Guy Benson

When a Republican internal poll showed the special election in NY-09 deadlocked at 42 percent late last week, I projected a healthy skepticism over those results.  Although it has been trending Republican over the last decade, the New York City district has still been represented for decades by consummate Democratic partisans like Geraldine Ferraro, Chuck Schumer, and Anthony Weiner.  I also urged caution because the New York Republican Party has a nasty penchant for losing special elections, even when they should command a clear advantage.  With all of those caveats in place, whoa:


In a reversal of expectations, an independent poll conducted by Magellan Data and Mapping Strategies finds Republican candidate Bob Turner leading his opponent by four points in the special election to replace former Congressman Anthony Weiner in New York’s 9th Congresional District.  According to the results, 44.6 percent of likely 9th District voters said they would vote for Turner, while 40.4 percent said they would vote for his Democratic opponent David Weprin. 11.8 percent were undecided.


Turner's campaign has been buoyed by a string of high-profile, bipartisan endorsements.  Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is backing Turner, as is former Democratic Mayor Ed Koch.  Koch has even recorded robocalls for the Republican's campaign, lambasting his fellow Democrats for their scare-tactics and dirty tricks:
 


Now another influential area Democrat has announced his support for Turner, as reported by National Journal:


Republican Bob Turner is getting a big boost in the suddenly competitive special election for the seat of former Rep. Anthony Weiner. Democratic state Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a leader in the city's Orthodox Jewish community, is going to endorse him later this morning. The Wall Street Journal notes Hikind has said he is upset about Democrat David Weprin's vote earlier this year to legalize gay marriage in New York -- particularly that Weprin cited his Jewish faith as a reason to vote for the bill.  Meanwhile, in an on-the-ground dispatch, Roll Call concludes Weprin "faces [a] tough road to victory" -- an alarming possibility for Congressional Democrats.


My inner pessimist still won't allow me to get too jazzed over this race, but special election day is less than a week away.  At this point, the DCCC has to be very concerned over the dynamics and momentum in this contest.  Though he's no Steve King, Bob Turner isn't exactly a squish either.  National Democrats are mobilizing late, hoping to drag Weprin across the finish line.  Weprin's campaign has received cash infusions from Democratic bigs within the last week, and Schumer himself has been deployed to join the struggling Democratic candidate on the campaign trail during the home stretch.


Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography