Earlier today, Ed Morrissey pointed out what could have been a record breaking attempt at spinning a loss in New York’s 9th congressional district by DNC chair Debby Wasserman Schultz. It was an heroic effort, I’ll admit, and one for the ages. But never to be outdone, former holder of the 9th district seat and current Empire State Senator Chuck Schumer may have managed to top her.
Why did the Democrats lose this race in a part of town where they hold a 3-1 registration advantage? Well, at least in part, because the district has just become too darned Jewish.
After canceling his own conference call (on getting federal disaster aid for flood-ravaged NY farmers), Sen. Chuck Schumer teamed up with DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to push back against the GOP spin that Congressman-elect Bob Turner’s upset win in NY-9 spells bad news at the national level for Democrats, and President Obama in particular.
Schumer, who represented NY-9 for 18 years, insisted the district is about 75 percent the same today, geographically speaking, as it was when he was in office, but drastically different when it comes to demographics. There are more Orthodox Jews, he said, and also more immigrants, making the district skew even more conservative than it had been back in his day…
Wasserman-Schultz, a Florida Jew, also predicted Obama – and the Democrats in general – “have consistently received the Jewish vote and will again” due to the president’s “strong record” on Israel and other issues Jewish voters care about.
Apparently, she hasn’t spoken with former NYC Mayor Ed Koch lately.
I understand full well, having done this for a while, that trying to map out why voters do what they do is often fairly close to reading a Rorschach test. But in this case, I have some direct experience in the subject matter. In the 2010 cycle I helped run the campaign for a conservative, pro-life, pro-Israel Republican in New York’s 22nd district. (And yes, I understand full well the demographic differences between upstate and the Brooklyn – Queens area.) We also received the endorsement of former Mayor Ed Koch on the basis of the Democrat’s anti-Israel policies. Want to know how much of a difference it made?
We still lost the New York Jewish vote massively. It just didn’t turn that many people around from that community.
Yes, there are many immigrants in NY-9. And yes, they have a disproportionately larger Jewish population than many other parts of the nation. (Anywhere from 25% to 40% depending on which pollster you ask.) But they have traditionally been, and continue to be, fairly reliable Democratic voters because of a complex tableau of competing issues. For Schumer and Wasserman-Schultz (also a Jew) to try to spin this as some sort of negative for their candidate, and then turn around and predict that these same “turncoat Jews” will still back Obama next fall is…
I’m sorry. My dictionary just broke down. I’ll get back to you later.