Following an independent poll last week in which Bob Turner held a six-point lead, Public Policy Polling has released a poll tonight showing him winning by the same margin: 47 percent to 41 percent. Turner now looks, in PPP’s words, “poised to pull a huge upset” in the race to fill Anthony Weiner’s seat.
Furthermore, this poll confirms that a Turner victory should seriously worry Democrats nationally, as I suggested in an NRO piece last week.
The race has been portrayed as a referendum on Obama, particularly his Israel policy and the national debt. In a heavily Jewish district, Turner has placed much of his hope for a victory on convincing likely voters that he will be a better friend to Israel than his Orthodox Jewish opponent, David Weprin, because of Obama’s cool attitude towards Israel. He has apparently succeeded, leading Weprin by a huge margin, 56 points to 39, among Jewish voters – a worrisome omen for Obama in 2012.
Also of note is Turner’s success among independents in a heavily Democratic district. Unlike fellow giant-killer Scott Brown, he has captured anti-incumbent sentiment and anger about the economy without much in the way of explicit Tea Party backing. Another interesting and related datum from PPP: Mitt Romney out-polls Barack Obama in the district, while Rick Perry does not.