Congressman-elect Bob Turner, New York Republican, pulled out an unbelievable victory over Democrat Assemblyman David Weprin in New York’s 9th Congressional District on Tuesday night. Democrats have represented the district since 1923 and Mr. Turner first ran for the 9th CD during the 2010 mid-term elections against former Congressman Anthony Weiner.
Democrats were quick to downplay the Republican win in New York. “It was a special case in a specific district in a low turnout election,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Wednesday.
Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz called New York’s 9th, which has been represented by only liberal Democrats for the past 88 years, “a very difficult district for Democrats.”
Medicare and Social Security scare tactics, which Democrats often use in districts where populations have older residents like NY-9 has, failed to work in the Turner-Weprin race. Democrats especially used the Medicare scare strategy in the last New York special election, where Republican Assemblywoman Jane Corwin lost to now Congresswoman Kathy Hochul, a Democrat. Democrats bragged that it was Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which reforms Medicare that hurt Corwin.
However, what goes around comes around. GOP sources in New York tell me that following her loss to Hochul this year, Corwin was at a New York City wedding reception where many high profile New York political dignitaries, both Republican and Democrat, were socializing. Apparently, Senator Chuck Schumer, New York Democrat, decided to pour some salt into the wound of a GOP’er who had just lost a tough race.
According to sources, he walked up to Corwin and began lecturing her about her loss and that her special election defeat was due to the GOP’s plan to reform Medicare.
One must wonder what Senator Schumer thinks about the Medicare scare strategy he thinks so highly of now. It was blown to smithereens by New York Democrat Ed Koch during the NY-9 race, when Mr. Koch endorsed Turner and told Democrats to stop scaring seniors about Medicare. Now, a conservative Republican occupies Mr. Schumer’s old congressional seat.
Bob Turner did not just pop up out of the blue to run in this special election. Residents in NY-9’s district were well aware of him before the special election last night, as Mr. Turner built his name ID up considerably during the 2010 midterms. Though he lost to Weiner back then, it was by a 20-point margin.
On the surface, that seems to be an overwhelming win for any politician. However, for a Democrat to win by only 20 points, in NY-9 should have been a warning that the district was becoming frustrated with their leadership. Weiner, given his past numbers, should have won that race by at least 40 points. Granted, no one could predict the timing and circumstances of Rep. Weiner’s Twitter scandal and eventual resignation from office. The power of his incumbency likely would have protected him for as long as he wanted to stay in that seat if the scandal never happened.
Democrats continued to ignore signs that the district would could very well flip after Weiner’s resignation. A political editorial endorsement from the New York Times means less in NY-9 than the local competing New York tabloids and the outer-borough weeklies. Both tabloids, by the way, endorsed Turner, while the New York Times endorsed Weprin.
The old ways are not working for the Democrats right now and they blame a bad candidate as much as they want, but everyone knows President Obama is dragging his party down where they should not be falling.