I’m a sucker for wonkish political analysis of voting results, so here are some of the more notable results-scrying for Bob Turner’s win over David Weprin in New York’s Ninth Congressional District after Rep. Anthony “look at my bulge” Weiner resigned in disgrace. A race Weprin lost despite $485,000 of DCCC ad buys and having Bill Clinton and New York Governor Andrew Coumo campaign for him. I’m going to ignore the usual “weak candidate, ran a bad race” blather liberals always trot out when a Democrat loses, because it’s become a tautology that doesn’t explain anything. He lost? Bad candidate that ran a bad campaign. He won? A good candidate who ran a good campaign.
Speaking of incompetence, let’s also dismiss DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz laughable assertion that a district where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans 3-1 “is difficult for Democrats.” Even more risible is Wasserman Schultz’s claim that Obama has an “incredibly strong record on Israel.” She truly is the gift that keeps giving to Republicans.
So why did Weprin lose? Some theories:
Much has been made of former Democratic Mayor Ed Koch’s support for Turner and Obama’s abysmal record on Israel turning off the districts heavy Jewish population.
Over at Real Clear Politics, Sean Trende suggests that the win might be seen in light of Obamas slipping popularity with white voters.
Over at National Review Online, Kathryn Jean Lopez thinks Weprin’s support of gay marriage may have done him in. Her theory gets support from, of all places, The Village Voice.
Finally, there’s the theory that Obama is so unpopular that he’s dragging down all Democratic candidates with him, no matter where they run. And who’s floating this particular theory? That would be Weprin himself.
Democratic strategist James Carville says it’s time for Obama to panic, but his advice is on the lines of firing people, find some scapegoats, and return to Ye Olde Big Government Religion. (He also seems to regard a $1.25 trillion budget deficit as “austerity.”) Walter Russell Mead isn’t impressed with the advice: “This President doesn’t do ‘tough’ very well….he isn’t convincing as a Chuck Norris impersonator. Often when he tries to sound tough he comes out tinny. Also, teleprompters don’t work when the goal is to project spontaneous, righteous and passionate rage.”
If NY9 is indeed a bellwether for 2012 (a big if), Democrats are in for some pretty rough storms over the next 14 months…