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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Turnout Will Be Key In New York's Tuesday Special Election

Tuesday is the special election date for New York’s Ninth Congressional District, Anthony Weiner's old seat and it is a heavily Democratic district in NY, so it should be a no-brainer that it would easily fall to the Democratic candidate, right? RIGHT?

Not so fast.

A new poll released on Friday showed Bob Turner, the Republican, with a six-point lead over Mr. Weprin. The election is on Tuesday, and even though lawmakers have discussed eliminating the district in redistricting next year, the race has become symbolically important as an indication of how much Mr. Obama’s unpopularity might affect other Democratic candidates.

Not only are the polls showing the Republican candidate ahead, but Democrats are in a last minute panic, according to the NYT, and releasing a barrage of negative television advertising, pleading with Obama supporters for help and begging for a cash infusion, all for this last weekend before the elections.

“Weprin has lost the campaign,” said Bruce N. Gyory, a Democratic political consultant who was not involved in the race. “Now it’s about who wins the turnout.”

Turnout should not be a problem in such a heavy Democratic area, but it seems that Barack Obama's low approval rating is adding to the concerns as well as Jewish supporters and donors favoring the Republican candidate, so enthusiasm is low on the Democratic side and Republicans seeing a chance to take over the seat are highly enthused.

Steven A. Greenberg, a pollster from Siena College, which conducted the survey, states "You have the potential perfect storm for the Republicans."

Last time I heard weather analogies such as Republican storm, tsunami, hurricane GOP.... was before the midterms of 2010 when Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives and netted addition seats in the Senate.

Considering how very blue this part of New York is, even a close race, whether Turner wins or loses, is catastrophic psychologically for Democrats across the country.

[Update] Two more articles I just noticed, one shows Obama is dragging down the Democratic candidates and the second has the breakdown of the poll, which is very interesting.

“Republican Turner heads into the final days of the campaign with a six-point lead in this heavily Democratic district after having trailed Democrat Weprin by six points just four weeks ago,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement. “While Turner has an overwhelming 90-6 percent lead among Republicans, Weprin has only a 63-32 percent lead among Democrats, and Turner has a 38-point lead among likely independent voters. Currently, Turner enjoys a slightly larger lead among independent voters than Weprin has with Democrats. Weprin needs to find a way to win a larger share of Democratic and independent voters if he’s going to turn the race back around in the final days.”