The resignation of Anthony Weiner has brought a special election to fill that seat in New York’s Ninth Congressional, a Democratic stronghold. And the Democrats are poised to get blown out in that special, which is this week. That itself is a shock, but the underlying numbers are even more shocking than the result, which could be explained away by a poor Democratic candidate, or maybe a superior Republican. That is not the case here.
Not long ago the Democrats were on the offensive, slamming Republicans over Medicare, and winning a special election in NY-26, a Republican district. Now the Republicans are poised to return the favor in NY-9, a heavily Democratic district where it should be a laugher for the Democrats under any conditions. Instead you have the President weighing down the nominee, with numbers so bad that his own re-election prospects have to be called into (early) question. The cross-tabs tell a pretty awful story for President Obama and the Party. Key numbers include:
Republican Bob Turner leads among independents by a whopping 58% to 26% margin over Democrat David Weprin. In a district that the President won comfortably his approval rating with independents is 16%. You read that right. 16%.
Turner is winning 29% of the Democratic vote in the district. How is that possible? Among Democrats the President has an approval rating that is under 50%,, with 46% of Dems approving and 38% disapproving. In a Presidential matchup Obama actually trails Mitt Romney by 46% to 42%, and leads Rick Perry by 1% in this district, where he won with 55% of the vote in the last Presidential cycle.
The President, according to polling data, is seriously hurt in this district by voters who consider the issue of Israel to be of prime importance. Among those voters (37% of total) Republican Turner leads by a whopping 71% to 22% margin.
I know folks are going to say that it is way to early to hit the alarm bell, but somebody better wake up and start looking at these numbers, and what they mean for 2012. If the Republican nominee is Romney then I think today Obama is beaten. If the nominee is Perry maybe that calculus changes, but that is a big maybe.
Today’s NY Times column by Russ Douthat gives a flavor for some of the Obama problems. The focus on the Alice Rivlin warnings on stimulus 1 are instructive. It may be a post for later, but while I agree that stimulus at the time it was applied by Obama was needed (the Republicans are dead wrong on that point) how it was applied is an issue. Not all spending is created equally, and the Obama stimulus had plenty to dislike, as Douthat points out. A do-over for Obama? His political team better get off their duffers, because disaster is staring them right in the face.