Strategist John McLaughlin, a key figure in businessman Bob Turner’s hotly fought and closely watched battle with Queens Assemblyman Weprin, said he’s been startled at how many prominent Democrats say they want the Republicans to win the contest in the heavily Democratic Queens-Brooklyn district to put pressure on the White House.

“It’s really something. We have a lot of Democrats coming to us saying, ‘We hope Turner wins because if Obama doesn’t change his policies, we’re afraid we’re going to lose in 2012,’ ’’ McLaughlin told The Post.

“They’re supporting us as a way to send a wake-up call to President Obama and their party so that there are huge implications nationally from this election,’’ McLaughlin continued.