Posted on | August 22, 2011 | 12 Comments
Of all the places to hear fulminations against President Obama, one of the least expected is the corner of 71st Avenue and Queens Boulevard, in the heart of a Congressional district that propelled Democrats like Geraldine A. Ferraro, Charles E. Schumer and Anthony D. Weiner to Washington.
But it was there that Dale Weiss, a 64-year-old Democrat, approached the Republican running for Congress in a special election and, without provocation, blasted the president for failing to tame runaway federal spending. “We need to cut Medicaid,” she declared, “but he won’t do that.” She shook her head in disgust. “He is a moron.”
After nodding approvingly for a time, the Republican candidate, Bob Turner, signaled for an assistant to cut off Ms. Weiss. Frustration with Mr. Obama is so widespread, he explained later, that he tries to limit such rants to about 30 seconds, or else they will consume most of his day.
“It’s endemic in the district,” Mr. Turner said. “You can’t stop them once they get started.”
The Sept. 13 election was expected to be a sleepy sideshow — a mere formality that would put David I. Weprin, a Democratic state assemblyman and heir to a Queens political dynasty, into a Congressional seat that became vacant this summer when Mr. Weiner quit over an online sex scandal.
Instead, the race has become something far more unsettling to Democrats: a referendum on the president and his party that is highlighting the surprisingly raw emotions of the electorate.
National Democrats, alarmed by a poll that showed the contest far closer than anticipated, are privately fretting that even a close outcome in a working-class swath of Brooklyn and Queens may foreshadow broader troubles for the party in 2012.
The Siena College poll, conducted early this month, showed Mr. Weprin with an advantage of 6 percentage points, within the margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 points.
Suddenly Mr. Weprin’s aides have ramped up fund-raising, enlisting big-name figures like Senator Joseph I. Lieberman to headline events. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has dispatched operatives to advise the candidate. And the campaign, aided by big city unions, is drawing up an extensive field operation to turn out the vote.
Read the rest — thanks to Bert the Samoan Lawyer for the tip.
Unlike Barack Obama, I hate to encourage false hope and impossible dreams, but NY-9 may be a heckuva lot more winnable for Republicans than even the freaked-out Democrats fear.
The district’s Cook Partisan Voting Index rating is only D+5 — not nearly as prohibitively partisan as Jerry Nadler’s 8th District (D+22), for example. And remember how fired up we got for Sean Bielat’s challenge to Barney Frank? The Cook PVI rating for Frank’s MA-4 district is D+14. So if a bunch of bloggers and Tea Party types could put the fear into Barney — and we had him sweating, didn’t we? — we might actually be able to beat this Democrat second-teamer Dave Weprin.
But we’ve got to get cracking, folks: Sept. 13 is just three weeks from Tuesday, so go give Bob Turner $20 or $50 or $100 now and then help spread the word via Twitter, Facebook or e-mail to all your friends: A Republican could win this NY-9 special election, so please give now!
BOB TURNER FOR CONGRESS
He Never Tweeted Pictures of His Junk to a Porn Star