Posted Monday, Sept. 12, 2011, at 8:02 AM
Public Policy Polling confirms the margin that Siena found in NY-9: Republican Bob Turner leads Democrat David Weprin 47-41, with a Socialist Workers candidate scoring 4 percent. Why? Two big things. First, Israel:
A plurality of voters- 37%- said that Israel was 'very important' in determining their votes. Turner is winning those folks by an amazing 71-22 margin. With everyone who doesn't say Israel is a very important issue for them Weprin actually leads 52-36. Turner is in fact winning the Jewish vote by a 56-39 margin, very unusual for a Republican candidate.
Next -- and this is a function of the previous number -- Barack Obama:
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.
In May, Democrats won a special election in NY-26, in western New York, historically a far more Republican area than NY-9, which covers parts of Brooklyn and Queens. But according to this same pollster, the voters who elected Democrat Hochul had only a marginally negative view of the president -- 42 percent approval, 51 percent disapproval. The unpopularity of the president in one of the most Jewish districts in America (perhaps one-third of voters here will be Jewish) is going to be the story out of this race. (It also makes it hard for Democrats to grind this out with GOTV, because voters who go Democratic at every other level may be turned out to go for Turner.)