This is a survey result that will undoubtedly thrill many Republicans…
Republican Bob Turner is poised to pull a huge upset in the race to replace Anthony Weiner as the Congressman from New York’s 9th Congressional District. He leads Democrat David Weprin 47-41 with Socialist Workers candidate Christopher Hoeppner at 4% and 7% of voters remaining undecided.
Turner’s winning in a heavily Democratic district for two reasons: a huge lead with independents and a large amount of crossover support. He’s ahead by 32 points at 58-26 with voters unaffiliated with either major party. And he’s winning 29% of the Democratic vote, holding Weprin under 60% with voters of his own party, while losing just 10% of Republican partisans.
If Turner wins on Tuesday it will be largely due to the incredible unpopularity of Barack Obama dragging his party down in the district. Obama won 55% there in 2008 but now has a staggeringly bad 31% approval rating, with 56% of voters disapproving of him. It’s a given that Republicans don’t like him but more shocking are his 16% approval rating with independents and the fact that he’s below 50% even with Democrats at 46% approving and 38% disapproving. Obama trails Mitt Romney 46-42 in a hypothetical match up in the district and leads Rick Perry only 44-43.
… but Josh Trevino notes that folks on the Right (myself included) haven’t always had such warm and fuzzy feelings about Public Policy Polling: “Today is the day we conservatives pretend we respect PPP polling, because it brings NY-9 wish fulfillment.” Having said that, we should also acknowledge that polling in special elections like this one is tougher than in a regular election because of the often much-lower turnout.
Over in the Corner, Patrick Brennan notes, “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.”