Last night's New York Congressional District 9 (NY-9) win by Republican, Bob Turner, must have the Democrats and Obama shaking in their political boots. That's because, in so many ways, a Republican should never have won.
First and foremost, NY-9 is almost totally owned by the Democrats with registered Democrats outnumbering Republicans by a factor of 3 to 1. Secondly, the district is heavily Jewish and Bob Turner, a Catholic, won handily against David Weprin, a Jewish Democrat, in what can only be seen as a historically significant contradiction. Additionally, Turner didn't really run against Weprin in defeating him. Instead, he outwardly ran against the policies of Obama. Therefore, it is only logical to assume that Obama was the biggest loser of the night. Furthermore, Turner's win came only days after the President's "big" jobs speech; proving that the jobs plan had no influence in turning things around in this heavily Democrat district. In fact, Turner seemed to gain momentum in polls following the speech. It's also important to note that Turner didn't just squeak this one out. He won by a landslide: 54 to 46 percent. Lastly, by running against Obama, Turner disproved the old political adage that all politics are local.
All morning, Democrats have been trying to downplay the significance of the NY-9 loss. But, in their mind's eye, I'm quite sure they're seeing a potential for big political problems in 2012. To me, last night's Republican win in a heavily Democrat district just shows that the voter sentiment by which the Republicans won last fall has not abated. If anything, there seems to be a growing momentum "against" Obama. Certainly, last night's loss must have Democrat strategists scurrying to find a new tactical direction for next year's election; even though, I think it's too late to change their fate.