While Republicans praise Bob Turner’s shocking victory in the New York special election as a referendum on President Obama’s Israel policy, the National Jewish Democratic Council is blaming Democrat David Weprin’s loss on the unpopularity of disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner, and on the national economy — insisting that it has nothing to do with Israel.
“Since the day seven-term House Democrat Anthony Weiner resigned in disgrace, keeping this seat in Democratic hands has been an uphill battle,” said council president David J. Harris in a statement. “The overwhelmingly unfavorable view of Mr. Weiner, the previous Democratic congressman in this district, has only hurt David Weprin’s efforts to win this election. Tonight, we saw some of the effects of that unpopularity.” (RELATED: Republicans trumpet Turner’s victory as referendum on Obama’s handling of Israel, jobs)
“One thing we know beyond the shadow of a doubt is that this election was about many things — but not Israel. As authoritative polling in the past four days demonstrated, only a tiny fraction of constituents — seven percent — indicated that Middle East policy would drive their vote. Moreover, the two candidates agreed completely on Israel; both clearly supported a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, with not a bit of difference between them,” Harris continued.
“In the end, in this difficult economy, Americans — including in New York’s Ninth District — are hurting. In this atypical district, they’ve reacted atypically. After many tremendous Democratic victories in special congressional elections in recent years, tonight we unfortunately have a loss. But we look forward to many, many more victories than losses in 2012,” he concluded.
Turner pulled off an upset on Tuesday, defeating Weprin to become the new U.S. Representative from New York’s 9th Congressional District, despite the large voter registration advantage Democrats hold in the district.