Labor Day finds New York Democrats fearing that President Obama's sinking approval ratings will cost them ex-US Rep. Anthony Weiner's seat next week, plus several congressional seats and the recapture of the state Senate next year, senior party officials privately concede.If the mood is this sour in the bluest of blue states, imagine the bloodbath Democrats face in tossup and red states. Especially when rank and file Democrats are already looking to dump Obama. Let the fun begin.
"The fear is that with a Republican [Robert Turner] being so close for the Weiner seat, which is in a traditionally safe Democratic district, that Democratic marginals [in hard-fought districts] like Maurice Hinchey, Paul Tonko and Louise Slaughter, will be in trouble next year," a top Democratic said yesterday, referring to three upstate Congress members.
Obama's polling numbers have dropped to their lowest point ever in heavily Democratic New York as the economy has slowed, unemployment his risen, and controversy has swirled over the president's policy toward Israel, which has weakened his standing with Jewish voters, several recent polls show.
"Democrats have a problem," said longtime Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf.
"The president's falling numbers can mean limited intensity of [Democratic] turnout; goodbye, state Senate hopes; hello, more Jews; and whites fleeing the Democratic Party again, much like they did in the late 1960s," he said.
Retail and Wholesale Workers Union President Stuart Appelbaum warned, "Obama needs to remember that the last two elections were about jobs, not the size of the debt, or else Democrats throughout New York may bear the consequences."
And a prominent party official added, "We're getting to a point where a lot of Democrats are not going to want to be associated with the president."
A recent Siena College poll found that nearly two-thirds of New York voters saying Obama is doing only a fair or poor job, while they were nearly evenly divided on whether he deserved reelection.
Even more ominous for Obama was the racial breakdown, with 55 percent of white voters having an unfavorable opinion of the president, and just 42 percent favorable. And traditionally Democratic Jewish voters barely favored Obama, by a statistically insignificant 49 to 48 percent.
A second Siena survey found Democratic Assemblyman David Weprin with a narrow 48-42 percent lead over GOP businessman Robert Turner in the Sept. 13 special election contest for Weiner's Brooklyn/Queens district, which has turned into a referendum on Obama.
Turner's campaign claimed the race was even closer, releasing a McLaughlin & Associates poll late last week showing a 42-42 percent tie.
"If the president's numbers do not improve, Democrats will face a very difficult task winning hotly contested legislative and congressional seats," said Siena pollster Steve Greenberg.
Monday, September 05, 2011
'We're Getting to a Point Where a Lot of Democrats are Not Going to Want to be Associated with the President'
Ho's that hope and change working out for you, New York Democrats?