Poll finds Republican Turner leading in Anthony Weiner special election

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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In a reversal of expectations, an independent poll conducted by Magellan Data and Mapping Strategies finds Republican candidate Bob Turner leading his opponent by four points in the special election to replace former Congressman Anthony Weiner in New York’s 9th Congressional District.

According to the results, 44.6 percent of likely 9th District voters said they would vote for Turner, while 40.4 percent said they would vote for his Democratic opponent David Weprin. 11.8 percent were undecided.

Magellan pointed out that Turner has an edge in enthusiasm — 35.8 percent of voters said they will “definitely” vote for Turner while 28.3 percent said they will “definitely” vote for Weprin.

Turner is also better liked in the district, Magellan found. 36.9 percent of voters said they had a favorable opinion while 23.8 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion. 28.5 percent expressed no opinion and 10.7 percent said they had never heard of him.

Weprin, on the other hand, has an upside down approval rating. 29.8 percent say they had a favorable opinion of him while 34.5 percent had an unfavorable opinion. 23.7 percent had no opinion and 12 percent had never heard of him.

The poll surveyed 2,055 likely voters in New York’s 9th Congressional District on September 1 using robo-calls, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.16 percentage points. (RELATED: Giuliani endorses Turner in special election)

The results are surprising, given Democrats’ large voter registration advantage in the district. 63 percent of those surveyed by Magellan said they were registered Democrats, while just 20 percent were registered Republicans. 17 percent were independents or supporters of another party.

The poll is the fourth in a series that show the race to be surprisingly close.

A Siena poll released in early August found Weprin with only a six point lead over his opponent, far smaller than expected. An internal poll for the Turner campaign conducted by McLaughlin & Associates found the two candidates tied, with 42 percent each. A poll commissioned by the Democratic Campaign Congressional Committee and released Friday found Weprin with an eight point lead.

Top Democrats in congress — including Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and DCCC Chair Steve Israel — donated to Weprin’s campaign over Labor Day weekend, prompting talk of a Democratic “panic” that Weprin could lose what was seen as an easy seat to win.

A New York Democratic operative told City Hall blog: “The DCCC is definitely panicking. Even Nancy Pelosi is raising money to avoid the embarrassment of Weprin losing.” Both the Weprin campaign and the DCCC said that was not the case.

Turner announced Tuesday the endorsement of former New York Governor George Pataki, as well as an endorsement by the New York Post Editorial Board.

The special election is set for September 13.

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