In a huge upset that few would have predicted just months ago, a Republican won a special election in a heavily Democratic district in New York for the seat of former Rep. Anthony Weiner.
Republican Bob Turner won the special election Tuesday in 9th Congressional District, defeating Democrat David Weprin after a heated, summer-long race that ignited Democratic fears of a quiet election morphing into a referendum on the party and President Barack Obama, ahead of next year's elections.
"We've asked the people of this district to send a message to Washington, and I hope they hear it loud and clear," Turner said at his election party in Queens with a packed room, many of them Orthodox Jews.
"Mr. President, you are on the wrong track."
Turner took 54% of the vote to Weprin's 46%, with 100% of the precincts reporting, according to unofficial results from Valerie Vazquez, communications director for the New York City Board of Elections.
At his victory party, Turner stood on a stage with Israeli and American flags behind him -- a reminder of one of the central issues in the race: U.S. policies toward Israel.
"We lit one candle today, and there's going to be a bonfire pretty soon," Turner said in his victory speech, just after midnight.
The district, which covers parts of Brooklyn and Queens, is one of the strongest Jewish districts in the nation.
On Ace of Spades a couple of days ago I called this the first "preference cascade" election, where it would become obvious that the electorate has concluded that Emperor Obama has no clothes. I was right. Now, Obama won't lose New York, no way, no chance. Too Democratic, too liberal. But if he loses Jews nationwide he could lose some otherwise close states, including, most importantly, Florida. And, if Rick Perry is nominated and chooses Marco Rubio as his running mate (a dream ticket for many on the right), the Hispanic vote could be up for grabs too. This is getting way ahead of myself, but this could be, more than a preference cascade, a preference "avalanche," or even a preference "tsunami."
I also predicted that the margin of victory would be greater than the last polls showed. I was right there too. The last poll on NY-9 had Turner up 50-44; he actually won by 54-46. The last poll on NV-2 had Republican Mark Amodei up 50-37; he won by 58-36. The late breakers were all for the Republicans.
Preference Tsunami: Catch the Wave!