Following the first poll to show Republican Bob Turner leading the race to fill Anthony Weiner’s old seat, both sides are now scrambling to gather more support. Today, the Rothenberg Report, an independent political-analysis newsletter, changed the status of the race from “Lean Democrat” to “Pure Toss-up.”
Turner recently received the endorsement of Democratic assemblyman Dov Hikind of Brooklyn, who echoed former mayor Ed Koch’s endorsement by arguing that Turner will be a more faithful supporter of Israel. Turner argued in a debate on Tuesday night that, even though Weprin holds similar views on Israel, a Republican victory “will scare the Democratic party and its policymakers . . . back to Israeli-friendliness.” In addition, the 60 Plus Association and its spokesman, singer Pat Boone, have been making calls to the district in support of Turner.
Meanwhile, both campaigns have redoubled their fundraising and advertising efforts. In the past few days, Turner has received $75,000 from the National Organization for Marriage, while Weprin has received $100,000 from a Democratic PAC. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will purchase $483,000 in television ads for Weprin. Notably, Turner’s campaign has not been able to benefit much from state and national committees or Republican PACs, because association with the national Republican party may be noxious in the district.
While these developments leave Turner’s campaign at a serious funding disadvantage, such significant national support also undoubtedly indicates that internal Democratic polling has suggested the race is extremely close.
Tomorrow morning, a new, independent poll from Siena Research will provide further insight into the race.