In 2010, Republican Bob Turner lost to Democrat Anthony Weiner in New York's 9th congressional district 39% to 61%, but the polls showing a close race in next Tuesday's special election between Turner and Democratic Assemblyman David Weprin to fill Weiner's old seat.
Today, Weprin was dealt a blow by fellow Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who endorsed Turner.Hikind said that electing Turner would "send a message to President Obama about his failed, disastrous economic policies and his reckless policies toward Israel." The bad blood between the two Democrats began when Weprin voted for gay marriage and compared opposing gay marriage to "outlawing marriages between Jews and non-Jews or interracial marriages.” Both Hikind and Weprin hail from the 9th district's sizable Orthodox Jewish community. (Turner is a Catholic, and he opposes gay marriage.)
As you may recall, the last time there was a special election in New York to fill the seat of a disgraced congressman, many members of the media portrayed the election as a "referendum" on Paul Ryan's Medicare plan. This was, of course, "cheap spin and drive-by “analysis” of the most superficial kind," as Charlie Cook put it. (There were too many complicating factors to pin the loss on Medicare reform.) Oddly, I haven't seen the Washington Post call the NY-9 race a referendum on gay marriage or Obama's Israel policy quite yet.