, 2011 at 5:29 PM

AP, you’re getting their (our) hopes up again…

JohnGalt23 on September 1, 2011 at 5:45 PM

please…there is no hope on this. When was the last time the R party won a NY special election?? Hmmmmmm. I mean even in R territory??? Hmmmmm.

r keller on September 1, 2011 at 8:11 PM

Shakespeare said it best: “Now is the Weiner of our discontent. . . .”

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on September 1, 2011 at 11:54 PM

In 2008, the district voted Obama over McCain, 55 – 44. The people of the district liked Weiner before he disappointed them, Weiner had a really strong understanding of constituents wants/needs, he was ready to tell people what they wanted to her.

Weprin isn’t that good at that. He doesn’t even live in the district.

Most times NY Republicans loses special elections because of third party spoilers and a failure to deal with it. This race is only between Turner and Weprin. There is no fake Tea Party candidate or a RINO masquerading as a Republican. That’s the crucial difference.

The campaign for Mr. Turner has good energy. I would urge people to support them. I would like to see some pressure applied to this race. The RNCC has given Turner, $5000. They gave Corwin, $400,000. Outside groups like American Crossroads haven’t been helping Mr. Turner. Mr. Weprin has been getting help from national democrats, and even then he doesn’t remember what the deficit is.

Where Turner is a self-made office seeker, Weprin is a product of the Queens County Democratic Organization. The bosses slipped him into the City Council and the Assembly through noncompetitive primaries and special elections.

Queens chief Joseph Crowley and Brooklyn ruler Vito Lopez did the same for Weprin in making him the Democratic candidate in this race – even though Weprin does not live in the district.

As for Weprin on the issues, he purports to believe that – no tough decisions needed – the deficit will somehow fix itself if the U.S. brings troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Daily News Endorsement

We can make this happen, we need not be cynical, this would be a real sign of just how weak Obama is.

amazingmets on September 2, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Dead democrats are probably more reliable voters than living ones in these days of disappointment. In which case, a low turn out among the living probably would be a good thing for the Dem candidate.

KW64 on September 2, 2011 at 2:23 PM