It sure looks like Democrats are in panic mode over the possibility of losing Anthony Weiner‘s old Congressional seat in the special election coming up September 13. Considering a new poll has the race as a dead heat, they should be worried.
The McLaughlin & Associates poll of 300 likely voters in the predominantly Democratic 9th Congressional District in Queens and Brooklyn showed the candidates tied at 42 percent after a July survey had Weprin ahead 43-35.
The pollsters said independent voters are breaking toward Turner as the Sept. 13 special election approaches.
Not only that, but the very liberal New York Daily News also endorsed Turner Friday.
Wondering why this race is so close? One big reason, and his name is Obama.
The president’s approval was already upside down in the district at the beginning of August, and according to additional numbers from the McLaughlin survey obtained by Hotline On Call, it’s gotten even worse. Now, 55 percent of those polled disapprove of Obama, with 37 percent of those strongly disapproving. Only 40 percent approve of his job performance in a solidly-Democratic district in Queens and Brooklyn that gave Al Gore 67 percent of the vote in 2000.
With that in mind, the desperate Weprin is now claiming he’s never met Obama. Heck, pretty soon he’ll claim he’s never even heard of him.
Meanwhile Weprin, stumping at senior centers in Queens yesterday, downplayed his decision to distance himself from President Obama in campaign literature and on the trail.
“I’ve never met President Obama. [Turner] is running against me,” Weprin said during an event at the Young Israel of Forest Hills Senior League.
Perhaps it’s just Obama’s famed magnanimity, or more likely fear of humiliation, but for a guy who supposedly hasn’t even met Weprin, he sure has his campaign apparatchiks pulling out all stops to try and save the seat. Pay a visit to Obama’s Organizing for America website and you’ll see they have at least 29 separate get out the vote, phone bank or canvassing efforts scheduled in support of Weprin between now and election day.
Weprin wants to have it both ways: Pretending to distance himself from the deeply unpopular president while at the same time essentially having his campaign run by Obama’s stooges.
Turner sees right through it.
Weprin on Thursday told The Post: “I’ve never met President Obama. [Turner] is running against me.”