- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
GOP smells blood in race to fill Weiner seat
Democrats insist machine will prevail
Bob Turner, once considered a long shot to replace disgraced former Rep. Anthony D. Weiner, is rolling toward Tuesday’s special election with a rush of momentum rarely seen by a Republican in the New York City district.
Although Mr. Turner is expected to benefit from low voter turnout and President Obama’s low job-approval ratings, Democrats are banking on an influx of cash, a flood of TV ads, an army of campaign volunteers and a reliable party base to push their candidate, David Weprin, to victory.
“This is one of those places where the Democratic machine knows how to get out the vote, and Republicans just don’t have that in place,” said a senior House Democratic aide.
Republicans agree that winning the district, which includes parts of Brooklyn and Queens and where Democratic voters outnumber Republicans by more than a 3-to-1 margin, won’t be easy. But with an independent Siena College poll taken last week showing Mr. Turner with a 6-percentage-point lead — a result almost unimaginable earlier in the summer — the party is in good shape to capture the seat for the first time since 1921.
“We’re hopeful we’ll have a strong operation heading into Election Day, but it’s going to be tough, though, because Democrats have the political machine in Queens and New York City, and so that’s something that we’ll have to overcome,” said a senior House Republican aide.
“But I think that the position that we’re in right now is about the best that anyone could’ve hoped for one, two or three months ago.”
Mr. Obama won New York’s 9th Congressional District by 11 percentage points in 2008, but dissatisfaction with the president among the district’s mix of socially conservative Catholics and Jewish voters will pose a significant challenge for Mr. Weprin.
Despite the district’s atypical demographics and unique issues, many will view the results of the contest as a bellwether for Mr. Obama’s 2012 re-election effort.
“While a plurality of voters [in the district] says New York state is on the right track, nearly three-quarters of voters say the country is headed in the wrong direction,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.
“The voters’ mood on the direction of the country, coupled with the unfavorable rating of President Obama — particularly among Republicans and independents — makes this a tougher election for Weprin, or for any Democrat running in this district or a district like it.”
Mr. Turner, 70, a longtime business executive, lost to Mr. Weiner by 20 percentage points last year. But Mr. Weiner’s resignation in June, after acknowledging sexually charged online relationships with several women, set up the special election to fill out the remainder of his term, which expires in early January 2013.
The Democrats’ key to victory rests with its get-out-the-vote effort. The Weprin campaign has spent about $750,000 in TV advertising, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — the fundraising arm of House Democrats — contributed about two-thirds of the amount, the Democratic aide said.
The Turner campaign has spent $30,000 to $35,000 on TV ads, the aide said.
“I think heading into the weekend, the key point is the difference in the turnout operations,” the aide said Friday. “And the fact is the Weprin campaign has a far superior ground game going.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- John Boehner demands answers on NSA, phone records
Latest Blog Entries
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Obama pleads for peace in strife-torn Central African Republic
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Crystal Wright is a black conservative woman living in Washington, D.C.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow