Political commentator and author John Fund tells Newsmax that Republican Bob Turner’s victory in New York’s 9th Congressional District special election will trigger “three shock waves” across the national political landscape.
“First, no Democrat can consider themselves completely safe in 2012 if the economy remains bad — no Democrat. If this district can go, any district can conceivably go,” Fund said during an exclusive interview with Newsmax shortly before Turner was declared the winner over Democratic State Assemblyman David Weprin.
“Two, I think Republicans were able to find their voice on every issue. They were able to come up with a compelling positive message, not just a negative message, and they rammed it through and the Democrats did not have a good response.
“The third shock wave is, I think, that this will put Jewish contributor money and Jewish votes in play in key states — whether it’s Ohio or Florida or Pennsylvania.”
It appeared as if a majority of the Jewish vote in the district went to Turner, Fund said.
“That is a political earthquake,” Fund says. “Jews around the country, both donors and voters, will pay attention to that and take note of it.”
District 9, which straddles the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, is the most heavily Jewish in the nation. It has been represented in the past by such liberal icons as now-Sen. Chuck Schumer, as well as a former Democratic vice presidential candidate, the late Geraldine Ferarro.
Polls before the election suggested Israel was very important to 37 percent of the voters in the district. Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch endorsed Turner, saying it was time to send a message to the Obama administration over Israel and the economy.
Koch took the podium at the Turner rally and sounded a Republican theme, asking Washington: “Where are the jobs?”
Turner took a strong pro-Israel stance during the campaign, while Weprin supported construction of a mosque near ground zero that Turner opposed.
“I tell you, I never saw more rabbis than I saw tonight,” Fund said. “There were rabbis everywhere at the Turner headquarters.”
Fund said he spoke with Turner, a former television executive, who said the major issues were jobs, Israel, and “in general, the sense that it was time to send a message to Washington about how upset people were.”
“I’d also have to say that the social issue of gay marriage played a role, because this happened only a couple of months after the New York State Legislature passed gay marriage,” Fund said. “The Orthodox Jewish community and the Catholic community in this district were involved. The National Organization for Marriage spent $75,000. It’s not something you may read about in other papers, but I think gay marriage was an issue here.”
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