Why Did Bob Turner Win and What Does It Mean for the President?

Bookmark and Share Last night’s win of Republican Bob Turner in the special election to replace disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner was a truly loud message to President Obama and Democrats. And while it does not necessarily mean that President Obama is surely going to be defeated in 2012, the fact that a Republican won this traditionally Democrat district with a 3 to one Democrat to Republican registration ratio in the heart of liberal New York City does mean trouble for Democrats.

In the video below the newly elected Congressman explains why he believes he won.

 

Turner is correct.

Normally winning the Democrat nomination for anything in this district is tantamount to winning the election. The only reason that was not the case this time was because voters are angry and wanted to let President Obama know that. Most important here is that this is a district heavily populated by a large Jewish constituency. Traditionally, the Jewish vote has mainly gone to Democrats but in this particular election, many Jewish voters came out to make it clear to President Obama that they oppose his policies involving Israel.

This will be a problem for the President in 2012. There is little he can do between now and then to reclaim favor among a substantial portion of the Jewish vote. Unless the President does a total 180 degree turn on many of his Israel related positions, he will have a hard time reaching the 270 electoral votes needed to win reelection. The Jewish community will not easily forget President Obama’s disrespect of Prime Minister Netanyahu when he withdrew from a meeting to eat dinner and left the Prime Minister waiting for the President to finish his meal. And more importantly than that, Jews will not simply ignore President Obama’s request for Israel to return to its 1967 borders which prohibit Israel from properly defending itself.

As demonstrated in NY-9, the general anti-Semitic impression that the President’s actions and policies has generated within the Jewish community may not affect him very much in states with low Jewish populations like Utah, but many of those states are not expected to vote for President Obama anyway. But in a state like Florida which has one of the largest Jewish populations in the nation, the Jewish vote can make all the difference to President Obama’s reelection chances. There, without the Jewish vote, President Obama is sure to lose and without Florida, there are few if any realistic mathematical combination of state electoral votes that he can piece together to arrive at 270 electoral votes.

Yet Democrats are doing their very best to try to put a happy face on the message that the voters of New York’s 9th congressional district sent them on Tuesday.

In interviews the morning after the special election in New York, Democrat National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who happens to represent a Florida district that is also heavily Jewish, used an interview regarding their loss of this seat and trying to make the case that it wasn’t a harbinger of things to come. According to Wasserman-Schultz;;

“It’s a very difficult district for Democrats”.

“It’s a very difficult district for Democrats”? —— What? ……. Is she joking?

The only way New York’s 9th CD would be difficult for a Democrat to win is if the name of the Democrat on the ballot was Adolf Hitler or Osama bin Laden. Wasserman-Schultz’ claim that this is a hard distrcit for Democrats to win in is so ridiculous that she should be fined for being too stupid to talk.

The fact is, that if President Obama been able to give voters, including Democrat voters, a reason to believe in him, they will. But now that the recession we are in is the longest in our history, and everything from job numbers to retail sales continue to be down, Americans are growing impatient. They now want a change from the “change” that candidate Obama promised in 2008. And to make matters worse, President Obama’s latest attempt to save face and the economy with his speech to a joint session of Congress and his American Jobs Act, has done little more than reinforce voters negative impressions of him. General consensus is that his new plan is anything but new and in truth, just a regurgitation of the policies and plans that have gotten us to where we are today.

This is why the special election in NY-9 was so “difficult for Democrats”.

It is why Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives in a historic wave election that elected more Republicans to Congress than we have seen since the 40’s. And it is why Democrats are headed to a very rough 2012 election cycle.

Fortunately for Republicans, Democrats like President Obama and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz don’t want to hear the message that people of New York’s Brooklyn and Queens sent them on Tuesday. But like President Obama himself said, the election is not for 14 months and we can’t afford to wait 14 months to get this economy going. Well Mr. President, the voters also can’t wait 14 months for you to get their message. You should have gotten that message in November of 2010, but clearly you didn’t and so now, there is little expectation for you to get it now.

