NY-09 last saw Republicans hold it in 1922. The seat, last held by Anthony Weiner, flipped back to the GOP tonight in a stunning rebuke to Barack Obama.
In every special election in New York for the past few years, even in 2009/2010, the Democrats pointed their finger at each one and declare it spelled disaster for the GOP. Today, the Democrats will declare NY-09 has no bearing on anything under the sun.
Except, in NY-09 the Democrats attacked the Republican, Congressman-Elect Turner, on the Paul Ryan plan. They attacked him on social security and medicare. All things the Democrats did in the last New York congressional special election they did again this time. And they lost. They lost a district that went for Obama, Kerry, and Gore. They lost a district that has had a Democrat representing it for almost 90 years.
Obama lost New York Jewish voters. He lost them because of three things.
First, he lost them because of the economy. Even in this reliably Democrat district, the voters are upset about the economy. No amount of spin can change that polling.
Second, he lost them because for three years the Democrats have said Jewish voters love Obama and they really don't. As Ari Fleischer said jokingly on Twitter, "Obama calls for NY-9 to return to it's pre-1967 status. Last time an R held the seat was 1922." No doubt Obama will soon travel to Israel.
Third, and the one that will get little if any play in the mainstream media except frivolous debunking, the voters in NY-09 rejected David Weprin's vote in favor of gay marriage. Yes, yet again we see a reliably Democrat area rebel against Democrats pushing gay marriage. (below the fold for data on that)
I've long said these special elections in New York really are not meaningful at a national level. They've served to highlight the incompetence of the New York GOP more than the failures of the national GOP. But in this race, you had a highly competent Democratic Party and union organizers on the ground turning out the vote and they lost. And the most consistent reason through multiple polling is a very simple reason — even Democrats now hate Barack Obama's job performance.
I eagerly await the front page story in the New York Times about growing Democratic whispers of a primary campaign against Barack Obama. Oh, and yes, the GOP can now tell him to take a hike on his jobs legislation.
Here's some data being circulated on the gay marriage point many will try to ignore:
- The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) invested $75k in mailers in NY-9 late last week; Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein recorded robocalls yesterday on NOM’s behalf; and NOM has been quoted in various publications regarding their strong influence in this race:
- The National Organization for Marriage paid for 30,000 robocalls to Jewish homes supporting his opponent, Republican Bob Turner. And online, Weprin’s vote for same-sex marriage has been portrayed as a vote against God – even though Weprin is himself an Orthodox Jew. http://www.cityhallnews.com/2011/09/anti-gay-marriage-forces-converge-on-ny-9/:
- In a phone call going out to Latino households in New York's 9th congressional district, Democratic state senator Ruben Diaz slams Democratic candidate David Weprin and endorses Republican Bob Turner in Tuesday's special election. In the robo-call, sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage and recorded in Spanish, Diaz denounces Weprin for his vote for same-sex marriage in June of this year. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/democratic-state-senator-robo-calling-republican-turner-ny-9_593114.html
- Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein, founder of the Ohr Naava women's Torah center in Brooklyn, recorded an anti-Weprin robocall paid for by the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex nuptials. http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2011/09/your-ny-9-robocall-roundup-updated
- The National Organization of Marriage has hit the NY-9 special election particularly hard, reminding voters that Weprin was a “yes” vote when the New York legislature voted to legalize same-sex marriage earlier this year. Anecdotal evidence suggests even some Democrats felt betrayed by that vote. http://hotair.com/archives/2011/09/12/clinton-cuomo-robo-calls-not-likely-to-rescue-weprin/
- Marriage is an issue that is not going away,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “When you have voters who have been betrayed by their elected officials on an issue as important as marriage, the impact on the election cycle is a big one.” http://dailycaller.com/2011/09/09/social-issues-could-decide-the-race-to-replace-weiner/#ixzz1Xq7Ii9kP
- Democrats are already blaming New York Democratic nominee David Weprin’s vote for same-sex marriage from when he was in the state Assembly for alienating Jewish voters. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/special-elections-reveal-a-fickle-electorate/2011/09/12/gIQAFbHNNK_blog.html