Could Anthony Weiner's sexual dalliances (ahem) screw Democrats over yet again? The special election to replace the disgraced New York Congressman is just two weeks away, and as of several days ago, an independent poll indicated the race was fairly close. Late this afternoon, Republican candidate Bob Turner's campaign released an internal survey showing the consensus longshot underdog tied with Democrat David Weprin:
@HotlineJosh - GOP SHOCKER: Republican Bob Turner is tied with Dem David Weprin 42-42, and has the momentum in #NY09 special, per Turner internal
By all accounts, Turner -- a conservative businessman -- has done a masterful job of turning the race into a debate over Barack Obama's foreign policy posture towards Israel. Demographically, the district is working class and not especially liberal, which is why Republicans even have a fighting chance in this one. In other words, NY-09 ain't the Upper West Side, despite the far-left ideologies of several of its previous representatives. In the event that Turner pulls off the upset, Slate's Dave Weigel preemptively notes a delicious irony:
So there's some likelihood that Democrats will wake up on September 14 and discover they've lost the Weiner seat to a businessman who wants the Ryan plan and a Balanced Budget Amendment. Will the GOP get a bigger boost than this than Democrats got from their big win in NY-26? Yes, because the Democrats' win was knocked out of the news cycle by... Anthony Weiner! Hochul won her race on May 24. Three days later, Weiner sent an errant Twitter photo of his erect, boxers-clad penis. Instead of getting a week or so to drive home their Medicare message, Democrats had to answer questions about whether they 1) believed Weiner and then whether 2) they wanted him to resign.
Republicans would be well advised to avoid counting their chickens before they hatch, of course. The NY GOP is preternaturally gifted at losing special elections -- even the ones they're supposed to win. And news-making internal polls from campaigns should always be considered with a grain of salt. Still, it's pretty fun that the DCCC is sweating a race in a district once represented by Chuck Schumer.