Mr. President, it’s time to stop shouting “pass this bill”. It’s time to shut your mouth, open your ears, and hear the voice of the voters who are telling you to change direction.

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New York Special Election Demonstrates Big Troubles for Democrats and President Obama

Bookmark and Share   In what is a sign of just how fond the American people are of his presidency, as the polls close in New York’s special election to replace disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, President Obama remains as far removed from it as Anthony Weiner himself.

Under normal circumstances Democrats would be running congressional campaigns that at least try to create the impression that a sitting Democrat President is heavily involved in and supporting their candidates. This is especially the case for a congressional district that was carved out in the heart of heavily Democratic New York City and gerrymandered in a way that makes it meander through two boroughs in order to maximize election results for Democrats. Yet today, as the sun sets on the NY-9 special election, President Obama remains nowhere to be found. In fact he remains to pariah to the election.

The President’s voice has not even injected in to the special election through simple robocalls. Instead, today voters received such communication from former president Clinton and newly elected Governor Andrew Cuomo. In two separate calls made on Monday and Tuesday, both calls highlighted the New York Times’ endorsement of Democrat David Weprin over Republican Bob Turner, and focus on jobs and Social Security and try to make the TEA Party the enemy that motivates voters to come to polls and oppose by supporting David Weprin.

Cuomo’s call states:

“I’ve known David for many years, and I’ve known him to be a leader who stands up for what’s right. In Congress he’ll stand up for middle class families and he’ll fight to preserve Social Security and Medicare. David will bring jobs to New York and get our economy moving. That’s why he’s also been endorsed by the New York Times,”

Today Former President Clinton’s call states:

“The New York Times endorsed David. They support him for the same reasons I do: because he’ll stand up for the middle class, he’ll support a good program to put Americans back to work, and he’ll oppose the Tea Party plan to destroy Medicare”

But New York is not the only place with a special election to fill a vacant House seat. In many ways, today’ special elections are the last waves of the 2010 midterm election and they are about to sweep ashore the American political landscape. And much like the original tidal wave of victory that the G.O.P. rode to some of the largest gains of congressional seats in history, this last wave is expected to bring surprises and Republican gains.

In Nevada voters in the second district will be filling the vacancy created by Joe Heller’s appointment to the U.S. Senate following Senator John Ensign’s May resignation. In that special election Republican Mark Amodei looks to be a slam dunk in what was once considered a tight race but is now considered an impossibility for Democrats to pick up.

But the real story of the day is shaping up to be the special election in New York’s 9th congressional district. There, a district that as been held by Democrats since the 1920’s is about to fall into Republican hands.  And while Republicans have not recently had great success in special elections to fill vacant congressional seats in New York state, NY-9 seems ready to make up for that.

While Turner’s victory is not a sure thing, polls and the prevailing winds indicate that he is a likely winner. According to the most recent Public Policy Polling survey the race stands as follows:

  • Bob Turner (R) 47%
  • David Weprin (D) 41%
  • Christopher Hoeppner (S) 4%
  • Undecided 7%

But the story here is not merely that a Republican is about to take a seat away from Democrats that they have held for nearly a century, but rather that traditional Democrat constituencies are showing their dissatisfaction with President Obama and are sending a protest vote. Hence the reason for keeping President Obama as far away from this race as humanly possible. That story is explained by a deeper look at the most recent PPP poll of the 9th district. Republican Bob Turner has the support of as many as 29% of the Democrat vote, while Democrat David Weprin has a 58% share. Right there you can see that things are out of whack. Democrats in New York City typically back their Party nominee in numbers approaching 80% or more.

When it comes to Turner, he is receiving 83% of the Republican vote while a mere 10% support Weprin.

But some of the most startling and important stats come from the districts heavy Jewish population and those voters who consider themselves to be independent. In the case of Jewish voters, their dislike for President Obama’s policies regarding Israel seem to be so strong, that Weprin, an incumbent Democrat Assembly and orthodox Jew is hemorrhaging support from his own religious community.

