UPDATE: A commenter points out how bad this is for Democrats trying to use the Ryan budget to attack Republicans. Politico even listed Paul Ryan as the number one winner of last night’s election:
Paul Ryan – Three months ago, Democrats successfully seized on the House Budget Committee chairman’s controversial plan to rewrite Medicare in an upstate New York special election. But that message didn’t work this time for Weprin, who hammered Turner over the plan and who raced into senior centers during the final days of the race to brand the Republican as scary. Icing on the cake for Ryan: The approach didn’t work for Democrats in Nevada either, where Republican Mark Amodei won by a landslide in Tuesday’s other special election.
Drudge called it "Revenge of the Jews," Bob Turner's campaign called it a rebuke of Obama, but no matter how you slice it the win by the GOP in New York's 9th Congressional District last night was a devastating blow to Democrats and a sign of Obama's extreme unpopularity. In a race for disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner's seat, Republican nominee Bob Turner beat Democrat David Weprin 54-46 with nearly 90% of precincts reporting.
Some analysts have called it a message to Obama over his Israel policy — the district is nearly 1/3 Jewish — while others have said it was more reflective of a broader discontent with Obama's failed economic policies.
Republicans also spanked the Democrats' nominee in Nevada's 2nd Congressional District, the other special election yesterday.
The trouncing Democrats took has them frightened about what it means for 2012.
Here's how Democrat polling firm Public Policy Polling described the race on Sunday:
If Turner wins on Tuesday it will be largely due to the incredible unpopularity of Barack Obama dragging his party down in the district.[Peak emphasis] Obama won 55% there in 2008 but now has a staggeringly bad 31% approval rating, with 56% of voters disapproving of him. 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. Obama trails Mitt Romney 46-42 in a hypothetical match up in the district and leads Rick Perry only 44-43.
This devastating loss for Democrats began a round of internal recriminations, reports Politico. Even House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said Obama is going to get blamed.
Even before the polls closed, the recriminations — something short of panic, and considerably more than mere grumbling — had begun. On a high-level campaign conference call Tuesday afternoon, Democratic donors and strategists commiserated over their disappointment in Obama. A source on the call described the mood as “awful.”
“People feel betrayed, disappointed, furious, disgusted, hopeless,” said the source.
Less expansive but equally telling were the remarks of House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, who in a conversation with reporters Tuesday morning said bluntly that Obama would take some blame for the two special election losses.
“I think every election reflects on the person in charge, but do I think it is an overall statement on the president alone? No,” said Hoyer. “Do I think it will be interpreted as being a statement on Obama? That’s probably correct.”
The GOP hasn't held New York's 9th CD since 1923. If Democrats can't win there, where can they win?