Turner up by six, just two days before New York special election

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Two days before the special election in New York’s 9th Congressional District, yet another poll confirms that Bob Turner, the Republican, holds an improbable lead in the heavily Democratic district.

A Public Policy Polling poll released Sunday night found Turner leading his Democratic opponent, David Weprin, by a 47–41 margin. A Siena poll released last week found Turner leading by the same split, 50 to 44 percent.

Weprin and Turner are competing to fill the House seat vacated by former Congressman Anthony Weiner.

Turner has a strong lead with independent voters, 58 percent of whom say they will vote for him. Just 26 percent plan to vote for Weprin. Turner also has the majority of the Jewish vote, a demographic that makes up 36 percent of the district according to PPP’s results. Fifty-six percent of Jews say they will vote for Turner, while 39 percent say they have chosen Weprin.

The Turner campaign has claimed that Tuesday’s election will be a referendum on Obama’s presidency, and specifically on his policies relating to Israel.

The PPP poll illustrates a major shift in the district, which Obama won with 55 percent of the vote in 2008. Now, the President’s approval rating there is just 31 percent, with 56 percent of the district’s voters disapproving of his job performance. Twenty-three percent of voters who pulled the lever for Obama in 2008 say they will cross party lines and vote for Turner on Tuesday. By contrast, Weprin has attracted the support of just 8 percent of McCain voters. (RELATED: Democrat Super PAC supports Weprin in new ad)

Both candidates stopped campaigning on Sunday in observance of the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. But while neither candidate was actually stumping and ads were not playing on television, the battle continued. An unnamed source leaked a child-custody ruling from 25 years ago to Politico, painting Weprin in a distinctly negative light.

The poll surveyed 664 likely voters in New York’s 9th Congressional District, using robo-calls, between September 8 and September 11. It has a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.