Steve Kornacki: Maybe you remember the much-discussed map that the New York Times ran in November 2008, just after Barack Obama racked up a bigger share of the national popular vote than any Democrat had in 44 years. It really was the perfect election for Democrats, with just about everything breaking their way, and yet the Times showed that in a few pockets of America, Obama had somehow fared worse than his party’s previous (losing) nominee.
This phenomenon was mostly centered in Appalachia, but there were exceptions – like the Brooklyn/Queens-based 9th District of New York, where Obama performed one point worse than John Kerry had in 2004 and 12 points worse than Al Gore had in 2000.
This may be the most important piece of information to keep in mind now that the voters of that same 9th District have just handed national Republicans a dream talking point… there really isn’t much that’s remarkable about the victory that Republican Bob Turner achieved on Tuesday night.
Mainly, it tells us what a simple look at President Obama’s job approval numbers (or the economic indicators that are largely responsible for them) would tell us: Voters are frustrated and eager to register their displeasure with him and his party. This is true everywhere, but particularly in areas like the 9th District, where voters already had clear reservations about Obama even before he did anything as president – back when his approval ratings were still stratospheric.
…. None of this is to say that Turner’s win is a non-story … President Obama is in serious political trouble and is faced with an electorate that could easily deny him a second term next year. But then, that would have been true even if the Democrats had pulled an upset or two on Tuesday night.
Full article here
Nate Silver: …. New York’s Ninth Congressional District has highly unusual demographics, with a set of local issues that are unlikely to extrapolate well to the rest of the country.
… First, there are the local issues – Barack Obama’s positioning toward Israel, Mr. Weprin’s endorsement of a plan to build a mosque and Muslim cultural center in Lower Manhattan, and possibly gay marriage – that will resonate more in Queens than they will in the rest of the country.
Roughly 40 percent of voters in the Ninth District are Jewish, 20 times the rate in the country as a whole. Moreover, and perhaps more important, many of those voters are Orthodox Jews, who often have starkly different political viewpoints than Reform or secular Jews, and who are extremely rare in the United States outside a few spots in the New York region.
There’s also the fact that the district was already behaving unusually in 2008. Despite having a 37-point edge in party registration, Mr. Obama won the election by only 11 points there – barely better than the seven-point edge he had nationwide.
I doubt that there was any district in the country (in 2008), perhaps outside a few remnants of the “Solid South,” where so many enrolled Democrats voted against Mr. Obama.
Full post here
Read Steve Benen’s take on the result here
And don’t forget how Weiner won that seat in the first place – here
Wow, look at that Brooklyn result.