Septmber 14, 2011

Threadbare Coattails
Obama’s Failed Presidency Drags Democrats To Defeat In New York And Nevada
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“Democrats Suffered A Major Blow In Two Special House Election Losses Tuesday, Leaving The Party At A Political Low Point As It Gears Up For 2012.” (Dan Hirschhorn & Alex Isenstadt,
“GOP Captures 2 Special House Elections,” Politico, 9/13/11)

THE NEVADA SPECIAL WAS A RUNAWAY VICTORY
In Nevada, “The Race’s Lack Of Competitiveness Is Still A Blow” For Democrats Heading Into 2012. “The race’s lack of competitiveness is still a blow to the party going into 2012, especially because the GOP is poised for an upset today in New York, making the Republicans’ House edge one stronger.” (Kyle Trygstad,
“Democrats Brace For Disappointment In Nevada,” Roll Call, 9/13/11)

“Republican Voters Are Trouncing Their Democratic Counterparts At The Polls In Nevada's House Special Election.” (Cristina Silva, “Early Voting Shows GOP Surge In House Race,” The Associated Press, 9/12/11) Marshall Was Battered By “Obama’s Dismal 33 Percent Approval Rating.” “Those onslaughts have left Marshall with 50 percent of voters viewing her unfavorably, according to the poll, and she’s also buffeted by President Barack Obama’s dismal 33 percent approval rating in the rural district.” (Dan Hirschhorn, “Poll: Mark Amodei
To Win Big In Nevada Special Election,” Politico, 9/12/11) 

Amodei’s Campaign Against Obama Contributed To Marshall’s Decline. “Part of Marshall's decline may be due to successful attempts by Amodei to run against President Obama instead of Marshall directly. His campaign ads and speeches have repeatedly focused on Obama, and only about a third of voters in the district approve of Obama's performance.” (Josh Lederman, “Poll: Amodei Ahead By Double
Digits In Nevada Special Election,” The Hill, 9/12/11)

WHILE NY–9 WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE CLOSE
“The District Has Been In Democratic Hands Since 1923.” (Alex Altman, “New York’s Special Election: Looming Upset Would Be
A Rebuke To Obama,” Times’ “Swampland,” 9/13/11)

“The District Has Been Represented Previously By Some Of The Most Prominent Names In National Politics: Weiner And Now-Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).” (Cameron Joseph, “Dems’ Peril In New York Special Election Sparks
Fear For Nov. ’12,” The Hill, 9/13/11)

The Race “Should Have Been An Open-And-Shut Affair” For Democrats Who Have “An Overwhelming Registration Advantage.” “The stumble over the ad was the latest in a series of Democratic errors in a race
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that should have been an open-and-shut affair for the party, which enjoys an overwhelming registration advantage in the district, but which is now scrambling to defend the Brooklyn and Queens-area seat – thanks in large part, Democrats acknowledge, to their own missteps.” (Alex Isenstadt, “Re-Cut Ad Latest Stumble For Dems In
NY-9,” Politico, 9/8/11)

BUT OBAMA DOOMED DEMOCRAT HOPES FOR AN EASY VICTORY
“Part Of The Reason For The Dems' Struggles Is Due To Obama.” (Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, And
Brooke Brower, “First Thoughts: Obama’s Next Act,” MSNBC’s “First Read,” 9/12/11)

“President Obama Won't Officially Be On The Ballot In This Special Election In New York's 9th District, But He Might As Well Be.” (Jessica Taylor, “Previewing The NY-09 Special Election,” National Journal, 9/13/11)

In NY-9, “The Guy On The Ballot Isn't Really David Weprin -- It's Barack Obama.” “At least one Democratic political consultant thinks Turner is on to something. ‘The guy on the ballot isn't really David Weprin -- it's Barack Obama,’ Hank Sheinkopf said.” (Erik Kriss, “Desperate Dem Weprin: O, No!,” New York Post,
9/1/11)

