Republican Bob Turner's Victory Raises Questions

By:  Daniel Sayani
09/15/2011
       
Republican Bob Turner's Victory Raises Questions

After an intense summer of campaigning, political history was made last night in New York’s Ninth Congressional District, as Republican Bob Turner emerged victorious over his Democratic opponent, Assemblyman David Weprin. In a stinging rebuke to Weprin and to his litany of liberal, statist positions, which voters associated with Obama, voters in the heavily Democratic district turned out in droves for Turner, putting into Republican hands a seat which has consistently been held by a Democrat since 1921.

Turner’s victory comes as a major upset to New York Democrats, who attempted to smear Turner by casting him as a “Tea Partier” whose allegedly “radical” views were out of sync with those of constituents in the Ninth District. Turner, a retired cable television executive, had won 53 percent of the vote, compared to Weprin’s 47 percent, in the special election to succeed Rep. Anthony Weiner, a seven-term Democrat who resigned in June after a sexting scandal. What makes Turner’s victory even more remarkable is the registration advantage Democrats hold over Republicans in the district, which spans the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, and where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a three-to-one margin. Turner also successfully overcame Weiner’s relative popularity in the district; according to pollsters, Turner’s victory is more accurately attributed to voter dissatisfaction with national liberal Democratic policies than a backlash against the local Democratic Party due to the nature of the Weiner scandal.

After an intense summer of campaigning, political history was made last night in New York’s Ninth Congressional District, as Republican Bob Turner (photo) emerged victorious over his Democratic opponent, Assemblyman David Weprin. In a stinging rebuke to Weprin and to his litany of liberal, statist positions, which voters associated with Obama, voters in the heavily Democratic district turned out in droves for Turner, putting into Republican hands a seat which has consistently been held by a Democrat since 1921.

Turner’s victory comes as a major upset to New York Democrats, who attempted to smear Turner by casting him as a “Tea Partier” whose allegedly “radical” views were out of sync with those of constituents in the Ninth District. Turner, a retired cable television executive, had won 53 percent of the vote, compared to Weprin’s 47 percent, in the special election to succeed Rep. Anthony Weiner, a seven-term Democrat who resigned in June after a sexting scandal. What makes Turner’s victory even more remarkable is the registration advantage Democrats hold over Republicans in the district, which spans the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, and where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a three-to-one margin. Turner also successfully overcame Weiner’s relative popularity in the district; according to pollsters, Turner’s victory is more accurately attributed to voter dissatisfaction with national liberal Democratic policies than a backlash against the local Democratic Party due to the nature of the Weiner scandal.

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