by John Hawkins | September 14, 2011 8:04 am
The headline, I stole from Drudge. The results? They were sweet indeed for a special election.
Democrats suffered a significant setback early Wednesday with the party losing a New York district it had held for almost a century — in an upset result seen as a rebuke of President Barack Obama’s policies ahead of the 2012 election.
Republican Bob Turner was called as the winner of the special election for the 9th Congressional District, held to replace disgraced former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned in June after admitting he sent sexually-charged messages to women he met online.
Democrats have held the seat since March 1923 — and Turner’s challenger David Weprin was early Wednesday refusing to concede.
The district is overwhelmingly Democratic — by a ratio of three to one — yet Weprin, a state Assemblyman, trailed by six percent in two polls prior to the election.
Polls in the district also showed that a majority of voters have an unfavorable view of Obama.
Democratic party leaders insisted the loss wasn’t a harbinger of things to come. “It’s a very difficult district for Democrats,” said Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, noting its Democratic margins there tend to be the second lowest of all the districts in New York City.
Well, if Debbie Wasserman Schultz is right and a district where Democrats have a 3-to-1 advantage is a difficult district for them, then I think they’re going to have a pretty awful year in 2012.
So, how did the GOP, which has been a little on the mediocre side in special elections lately, manage to pull it off? The key issues apparently turned out to be gay marriage, the Ground Zero Mosque, and Obama’s hostility to Israel.
Now, you always have to be careful not to make too wide of an inference from a special elections, but there are some things we can take away from this on a wider scale.
#1) The Jewish vote may be more up for grabs than it has been in the past. The Jewish vote isn’t decisive in most places, but it can be a difference-maker in a few places.
#2) The fact that the GOP can win in a district like this is an indication that the Democrats have very little wind in their sails. This is a district that the Democrats have held since 1923 and under normal circumstances, this is a seat the GOP just couldn’t won. So apparently, even if the American people don’t like the GOP, they still don’t like the Democrats much better.
That’s a little piece of good news.
PS: Remember when the Democrats were saying, “All we have to do is keep talking about Social Security and Medicare and we’ve got the GOP?” Well, the Democrat in this race did that and he failed, even in a strongly Democratic district.
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