Entries in NY-9 (2)


Democrats Lose NY Seat: Bellwether or Blip?

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It was a crushing defeat for Democrats in a district that has three times as many registered Democrats as registered Republicans, and that has been in Democratic hands since 1923. But will David Weprin’s loss to Bob Turner in the special election to replace Anthony Weiner reverberate nationwide? And is it a referendum on President Obama or just a local case of low turnout and a weak candidate?

The answer often seems to depend upon which side of the political aisle you are on -- although some Democrats are more willing to express concern for President Obama’s chances in 2012 and see the special election as a grim warning sign, as do many Republicans.

Throughout the short campaign, Bob Turner and his supporters pounded the message that if he was victorious in the district, it would undoubtedly send a national message on economic and foreign policy issues.

However, some specific details suggest national Democrats shouldn’t worry too much about the loss: low turnout in some parts of the district, a weak gaffe-filled candidate who didn’t even live in the district, the district trending more conservative, and the fact that special congressional elections traditionally haven’t been national bellwethers in the House (this doesn’t take into account Republican Scott Brown’s surprising election to the Senate in Massachusetts the January before huge GOP wins in both houses of Congress).

In 2006, Republicans won special elections across the country but lost the House, while in 2010 Democrats won special elections and lost the House, something the Democratic Congressional Committee pointed out in its memo about the loss.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who held the seat for 18 years, said Wednesday in a conference call held by the Democratic National Committee that the election was “unusual” and “unique,” but it was not a referendum, pointing out the district is “among the most conservative” in New York City.

“The bottom line is it’s not a bellwether district,” Schumer said. “Anybody that tries to extrapolate between what’s happened in this district and what would happen in New York City, New York state or the country is making a big mistake.”

On Air Force One Wednesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney tried to downplay the loss and said special elections are “unique,” and they don’t forecast regular elections well.

“Are Americans in general not happy with Washington?” Carney asked. “The answer is yes.”

He added that members of Congress from both parties that are up for election in 2012 need to focus on job creation.

It seems Republicans will continue to herald the victory as a bellwether and warning to the White House while Democrats will try to downplay the loss. But all of the issues involved in the race -- jobs, entitlement preservation and Middle East policy -- likely will continue to be pounded on the campaign trail from both sides of the aisle until November 2012.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


GOP Victory: Bob Turner Wins Anthony Weiner's House Seat

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In an upset to Democrats both locally and nationally, Republican Bob Turner defeated Democratic Assemblyman David Weprin in Tuesday's special election to replace Anthony Weiner in New York’s ninth Congressional district.

The race for the Congressional seat, which had been too close to call, was one that Republicans were hoping to frame as a referendum on President Obama.  Sending a message to the White House on both economic and foreign policy issues was a frequent message touted by Turner and his supporters.

“This message will resound for a full year.  It will resound into 2012,” Turner said at his victory party in Howard Beach.  “I only hope our voices are heard, and we can start putting things right again.”

The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee quickly put out a statement congratulating Turner and saying the win is a “clear rebuke of President Obama’s policies” and it “delivers a blow to Democrats’ goal of making Nancy Pelosi the Speaker again.”

“New Yorkers put Washington Democrats on notice that voters are losing confidence in a President whose policies assault job-creators and affront Israel.  An unpopular President Obama is now a liability for Democrats nationwide in a 2012 election that is a referendum on his economic policies,” the statement reads.

Longtime New York City Democratic analyst Hank Sheinkopf says there is no doubt voters were trying to send a message to the White House, and Democrats should see Tuesday’s results as a bellwether for 2012.

“The Democrats said no to Obama, no to his economic plan, and no to his position on Israel,” Sheinkopf told ABC News.  “It’s major smack at Democrats, a definite rejection of President Obama and it’s a warning that says if Catholics in the most blue of blue states can vote for the Republican they can do it in other states as well and the Democrats may have real trouble.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio