Voters in New York’s Ninth Congressional District are coming out today to vote for their new congressman, who will replace disgraced former Representative Anthony Weiner, a Democrat. While the seat has been held by a Democrat consistently for the past 78 years (the last Republican to represent the district was Andrew Petersen, who represented the district from 1921-1923), political analysts and pollsters have strong reason to believe that history may be made tonight if Republican candidate Bob Turner (photo) defeats his Democratic opponent, Assemblyman David Weprin.
While registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans in the district by a three-to-one margin, polls suggest that the seat will turn Republican largely due to voter dissatisfaction with President Obama’s handling of the economy, as well as opposition among the district’s significant Jewish population to Obama’s Israel policy and support of a Ground Zero Mosque. The largely white, middle class district is also home to a predominately “Reagan Democrat” demographic, making it significantly less progressive than other districts, accounting for Turner’s surprising success in the polls. A Siena College poll on Friday, September 9th found Turner ahead with 50 percent of the vote, compared to Weprin’s 46 percent, and a Public Policy Polling poll from Monday puts Turner ahead of Weprin with 47 percent of the vote, to Weprin’s 41 percent. Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said the president had emerged as a drag on Weprin. “If Republicans win this race on Tuesday it’s real world evidence of how unpopular Barack Obama is right now,” Debnam said in a release accompanying the survey results. “Approval polls are one thing but for the GOP to win in a heavily Democratic district like this would send a strong message about how unhappy voters are."
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