Those results are as follows:

Among Jewish Voters

  • Bob Turner (R) 56%
  • David Weprin (D) 39%
  • Christopher Hoeppner (S) 2%
  • Undecided 4%

While all elections are mere snapshots of the moment, those type of numbers are the one thing that offer a sure sign of trouble for President Obama in 2012. His handling of Israel is dividing the support the Jewish support that Democrats traditionally receive a large portion of their support from.

As for the all independent vote that is breaking 58% for Repubican bob Turner to Weprin’s 26%.

All of these numbers come down to one thing. This election is really not between Turner and Weprin at all. As it turns out the vote is between two sentiments…………..are you happy with the way things are going or are you dissatisfied by President Obama and his liberal policies?

The answer to that question is that voters are pissed. And Democrats know it. As evident in the following numbers from the same PPP poll that has Turner ahead of Weprin, unfortunately for Weprin, it’s the President’s numbers that are driving this race

Do you approve or disapprove of President Barack Obama’s job performance?

  • Approve 31%
  • Disapprove 56%

Among Men

  • Approve 27%
  • Disapprove 63%

Among Women

  • Approve 35%
  • Disapprove 49%

Among Jewish Voters

  • Approve 26%
  • Disapprove 62%

Do you approve or disapprove of Barack Obama’s leadership on Israel?

  • Approve 30%
  • Disapprove 54%

Among Democrats

  • Approve 42%
  • Disapprove 40%

Among Republicans

  • Approve 13%
  • Disapprove 78%

Among Independents

  • Approve 13%
  • Disapprove 66%

Among Jewish Voters

  • Approve 22%
  • Disapprove 68%

How important was the issue of Israel in deciding who to vote for Congress: very important, somewhat important, or not all that important?

  • Very important 37%
  • Somewhat important 32%
  • Not all that important 29%
  • Among Jewish Voters
  • Very important 58%
  • Somewhat important 30%
  • Not all that important 11%

Insofar as the outlook for President Obama in 2012, in 2008 he won the 9th C.D. with 55% of the vote to John McCain’s 44% but when asked about the 2012 presidential election, President Obama is not yet anywhere near as strong now.

2012 Presidential Election

  • Mitt Romney 46%
  • Barack Obama 42%
  • Barack Obama 44%
  • Rick Perry 43%

Among Jewish Voters

  • Mitt Romney 52%
  • Barack Obama 38%
  • Rick Perry 47%
  • Barack Obama 43%

The voters of New York’s 9th Congressional District have not suddenly changed ideologies and gone from believing that government doesn’t do enough to believing that it does too much. They remain largely supportive of Democrat policies but in the eyes of NY Democrats, there is a disconnect between the President and liberal policies. Right now they are not blaming his ideology for failing them, they are blaming him for failing to do a good job. As such, they are taking their frustrations out on David Weprin.  Such sentiments are so much as directly stated in the following video of voters who who turned out for today’s election.

That is just one of the reasons why Democrats have not brought President Obama into this district. Apparently, they have learned from the 2010 special election to replace Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate. In that race President Obama was brought in to energize the base and motivate independent Massachusetts voters to turn out and vote for liberal Martha Coakley. As it turned out, they instead stayed home while the rest of angry electorate came out to support Republican Scott Brown and reject Barack Obama.

Now as we head into the 2012 election, NY-9 is showing us that if anything, that sentiment which swept Scott Brown into office has not changed and may have in fact built even more momentum.

Turnout is Critical

Republican Bob Turner can still lose this race. In fact the chances are very good that he will lose. Special elections usually come down to the Get Out the Vote operation and in that area, Weprin and Democrats have that aspect of the election wrapped up. With quite robust Democrat organizations in New York City as compared to the meager Republican organization in New York City, combined with the assistance of concentrated, organized efforts by unions, the Weprin campaign can out organize the Turner campaign. But at the same time anger is a strong motivational tool and the voters of the 9thare angry at President Obama. That could make it so that there are very few voters for Democrat GOTV efforts to drive to the polls.

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