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Race to Replace Anthony Weiner Update: Poll Finds Republican Leading by 6 Points

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By Doug Powers  •  September 10, 2011 02:02 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

The special election to replace the self-proclaimed author of Obamacare and junk-Tweeter extraordinaire Anthony Weiner is Tuesday, and right now it isn’t looking good for the Democrats.

From the New York Times:

The Republican candidate is in a strong position heading into Tuesday’s special election in the heavily Democratic Congressional district formerly represented by Anthony D. Weiner, according to a new poll released on Friday.

Fifty percent of likely voters in New York’s Ninth Congressional District supported the Republican, Bob Turner, compared with 44 percent who supported his Democratic opponent, Assemblyman David I. Weprin, according to the poll, conducted from Tuesday to Thursday by the Siena Research Institute.

Democrats were expecting their party to easily retain the seat Weiner resigned in June, but instead they’re having to spend a substantial amount of money in the district:

Hoping to stave off an embarrassing loss, national Democrats have purchased nearly $500,000 in television advertising and labor unions and other Democratic-affiliated groups are readying a major get out the vote effort they hope might save their candidate.

In 2008, Barack Obama carried New York’s 9th District 55 to 44 percent, so the Dems having to fight to retain a congressional seat where no Republican has ever been elected to the House can’t be a comforting sign for them with 2012 just around the corner (but it won’t be anything they can’t blame Bush or the Tea Party for).

The New York race isn’t the only special election coming up on Tuesday. There’s also one in Nevada, where the Democrats are up against the same problem they’re facing in New York:

In a GOP-leaning Nevada district left vacant when Dean Heller was appointed to the Senate, Republicans are using Obama as a cudgel against Democratic candidate Kate Marshall, featuring him in all of their ads while mostly ignoring her.

Many Democratic strategists are privately blaming Obama for their party’s difficulties in both districts and worry that if his numbers don’t improve he could hurt their chances at retaking the House in 2012.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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