Tea leaves on the big Republican win in New York House race

There are various conflicting claims about the meaning of Republican Bob Turner’s solid victory in former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s Brooklyn/Queens district which had not elected a Republican in 80 years.

Drudge, whose site has been becoming more fun and interesting in recent months, dramatically calls it:


Wow! But what does Drudge mean by this? Some think he means the revenge of the Jews for Obama’s anti-Israel stance. But the story that Drudge himself linked, from the Israeli site ynetnews.com, does not actually assert that. It merely asks: “Did President Obama’s positions on Israel cost him a seat in the House?” Others (see Tim W.’s comment below) say that Orthodox Jews voted Republican because the Democratic candidate David Weprin had voted for same-sex marriage in the State Senate.

But a Turner consultant, Steve Goldberg, said: “It was all Obama—not even a thought of anything else.”

Meanwhile, Andrew Breitbart thinks the Republican victory presages a civil war within the Democratic party between the Obama radicals and “now defunct, reasonable wing of the Democratic Party.”

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Tim W. writes:

When was the last time a Republican won a seat because of the Jewish vote? It appears that the Orthodox Jews in the Brooklyn portion of the district overwhelmingly went for Turner. Not only is this a bad sign for Obama, but it shows the strength of the same-sex “marriage” issue. Weprin, the Democrat, offended the conservative Jews by voting for it in the New York Senate. I read somewhere that Senator Diaz, the lone Democrat to vote against same-sex “marriage” in June, endorsed Republican Turner.

Also, yesterday the North Carolina legislature (both houses) voted to put a state constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman on the ballot for 2012. North Carolina is the only southern state which doesn’t yet have such a constitutional amendment. It’ll pass easily and bring out conservative voters that didn’t turn out in 2008, when Obama carried the state by a fraction of a percentage point. Obama won due to the huge black vote in the state combined with one third of the white vote. That was more of the white vote than he got in most of the south, due to a large pocket of liberal transplants in the Raleigh-Durham tech corridor. With this issue on the ballot he won’t carry North Carolina again.

One final bit of good news. The GOP held an open U.S. House seat in Nevada in a blowout.

Jeff C. writes:

Tim W. wrote:

“With [the same-sex marriage] issue on the ballot he won’t carry North Carolina again.”

The vote on the amendment will be in May, because North Carolina Democrats who support the amendment understand the electoral implication of placing the question on the November ballot.

James N. writes:

It’s been a long time since I’ve lived inside an eruv, and despite my affection for the tribe, I’m no landsmann.

So, what do you make of this? It certainly does not presage the loss of the Streisand-Spielberg shul, right?

However, for a Roman Catholic to defeat a genuine kippah-wearing New York Jew in THIS district must mean something, no?

It would be like a rabbi coming into South Boston running as a Republican and beating a shamrock-wearing genuine Irish Democrat. Unthinkable, right?

What do you think it means?

LA replies:

I have no idea. As you can see from the coverage, people who know more about politics than we do have different explanations, none of which seem to be based on hard data.

Weren’t there exit polls in this district? That might provide answers.

Karl D. writes:

This win for Republicans has me floored. I was raised in Forest Hills, Queens. Lived down the block from former New York City comptroller Allan Hevesi, was childhood friends with former Councilwoman Melinda Katz and used to see Geraldine Ferraro all the time as well. Finding a Republican, never mind a Conservative there was like finding a Dodo bird. I am stunned.

Karl D. writes:

Some additional thoughts on the GOP win in Weiner’s district. As I said, I grew up in this district and am familiar with the mindset of these people. Are they mostly Democrats? Yes. But they are Democrats of the old order. Mainly JFK or even Clinton type Democrats. I think they put Weiner in office mainly out of party loyalty and the fact that he had chutzpah. But Wiener’s over the top “chutzpah” became an embarrassment (like the crazy cousin no one talks about) and the buyer’s remorse for putting Obama in office just became too much. These are not new GOP members or conservatives. I think they saw the party slipping away to the hard left and this was the result.

Tex writes:

Revenge of the Jews? Oh no, not this again! Blaming the Jews as usual…

Mark Jaws writes:

As my brother, Johnny Jaws, lives in this district, in the Marine Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, and I visit him several times a year, I am familiar with at least a portion of the voting demographic. There are American flags everywhere in this multi-ethnic white neighborhood, which I would say consists mostly of Irish, Italian, and German Americans. These are the quintessential bitter clingers who deeply resent the intrusion of blacks from the other side of Flatbush Avenue. Anytime they can stick it to the liberal society elites, they will do so—even though they may still retain the Democratic party affiliation of their youth.

Jim C. writes

Drudge has unlinked headline:


Good luck, the Jews are not stupid.

LA replies:

I don’t buy this. I don’t buy the Republican euphoria over this. I remember 2008, when there were all these reports that Jews, particularly in New York, were against Obama, and it turned out to be nonsense. I’ll believe it when I see it. One by-election is not seeing it.

Jim C. replies:

It’s a complex issue, but there’s no question that Jews like Ed Koch, who supported Turner, will be energized to criticize the administration’s policy toward Israel before the ‘12 election. IMO, the majority of Jews care deeply about the fate of Israel.

And also expect fewer Jewish dollars flowing into the Dem party.

Roland D. writes:

I know this is sort of stating the obvious, but mightn’t Weinergate also have something to do with the NY 9 Democrat defeat?

LA replies:

Yes, it’s almost as if everyone had forgotten that!

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 14, 2011 10:38 AM | Send

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