“Make No Mistake About It, The Albatross Around Weprin’s Neck Is Named Obama.” “But make no mistake about it, the albatross around Weprin’s neck is named Obama, and Democrats who value honesty will tell you privately that the president’s 37 percent approval rating in the district is making it difficult for Weprin to win a race that in almost any other time would be a slam dunk, no matter how mediocre a campaign the Democratic nominee ran.” (Stuart Rothenberg, “Democrats Jump The Shark In New York,” Roll Call, 9/13/11) Thanks To Obama’s “Free-Falling Approval Ratings” And “A Staggering Economy,” Democrats Played Defense In A Solidly Democrat District. “Now Democrats, playing defense on that front and faced with a staggering economy and the president's free-falling approval ratings, find themselves with at serious risk of losing this seat, despite the district's three-to-one registration advantage.” (Jessica Taylor, “Previewing The NY-09 Special
Election,” National Journal, 9/13/11) 

Disapproval Of Obama In Anthony’s Weiner’s Former District “Has Turned The DemocraticLeaning District Into A Battleground.” “The sting of Obama’s low approval ratings is already being felt in Queens and Brooklyn, where Republican candidate Bob Turner has turned the Democraticleaning district into a battleground by framing the special election as a referendum on the administration and its treatment of Israel. Liberal firebrand Anthony Weiner held onto that district with ease for more than a decade, and even when scandal forced him out of office, few had thought the race to replace him would be close.” (Alex Roarty And Beth Reinhard, “Democrats Distancing Themselves From Obama,”
National Journal, 9/1/11)

With His “Staggeringly Bad” Approval Rating
Obama’s “Staggeringly Bad 31% Approval Rating” Is “Dragging His Party Down.” “If Turner wins on Tuesday it will be largely due to the incredible unpopularity of Barack Obama dragging his party down in the district. Obama won 55% there in 2008 but now has a staggeringly bad 31% approval rating, with 56% of voters disapproving of him.” (Public Policy Polling Poll, 664 LV, MoE 3.8%, 9/8 – 9/11/11)

“Even More Shocking,” Is Obama’s 16 Percent Approval Rating Among Independents And Just 46 Percent Among Democrats. “It's a given that Republicans don't like him but more shocking are his 16% approval rating with independents and the fact that he's below 50% even with Democrats at 46% approving and 38% disapproving.” (Public Policy Polling Poll, 664 LV, MoE 3.8%, 9/8 – 9/11/11)

“On The Economy Especially, Obama Has Become A Liability.” “On the economy especially, Obama has become a liability, and in this district he once easily won, his unfavorable ratings in the final Siena poll were upside down at 54 percent. Weprin is hemorrhaging over a third of Democratic voters as well as losing
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independent voters more than two-to-one.” (Jessica Taylor, “Previewing The NY-09 Special Election,” National Journal, 9/13/11) Obama’s “Disastrous” Approval Ratings Dragged Down The Democrat. “The President’s approval ratings are low in the district — extremely so by some pollsters’ account — dragging Weprin’s campaign down with him. PPP found Obama with a disastrous 31-56 approval rating.” (Benjy Sarlin, “Democrats Could Lose Anthony
Weiner’s Seat Tuesday,” Talking Points Memo, 9/12/11)

Obama “Shoulders The Blame For The Loss.” “And it could be Obama who shoulders the blame for the loss, which would come at a pivotal time for the president, who is pushing Congress to pass a jobs bill that will likely be a major part of his reelection campaign.” (Cameron Joseph, “Dems’ Peril In New York Special Election Sparks Fear For Nov.
’12,” The Hill, 9/13/11)

“Coattails Dragging Weprin Down: Turner's Campaign Seized Early On The Obama Message On Israel, But It Wasn't Just His Middle East Policies That Made Him A Threat To Weprin.” (Jessica Taylor,
“Previewing The NY-09 Special Election,” National Journal, 9/13/11)

