New poll shows tight race in election to fill Weiner's seat
August 10th, 2011
01:10 PM ET
11 years ago

New poll shows tight race in election to fill Weiner's seat

(CNN) - With New York's special election to replace former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned amidst scandal, less than five weeks away, a new poll finds the race narrowing with a six point lead for the Democratic candidate.

According to the Siena Research Institute survey released Wednesday, Democrat David Weprin leads with 48 percent of the vote, while Republican businessman Bob Turner follows behind at 42 percent in what was once presumed a solidly safe district for Democrats.

New York's 9th congressional district covers parts of Brooklyn and Queens and has long been represented by Democrats. Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer represented the area prior to Weiner, who resigned in June during his seventh term after admitting to sending lewd photos to women online.

According to the Siena poll, Weprin, a New York state assemblyman, has support among 61 percent of his Democratic base, while Turner fares better with his base, carrying 80 percent of Republicans.

In one of the most Jewish districts in the country, Democrats have struggled to hold a wide lead as the campaign has turned into a competition over who's a better friend of Israel.

While Weprin would be the only Orthodox Jew in the House of Representatives if elected, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch stirred controversy by endorsing Turner. Koch hoped his move would send a message to the White House that Jewish Americans are displeased with President Barack Obama's policies on Israel.

But in the poll, a majority of Jewish voters said they would still vote for Weprin, while 35 percent would vote for Turner.

"This poll simply confirms what we already know–that David Weprin is winning this election because New Yorkers know they can trust him to protect Medicare and Social Security and reform the tax code to make millionaires and Big Oil pay their fair share," said Liz Kerr, spokeswoman for Weprin, in an email.

The election also takes place at a time when Democrats and Republicans have been battling it out in Washington over a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

While most New York House Democrats voted against the recently-passed law, the Siena poll shows a strong majority–61 percent–of voters in NY-9 said they would have wanted their representative to vote for the bill.

Weprin favored raising the debt ceiling but didn't support the deal reached by Congress and the White House. Meanwhile, Turner said he supported the debt bill signed by Obama on Aug. 3.

And as in most elections, capturing the independent vote will be crucial for a win on the Sept. 13 election. So far, Turner is leading among independents with 46 percent of the vote, with Weprin at 42 percent.

"This survey reflects exactly what I am hearing on the streets of Queens and Brooklyn," said Turner in a statement Wednesday. "They want representatives in Congress with real-world business experience, not more career politicians."

In terms of loyalty, Turner voters seem to be more steadfast in committing to the Republican candidate, with 60 percent saying they are absolutely certain they will vote for him on Election Day. Yet only 47 percent of Weprin voters say they are committed.

And while Weprin has a strong advantage among voters 55 and under, the two candidates are evenly divided among voters 55 and older, a large and influential voting bloc in the district, especially in a special election.

The Siena College Research Institute polled 501 likely voters in NY-9 between Aug. 3-4 and Aug. 7-8. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. EddyL

    Why would they vote for a Republican? UGH!

    August 10, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If you don't vote, you have no reason to complain and the biggest complainers are those who don't vote.

    August 10, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    n one of the most Jewish districts in the country, Democrats have struggled to hold a wide lead as the campaign has turned into a competition over who's a better friend of Israel.
    Does that mean that the constituents are less concerned about jobs? Have you looked at Israel lately? The country is going through "Seldon Crisis" at the moment. It's not quite as bad as London, but it is not far behind.

    August 10, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. jim

    NIce title to the aticle. Dingoss.

    Now i they only mis-spelled 'poll' as well....

    August 10, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Come on New York!! Don't screw the country over by sending another Democrat weiner to Congress.

    I can't believe that so many Jewish voters support Democrats and their israel hating President Obama. The Whitehouse has never had such an anti-Israel president. Good thing the neighboring arab countries are imploding. If they ever attacked Israel while Obama was in office, I doubt he would show them much support. He'd probably see the attack as another positive manifestation of the "arab spring".

    August 10, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Ken in NC

    Turner needs to bring in Sarah Palin to solidify his loss. No one can better lose than she can.

    August 10, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. Tim

    I'd go witht he creepy guy with the mustache. He looks as perverted as Weiner.

    August 10, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. Larry L

    It's a shame Weiner's ridiculous behavior caused this distraction at such a critical time. Democrats are needed to counter the economic and social terrorism of the Tea Party. Those radical have torpedoed our economy and would be pleased to see our federal government go under. They are the American Taliban.

    August 10, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. doug

    calm down libalibs, the people in this area for the most part lack morals, values, honesty, integrity, decency, and the ability to care about the lives of their fellow Americans, therefore it is impossible for a Demoncrat to lose.

    Anywhere the parents would be more proud if their child grows up to become a mob boss than a doctor is an area that is about as Democrat as possible.

    August 10, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. smart choices

    Sometimes I question the brains of the voters in NY. They keep voting in these crazy democrats that keep messing up the economy or are so steeped in scandal that they have to be removed. They even voted in Hillary Clinton – who had only lived in the state for 6 months.

    This country needs leaders with private sector experience. Obama and his administration have shown what happens when you plug in an academic instead of someone with real world experience.


    August 10, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |