Pundits are calling Republican Bob Turner’s Special Election victory in NY-9 a referendum on President Obama and the state of the economy. I’m sure some voters cited this as their reason for voting for Turner.
It would be surprising if former Democratic Mayor Ed Koch helped Turner with his across-the-aisle endorsement. Just like it is doubtful Turner picked up many voters over New York’s passage of gay marriage.
More likely many Democratic voters stayed home in protest over the Democratic Party’s insistence that Rep. Anthony Weiner resign over the sexting scandal even after it became clear that his constituents didn’t want him to resign.
All of the above may be factors of varying degrees but it’s nothing that couldn’t be overcome before the November 2012 General Election cycle.
What really should have the Democrats panicking is the type of candidate they are able to produce for elections. David Weprin is probably a very nice man but he’s not a very strong candidate.
Weprin doesn’t even live in the 9th district. If New York is unable to produce a strong candidate within the Brooklyn, Queens and Rockaway district, then they have serious problems. Even worse, they couldn’t find a strong candidate outside the district.
Capable but weak candidates seem to be something Democrats know well. Massachusetts saw state Attorney General Martha Coakley lose to Scott Brown and Florida elected a corporate criminal as governor because Democrats put up a qualified but weak candidate in state CFO Alex Sink.
If Democrats are unable to find any strong, confident candidates to run in November 2012, they will be in serious trouble. Republican candidates generally are strong, arrogant and campaign well.
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz needs to find better candidates than Weprin or 2012 will be a bloodbath. It doesn’t appear that President Obama’s coattails are long enough to carry many Democrats along to victory so it comes down to Wasserman-Schultz finding better candidates than Weprin.
New York’s 9th Congressional District, which hasn’t elected a Republican in 90 years, should be a wake-up call for Democrats.
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