Turner’s 56-39 Lead In The Jewish Vote Is “Rooted In Deep Unhappiness With Obama” On Israel. “Turner is in fact winning the Jewish vote by a 56-39 margin, very unusual for a Republican candidate. This seems to be rooted in deep unhappiness with Obama on this issue- only 30% of voters overall approve of how he's handling Israel to 54% who disapprove and with Jewish voters his approval on Israel is 22% with 68 of voters disapproving.” (Public Policy Polling Poll, 664 LV, MoE 3.8%, 9/8 – 9/11/11)

FORCING WEPRIN TO RUN FROM OBAMA AND NATIONAL DEMOCRATS TO POUR SUPPORT INTO THE DISTRICT
In An Effort To Distance Himself From Obama, Weprin Refused To Fully Support Obama’s Reelection. “The Democratic candidate seeking to fill the congressional seat vacated by randy ex-Rep Anthony Weiner distanced himself from President Obama today — by refusing to say whether he backed the president’s reelection.” (Carl Campanile, “Weprin Distances Himself From Obama,” New York Post, 8/4/11) Obama For America “Orchestrated A Ground Effort” For Weprin. “Jeremy Bird, the national field director for the president’s political arm, Obama for America, orchestrated a ground effort for Weprin in the 9th Congressional District yesterday including phone calls and door-knocking.” (Erik Kriss, “Weprin’s ‘Double Play’ With
Obama,” New York Post, 9/3/11)

“Democrats Have Poured Cash And Sent In Their Stars To Try To Save Weprin.” “Panicked at the prospect of an embarrassing loss, Democrats have poured cash into the race and sent in their stars to try to save Weprin, a state lawmaker who has been forced to defend Obama's economic policies even as he tries to stress his own independence and close ties to the community.” (“Special Election A Measure Of Obama’s Strength,” The Associated
Press, 9/13/11) 

“Weprin Has Turned To Popular Local Officials To Give Him A Boost - Both Overwhelmingly Popular Gov. Andrew Cuomo And Former President Bill Clinton Cut Robocalls For Him In The Final Days.” (Jessica Taylor, “Previewing The NY-09 Special Election,” National Journal, 9/13/11) “With The Assistance Of The Organized Labor-Backed Working Families Party, Democrats Plan To Target Around 60,000 Labor Households.” (Alex Isenstadt, “Democrats Fear Loss In New York House Race,”
Politico, 9/13/11)

Weprin Raked In Donations From The National Democrat Leadership. “Over the Labor Day weekend, Weprin was the beneficiary of donations from Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.), and Democratic Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.), according to new filings with the Federal Election Commission.”(Alex
Isenstadt, “David Weprin Getting Late Help From Dems,” Politico, 9/5/11)

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The DCCC Spent $500,000 On An Ad Buy In NY-9. “The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is dropping a $500,000 TV ad buy in New York — a sign of growing worry among party insiders that they could lose next week's special election to replace ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D).”(Joshua Miller, “DCCC Makes New York Ad
Buy To Help Save David Weprin,” Roll Call 9/8/11)

“Democrat Outside Group House Majority PAC Spent An Additional $100,000.”“National Democrats have parachuted in since the race tightened: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is spending $500,000 on television ads in the highly expensive media market, while the Democratic outside group House Majority PAC has spent an additional $100,000.” (Cameron Joseph, “Dem’s
Peril in New York Special Election Sparks Fear For Nov.’ 12,” The Hill, 9/13/11)

THE LOSSES HAVE SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS FOR OBAMA AND DEMOCRATS IN 2012
Republican Wins In Tuesday’s Special Elections Spells “More Gloom” For Obama, Who Shares The Blame In The Democrats’ Loss. “Special elections for the U.S. House on Tuesday in New York and Nevada could spell more gloom for President Barack Obama. If Republicans win both, including one in heavily Democratic New York City, Mr. Obama is sure to share the blame.” (Patrick O’Connor, “Special House Elections Give View Of
Sagging Obama,” The Wall Street Journal’s “Washington Wire,” 9/12/11)

