Monday, September 12, 2011

ALERT: Maryland Dems Needed for NY Race // Plus, Alarming Poll Results in NY9

I just received the action alert below from the Young Democrats of America. Their Campaign Director, Marshall Spevak, encourages Democrats around the country to make calls from home, as we try to retake Congress from the extreme right.

Tomorrow, voters in New York's 9th Congressional District will head to the polls to elect their next representative. This seat was previously held by Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner (yes, he is the Twitter pic guy, blah blah), and Obama carried the District in 2008 with 55% of the vote. But a recent poll from Democratic group Public Policy Polling (PPP) is causing alarm among Dems:
Republican Bob Turner is poised to pull a huge upset in the race to replace Anthony Weiner as the Congressman from New York's 9th Congressional District.  He leads Democrat David Weprin 47-41 with Socialist Workers candidate Christopher Hoeppner at 4% and 7% of voters remaining undecided.

Turner's winning in a heavily Democratic district for two reasons: a huge lead with independents and a large amount of crossover support.  He's ahead by 32 points at 58-26 with voters unaffiliated with either major party.  And he's winning 29% of the Democratic vote, holding Weprin under 60% with voters of his own party, while losing just 10% of Republican partisans.

If Turner wins on Tuesday it will be largely due to the incredible unpopularity of Barack Obama dragging his party down in the district.  Obama won 55% there in 2008 but now has a staggeringly bad 31% approval rating, with 56% of voters disapproving of him.
Maryland's Rep. Elijah Cummings said this about Obama, in a New York Times article last week:
“The frustrations are real,” said Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, who was the state chairman of Mr. Obama’s campaign four years ago. “I think we know that there is a Barack Obama that’s deep in there, but he’s got to synchronize it with passion and principles.”
PPP notes that the Democrats are losing independent voters in the New York race, but I would also point out that the Socialist candidate is polling 4% in a race with a 6% spread. I think Obama is going to have to thread the needle more carefully to keep the more purist progressive voters at bay in the downticket races. Nevertheless, I am optimistic we will get our campaigns in order in time for 2012.

In the meantime, we have only a few short hours left to affect the outcome of this special election race, and the corresponding spin that will inevitably result. Pundits will surely try and cast the race as a referendum on President Obama and the Republican Party. Some are already blaming Democratic candidate David Weprin's low poll numbers on his support for marriage equality. Will you make calls from home?

The Washington Post in two separate articles posed the race as a great challenge for Democrats. In one article, they noted how much worse the Democrats' chances look in the NY9 race than when they won the NY26 special last May:
Today, the political environment is almost completely reversed, with Obama’s problems endangering a New York City district in which Democrats hold a three-to-one registration advantage....

(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.)
In another article, the Washington Post noted the deep Democratic roots of New York's 9th Congressional District:
If he pulls off the upset, Bob Turner would become the first House Republican representing this portion of Queens since the 1920s — a striking achievement in a district that elected the late Geraldine Ferraro, her party’s 1984 vice presidential nominee, now-Sen. Charles Schumer and, for the previous 12-plus years, the pugnacious Anthony Weiner....

Both public and private polls show a tight race with momentum on Turner’s side, but voter registration and political infrastructure favoring Democrats.

The election is tomorrow, Tuesday, September 13. Read a clipping from the Young Democrats' appeal below:
Dear Juice,
Are you sick and tired of the Republican led Congress dragging their feet while millions of Americans are out of work? Wouldn't you like to see Democrats take back the House?
Tomorrow, in New York's 9th Congressional District, voters will go to the polls to elect a new member of Congress. With only a little more than 24 hours to go, the race is very close....
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has built a Phone-From-Home program that allows supporters to call into New York's 9th District right from their own living room.
Click here if you can spend 20 minutes on Monday or Tuesday calling voters in New York....
Tomorrow is Election Day in New York. Let’s do everything we can to make sure this seat remains in Democratic control.
Best Regards,
Marshall Spevak
Campaign Director
Young Democrats of America

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