Originally posted on September 14, 2011
Tonight’s stunning victory by Robert Turner, a Republican, over Democrat David Weprin may provide a window into the 2012 Presidential campaign. No Republican has held this seat since 1923. This seat was most recently held by Anthony Weiner, who was forced to resign in June. The seat itself may be reapportioned later this year, as New York needs to reconfigure its Congressional representation.
To the voters in these blue-collar Catholic and Jewish neighborhoods of Queens and Brooklyn, President Obama’s message is apparently not resonating. What must be understood as well the President won this district receiving only 55% of the vote; in comparison, Al Gore won the 9th District with 67% of the vote in 2000.
With a median income of only $45,000, the families in this part of New York City may well be responding to the economic concerns of the nation. In an array of polls taken in advance of today’s election, Jewish voters specifically referenced the President’s Israel policies as the basis of their employing this election to send a critical message to the White House.
This district, with its large Orthodox constituency, blue collar base, and immigrant population, maybe an interesting point of measure for key segments of the 2012 Jewish vote. Yet, it is too early to make any definitive statement pertaining to the 2012 election. But there are clear indicators that at least some key groupings within the Jewish community are prepared to make a definitive statement!
The Wind Report will be regularly posting commentaries related to the 2012 Elections and the Jewish vote.
Steven F. Windmueller, Ph.D.
Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor
HUC-JIR Los Angeles Campus