President Of Public Policy Polling: A GOP “Win In A Heavily Democratic District Like This Would Send A Strong Message About How Unhappy Voters Are.” “Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said the president had emerged as a drag on Weprin. ‘If Republicans win this race on Tuesday it’s real world evidence of how unpopular Barack Obama is right now,’ Debnam said in a release accompanying the survey results. ‘Approval polls are one thing but for the GOP to win in a heavily Democratic district like this would send a strong message about how unhappy voters are.’” (Alex Isenstadt, “Republican Poised For Upset In NY-9,”
Politico, 9/12/11)

NY-9 Upset Is “Proof That Obama’s Agenda Has Been Rejected And His Re-election Chances Are Weaker Than Ever.” “If Bob Turner pulls off the upset in this deeply Democratic district that the polls are predicting, the local political pros will say Democratic David Weprin ran a dysfunctional campaign while Republican Bob Turner turned his opponent’s strengths into weaknesses — including using the political establishment backing that made Weprin the nominee to demonstrate his own independence by contrast. But the only name in the race that matters outside the five boroughs is Obama, and an upset would be seen as proof that Obama’s agenda has been rejected and his re-election chances are weaker than ever.” (Alex
Isenstadt, “5 Things To Watch For In New York-9,” Politico, 9/13/11)

Weprin’s Loss Creates A “Complicated Political Environment” For Obama. “But there is genuine skepticism that the race can be saved, and an acknowledgment that a loss would create an even more complicated political environment through which Obama — and his newly announced jobs plan — would have to navigate.” (Chris Cillizza, “Republican’s Lead In NY Election For Weiner’s Seat Shows Democrats’ Vulnerability,” The Washington Post’s “The Fix,”
9/11/11)

“A Big Cause For Concern” Is That Democrat Voters Are “Showing Up In The Same Numbers They Did In 2008,” “But Only 65 Percent Of Them Are Voting Democratic.” “One final note on the poll and what perhaps should concern Democrats most of all. 55% of voters in the district report having voted for Obama in 2008, which is the actual percentage of the vote he got in the district. Last year a lot of the races Democrats lost were because their voters didn't show up and the electorate was far more conservative than for a Presidential year. When you lose that way you can say, well, our voters will come back out in 2012 and we'll be fine. But there is no enthusiasm gap here. Obama voters are showing up in the same numbers they did in 2008. But only 65% of them are voting Democratic. That's a really big cause for concern.” (Public Policy
Polling Poll, 664 LV, MoE 3.8%, 9/8 – 9/11/11)

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The Losses Will Have “A Chilling Effect” On Vulnerable Democrats’ Support Of Obama’s Agenda. “Losing a seat such as this one — despite all of the reasons for such a defeat, outlined above — probably would have a chilling effect on the willingness of Democrats running in vulnerable districts and states to support any aspects of the president’s agenda between now and 2012. And that’s the last thing an embattled White House seeking political allies needs right now.” (Chris Cillizza, “Republican’s Lead In NY Election For Weiner’s Seat Shows
Democrats’ Vulnerability,” The Washington Post’s “The Fix,” 9/11/11)

The NY Loss Will “Heighten” Concerns Over Obama’s Effect On Down-Ticket Democrats. “A senior Democratic strategist agreed that Obama’s numbers have been worrying down-ticket Democrats, and that a New York special-election loss would heighten their concerns. ‘The one thing that’s going to resonate in the echo chamber is the president is really pulling down people’s numbers,’ he said. ‘Democrats are going to start getting a little nervous.’” (Cameron Joseph, “Dems’ Peril In New York Special Election Sparks Fear For Nov. ’12,” The Hill, 9/13/11) Democrat Strategist To Down-Ticket Democrats: “Don’t Run In 2012.” “A Democratic strategist said Obama has become such a problem for down-ticket Democrats that he was wary of encouraging candidates to run next year. ‘I’m warning my clients — ‘Don’t run in 2012.’ I don’t want to see good candidates lose by 12 to 15 points because of the president,’ said the strategist.” (Cameron Joseph, “Dems’ Peril In New York Special Election Sparks
Fear For Nov. ’12,” The Hill, 9/13/11)

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