Remarkable data, for several reasons. (1) PPP is a Democratic polling firm affiliated with DailyKos. Their samples are generally pretty fair, but also rather generous to Democrats. If they are detecting the same late movement as the other surveys we've covered, there's only one conclusion to reach: This is happening. (2) Some of the numbers beyond the attention-grabbing topline are eye-popping, especially when it comes to the president's standing in the New York City district:
Republican Bob Turner is poised to pull a huge upset in the race to replace Anthony Weiner as the Congressman from New York's 9th Congressional District. He leads Democrat David Weprin 47-41 with Socialist Workers candidate Christopher Hoeppner at 4% and 7% of voters remaining undecided.
Turner's winning in a heavily Democratic district for two reasons: a huge lead with independents and a large amount of crossover support. He's ahead by 32 points at 58-26 with voters unaffiliated with either major party. And he's winning 29% of the Democratic vote, holding Weprin under 60% with voters of his own party, while losing just 10% of Republican partisans.
Some people may (at least partially) chalk up Weprin's unpopularity among indies to the trove of very ugly, years-old child custody documents leaked to Politico over the weekend. Doubt it. David Weprin has almost become an incidental figure in this saga. He's just the generic Democrat. The bigger issue, PPP surmises, is the man whose coattails national Democrats will be tied to throughout the 2012 cycle:
If Turner wins on Tuesday it will be largely due to the incredible unpopularity of Barack Obama dragging his party down in the district. 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. Obama trails Mitt Romney 46-42 in a hypothetical match up in the district and leads Rick Perry only 44-43.
The issue of Israel does appear to be having a major impact on this race. 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. This seems to be rooted in deep unhappiness with Obama on this issue- only 30% of voters overall approve of how he's handling Israel to 54% who disapprove and with Jewish voters his approval on Israel is 22% with 68 of voters disapproving. That has a lot to do with why Turner's in such a strong position.
Also, so much for the Anthony Weiner comeback buzz: PPP measures his favorability rating at 29 percent, with a majority (53 percent) of district voters having turned sour on their former representative. Catching up to my analysis from last week, national Democrats are getting pretty antsy about tomorrow's pair of Congressional elections. NY-09 may be slipping away, and NV-02 is looking more and more like a GOP lock. As Jim Geragthy notes, Republican Mark Amodei has opened up a 13-point lead out west, and despite Democrat Kate Marshall's non-stop Mediscaring, seniors back her GOP opponent by an even greater margin, 59-34.
Mediscare is flopping. Obama's coattails are dipped in political toxic waste. Independents are flocking to Republicans. Panic at the Democrat Disco?
UPDATE - Does "fretting aloud" constitute panic?