Democrats Could Lose Weiner's House Seat

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 10 2011 10:53 AM

Democrats Could Lose Weiner's House Seat

The Siena Poll, which more or less called the Democratic upset in NY-26, has Republican Bob Turner trailing Democrat David Weprin by only 6 points. Turner got 41 percent of the vote against Anthony Weiner in 2010, and he's polling at 42 percent now. The reasons, from the crosstabs:

- Weprin only gets 61 percent of Democrats; Turner gets 80 percent of Republicans and a small plurality of independents.

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- Barack Obama, who carried the district in 2008, has a 52 percent unfavorable rating.

- Seventy-eight percent of voters think the United States is headed "in the wrong direction." Turner is at 91 percent with those voters, which is more evidence that the GOP's problems haven't stopped them being the party to cast an angry vote.

The only national story coming out of the race so far has been Ed Koch's endorsement of Turner, done, he said, to send a message to Democrats about Israel. Weprin, who's Jewish, easily wins with those voters. The bigger stories: It's tough to hold a seat when your party's incumbent resigned after sending pictures of his over-stuffed underwear to women, and Republicans still have a lock on the "to hell with these guys" vote. But that can be mitigated if Weprin runs a predictable campaign and scorches Turner over entitlement spending. Seventy-two percent of voters oppose Social Security and Medicare cuts; Turner is doing quite well with them.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.