Republican Bob Turner holds a six-point lead in next week's special election to replace disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., according to a new Siena College poll released early Friday that shows voters in the overwhelmingly Democratic district are poised to deliver a stinging rebuke to President Obama and his party.The other race is in Nevada where the Dems have pulled their support and basically given up. However, in NYC they're planning to pour $500,000 down the media rathole to try and save the seat. Probably won't work.
Turner leads Democratic Assemblyman David Weprin in the poll, 50 percent to 44 percent. Six percent of likely voters in the Sept. 13th election are undecided.
Discontent with Washington and the president is at the heart of Turner's shocking upset bid. In a district he won by 11 points just three years ago, Obama's favorability rating is now upside down in the Siena poll, with 54 percent having an unfavorable opinion of Obama and only 43 percent viewing him favorably. A remarkable 38 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of independents hold an unfavorable view of the president.
The Republican also has all the momentum: A Siena poll conducted four weeks ago showed Weprin with a six-point advantage. Turner's lead does fall barely within the margin of error, but the poll shows that the GOP is on the verge of a most unlikely victory in the Outer Boroughs-based district, where Democrats hold a three-to-one advantage on the voter rolls.
But the Democratic registration advantage is tempered by the poll's crosstabs. Turner runs much stronger among Republicans, holding 90 percent of the vote, than Weprin does among Democrats, taking just 63 percent. Independents are overwhelmingly lined up behind the Republican, with 65 percent of them supporting Turner and 27 percent choosing Weprin.
Even if the GOP wins in NYC it's likely to be a short-term victory. Chances are the Dems that control the state will eliminate that district when the new districts are drawn for the 2012 election (New York is losing congressional seats). However the psychological blow to the Dems will be pretty significant.