In a clear sign of President Barack Obama’s unpopularity, New York voters in a district that traditionally supports Democrats — the President carried it with 55 percent there in 2008 — have elected Republican political novice Bob Turner to fill sexting Representative Anthony Weiner’s former seat.
Turner, a retired media executive, beat Democratic State lawmaker David Weprin in a 53 to 47 percent victory early Wednesday morning. Turner said the victory was a message to Obama that his failed policies are angering Americans.
“We’ve been asked by the people of this district to send a message to Washington and I hope they hear it loud and clear,” he said in a speech. “We’re ready to say, ‘Mr. President, we are on the wrong track.”‘
Despite being endorsed by The New York Times, raising about twice the campaign funds that Turner did and being Jewish in an area with a largely Jewish population, Weprin could not score a victory for Weiner’s seat. Many people attribute his loss to his support of Obama on many issues, including uneasy relations with Israel. Weprin also voted to legalize same-sex marriage in the state, a move that shut down support from socially conservative Democrats in the district.
Most analysts say Obama probably will win more votes in New York state in 2012 than the GOP candidate, but that if Republicans can win in “deep blue” New York City districts like Turner has just done, there could be major upsets for the Democrats in the Presidential election.