Posted Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011, at 9:20 PM
I'll be following the elections all night on this page. Do you want to see results? Of course you do.
NY-09 is here.
NV-02 is here.
NY-09 is going to be the story of the night, the one that Democrats have tried to bail out as David Weprin's momentum has stuttered. The raw totals from the AP won't be terribly useful; my friend David Wasserman has broken down the district in a more illustrative way.
Woodhaven/Ozone Park, Queens - The lowest-turnout region of the district, but the one where Barack Obama did best in 2008 -- 73 percent of the vote.
Forest Hills/Rego Park, Queens - This is the strong, diverse Democratic base of the district, where Barack Obama won 66 percent of the vote while winning district-wide by 10 points.
Fresh Meadows/Kew Garden Hills, Queens - Obama's last stronghold, where he won 64 percent of the vote.
Middle Village/Maspeth/Glendale, Queens - Obama won only 50 percent here, a bastion of ethnic (Italian) white voters.
Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn - Obama won 42 percent of the vote here. Watch these precincts for signs of a Turner rout.
Marine Park/Rockaway Beach/Howard Beach, Brooklyn/Queens - The GOP stronghold, which swung to Republicans after 9/11 and delivered 76 percent of the vote for McCain in 2008.
9:35: With no real results yet, I can at least help explain the raw AP vote that will roll in. Around 70 percent of the votes should come from Queens. In 2010, Anthony Weiner won the Queens portion of the district by 30 points, and won the Brooklyn portion by 4 points, for a 20-point victory. Democrats can bleed a lot of that support and eke out a win.
10:29: The votes coming in so far are... mostly unhelpful for the purposes of district-wide analysis. A batch of precincts in Queens have Turner basically tied with Weprin. But which precincts? John LaBeaume, reporting from Turner's party, has former Mayor Ed Koch -- the key Turner endorser, who helped make the election referendum on Barack Obama's Israel policy -- broadcasting a lot of confidence. "My message," says Koch, "is, Mr. President, listen to us!"
10:49: With 100 out of 512 precincts counted, Weprin is losing even uglier than polling suggested. One reason: Not much of a protest vote for the Socialist Workers candidate. Another reason: Just a general Weprin meltdown, with none of the strength in Queens that he needs to survive. More than a quarter of Queens is in, and he's losing it -- this in the area that Weiner won by 30 points.
If this turns out to be an easy Turner win, then why? Conservatives are climbing over one another's backs to take credit. Earlier today I talked to Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, about that group's effort in the district. They sent out 70,000 pieces of mail in a race that may only have 30,000 voters.
"I don't think anyone familiar with this district believes that Orthodox Jewish voters are turning on Weprin because of Israel," said Brown. "The real reason is Weprin's support for same sex marriage, especially the use of his Orthodox faith to justify it."
That was a reference to Weprin's speech in favor of the gay marriage bill that passed, which NOM used to round up opposition to Weprin among not just Orthodox Jews, but Hispanic voters, with robocalls like this:
11:20: There's simply not enough of a Weprin margin in Queens to let him overcome the coming Turner landslide in Brooklyn. This is over, even if the AP waits a while to call it.
Bob Turner (R) defeats David Weprin (D)
11:31: Meanwhile, NV-2 will be called as soon as the trend becomes undeniable. This race fell off the map after Republicans made a massive investment in it and Democrats skeddadled away, leaving their candidate, Kate Marshall, to fend for herself.
There was a time when this district looked competitive. At more than 100,000 square miles, it's one of the largest districts in America, with a population center in Reno's Washoe County and Carson City flowing into endless deserts and small towns. In 2006 and 2008, Democrats held the GOP's candidate, Dean Heller, to 50 percent and 52 percent of the vote. In 2008, Obama lost the county by only 89 votes out of more than 330,000 cast -- John Kerry had lost it by 16 points. The result tonight will look a lot more like 2004 than 2008, a sign of a real Democratic backslide in one of the most economically depressed states.
11:50: As we wait for the election to be called, let us reflect on an alternate reality wherein Democrats gritted their teeth and let Anthony Weiner wait out his scandal. It sounds crazy, I know. But Gerry Studds had an affair with a 17-year-old page, got censured by the House, and won six more elections. Larry Craig attempted to have a gay tryst, announced a resignation date, then... ignored the resignation date, letting Republicans run a full general election campaign for his seat, which they easily won.
Weiner's scandal snowballed for all kinds of reasons, some of his own making -- that week of bald-faced lying about the scandal, for example -- and some products of the news cycle. (As creepy as Weiner was, it was a little rough for him to face headlines like "WEINER CONTACTED UNDERAGED GIRL" when the fact was that a high school girl corresponded with him, and no sexual contact occured.) Could Democrats have gritted their teeth, asked for a censure, and let Weiner fill out his term as a disgraced back-bencher? Possibly! That certainly looks less painful than the double-dip of the scandal and this new cycle of explaining how they fumbled away his seat.
12:12: The AP has called it in Nevada:
Mark Amodei (R) defeats Kate Marshall (D)
You may remember Amodei as the man behind this ad:
The final victory margin will look a lot like the Bush margin over Kerry in 2004, with Amodei scoring around 57 percent. Now: These districts are very, very different. Nevada's 2nd is 71 percent white, 19 percent Hispanic, and mostly rural. New York's 9th is only 62 percent white, and a lot of those voters are Jewish -- as much as 31 percent of tonight's electorate was probably chosen, according to polling. The Nevada district is roughly 1000 times larger than the New York seat. But the fact of both elections happening tonight makes it harder for Democrats to spin one away as a fluke. They abandoned Nevada; they went in large in New York. They lost both bigger than they expected to.