Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Battling For Ballots

Shimmy Blum

President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats are anxiously awaiting the decisions of a few thousand Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn and Queens in next Tuesday’s special election — between Democrat and Orthodox Jew David Weprin and Republican and Catholic Bob Turner — that some have labeled a referendum on the Obama administration.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

If the Republican candidate manages to pull off an upset and defeat his Democratic rival in next Tuesday’s special Congressional election in New York, it may well represent a no-confidence vote in the Obama administration. But a strong contributing factor may well be the irony that enough of the district’s Orthodox Jewish voters could not bring themselves to support the Democrat, who is also an Orthodox Jew.

The June resignation of Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner left an open seat in the 9th Congressional District, which includes several neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens. As many as 30 percent of the district’s voters are Jewish and about half of them are Orthodox.

Weiner’s replacement will either be fifty-five-year old state assemblyman David Weprin, a Democrat and an Orthodox Jew, or seventy-year old businessman Republican Bob Turner, a Catholic.

Democrats hold a 3-1 voter registration edge in this district that hasn’t sent a Republican representative to Washington in nearly a century.

An August Siena Poll found Weprin leading Turner by a narrow 48–42 percent margin. The poll found Obama’s approval ratings in the heavily Democratic district to be hovering at 45 percent. The New York Times reported “a surprising anger at Obama” in the race.

Nate Silver, a leading liberal political analyst notes that even in 2008, Obama barely outperformed his national margin of victory in the district. “The Ninth District remains leaning Democratic – but it has become much more competitive than might have been expected,” said Silver.

With the national economy struggling, and unemployment in the district high, Weprin concedes that he is “being dragged down by Obama.”

Turner believes that the simmering discontent gives him a realistic chance of peeling off enough Democratic voters to score an upset victory. “Several times a day, someone comes over to me and says, ‘I’m a lifelong Democrat, but I’ll be voting for you.’”


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you