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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 03:12 PM ET, 09/09/2011

Dems hitting panic button over Weiner’s seat?

By now you may have heard that national Dems are worried about the very real possibility that they will lose the special election for Anthony Weiner’s seat next Tuesday in a major upset. A new Siena poll finds that Republican businessman Bob Turner leads Dem Assemblyman David Weprin by 50-44, and the DCCC has invested nearly half a million dollars in the race’s closing days.

If Dems do lose the seat, Republicans will argue that the loss constitutes a major referendum on Obama’s popularity and bodes very badly for Dems in 2012. Indeed, the Siena poll finds that Obama’s viewed favorably by only 43 percent in this New York district.

It’s true that a defeat here would reflect badly on Obama. But as my Post colleague Rachel Weiner notes, there are some other factors complicating the picture. The district is the second most conservative in New York City, and the Orthodox Jewish vote makes up a significant chunk of the electorate here, which makes the district atypical. Still, a loss would carry bad implications for Obama and Dems.

So are Dems headed for a loss? Nate Silver says Dems could still pull it out, because polling races like this is notoriously difficult

But sometimes some of the more revealing things about the way a race is going can be found in the home-stretch behavior of the candidates. And the Dem, David Weprin, today journeyed all the way into Manhattan and held a press conference in front of Trump Tower, the flagship building owned by Donald Trump.

The reality TV star had endorsed Republican Turner and cut a robocall for him, and as Capital New York reports, Dem Weprin and a surrogate stood in front of Trump Tower and blasted the recent presidential candidate and tax loophole recipient as a symbol of everything that’s detestable about our political system. Weprin’s surrogate even ripped Trump as “a guy we have gotten to know more recently as someone who gleefully fires people.”

I find Trump as unpleasant as the next guy, but this is not the kind of thing you do if you’re confident about winning a race. Dems may still pull it out, because they are all but certain to have a superior ground operation. But this doesn’t inspire confidence.

By  |  03:12 PM ET, 09/09/2011

 
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