As polls indicated since Friday, Bob Turner defeated David Weprin yesterday in the special election in New York’s Ninth Congressional District to replace scandal-plagued Anthony Weiner; picking up a seat for the GOP in a traditionally Democratic district:
Republican Bob Turner won a special election Tuesday in a New York City congressional district that has been held by Democrats for nearly a century — an upset that delivers a stinging rebuke to President Obama and his party.
Just before midnight, the Associated Press called the race for Turner, a cable television executive with no prior political experience. He and his supporters had billed the contest against Democrat David Weprin as a referendum on Obama.
“I am the messenger,” Turner said as he claimed his victory. “This message … will reverberate into 2012.”
Turner’s stunning win in New York’s 9th Congressional District is an ominous sign for the president. It came on the same day that the president’s party suffered a rout in another special congressional election in Nevada, and in a district where Democrats hold a 3-1 registration edge. Obama won NY09 by an 11-point margin in 2008 but his weak poll numbers there now appear to have dragged down his party’s nominee. Turner becomes the first Republican to hold the Queens and Brooklyn-area seat since 1923.
“We didn’t have union organizers, financial resources or many other things our opponent was able to put into the field, but we couldn’t beat the enthusiasm and spirit from our volunteers, who had never been involved in the political process before,” Turner said to more than 300 supporters packed into the ballroom of an Italian restaurant here as favorable results poured in. “I’m more than thrilled to help lead the charge.”
The state of the economy played a huge win in Turner’s win, though many Republicans are going to want to make the win about social issues. Nevertheless, this was an impressive showing by Turner. This will be hard to Democrats to spin this loss, though they’re already trying. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is already saying that NY-09 is a “very difficult district for Democrats.” Weiner won there by 20 points just last November.
If this was the lede into the 2012 election, it is bad omen for President Barack Obama’s re-election hopes.
Republicans also managed to keep control of Nevada’s Second Congressional District as Mark Amodei won the special election to replace former Rep. Dean Heller, a Republican that was appointed to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by John Ensign’s resignation.