From Israel to the economy, voters turned against the party in power and the nice-guy Democrat painted as an Obama in miniature
QUEENS, N.Y. -- With 87 percent of precincts reporting, and 54 percent of the vote in the Republican column, retired media executive Bob Turner has been declared the victor in the race to fill Anthony Weiner's old congressional seat. It's a race that Turner won, but Democratic candidate David Weprin also helped to lose. Here are the on the ground takeaways about what fed the historic upset in Brooklyn and Queens:
The Economy, and Barack Obama: Voters in the 9th congressional district in New York were worried and angry about the state and direction of the American economy. For one thing, that's what they told pollsters. Nearly a third said that economic recovery was driving their vote, and another third cited concern over preserving entitlement programs -- Medicare and Social Security, which Turner pledged to defend against bipartisan reform efforts. For another, talk of jobs and the economy was everywhere in the district. Both Turner and Weprin labored to make the race a referendum on those issues, hoping such talk would break their way. In hindsight, it was a smarter bet for the Republican. "Our internal polling actually had us up before the debt ceiling debate," said Mark Weprin, a New York City councilman and the Democratic candidate's older brother, at an election night watch event in Forest Hills. "But people were mad, and they needed something to be mad at. And the people they had to be mad at -- the sort of establishment people -- were Barack Obama and David Weprin."